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Whether striped, wide, solid-coloured or printed, today, the tie is known for its elegance. It has become a symbol of distinguished class-an accessory that every stylish gentleman must have in his wardrobe.
However, it seems that almost nobody really knows anything about its origin or actual use. To this day, it’s uncertain about when people started to wear ties.
In ancient times, people knew nothing about the fashion of tying a piece of cloth around their necks. The custom was to leave that part of their body uncovered, except when they needed to keep themselves warm, by wrapping themselves in wool, cotton or silk fabric.
Ancient Romans called this ornament a “focale,” a term, probably derived from “faucase,” or rather “fauces,” meaning “throat.”
According to a historian of antiquity, “it was, sometimes, a habit or an excuse used by young lads, in order to look more interesting or to escape rigorous duties.”
The French tie in the XVII century
The best- known story tells about an event that happened in 1660, when a regiment of Croatian soldiers came to France. These soldiers wore a particular kind of collar , the french noted and soon imitated it. This “giro di collo” was made out of plain cloth for the common soldier and out of silk for the officers.
At first, this new ornament was called “croatta” and only afterwards “cravatta,” in reference to the Croatian army.
It was the Sun King (Louis XIV), who declared the importance of the tie. He even established a new occupation, the “cravattaio” (tie maker), whose duty included tying his Majesty’s tie flawlessly.
XIX century: the conquest of England
After winning over the France court, the tie made its way over to England, in 1880. There, it conquered the hearts of some Oxford students, who started tying it around their straw hats and made it a symbol of their identity.
The tie of our times
So, through the ages, the tie has reached modern times. Its evolution has regarded both the kinds of fabric used and even its knot. In fact, there are more than fifty ways to knot a tie.
Modigliani 1917 - donna con cravatta nera | MingShine - MS bespoke, Master of style- Taipei,Taiwan
During the course of the last century, the tie was at the center of many works of art, such as in the Italian painter Modigliani’s “Ritratto di Donna con Cravatta Nera.”
A number of elegant and iconic movie stars, politicians and businss men made it famous: Marcello Mastroianni, Sean Connery, Gregory Peck, Robert Redford, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Giovanni Agnelli.