Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekender: Tie One On!

"The cravat is indisputably the cornerstone of 19th century neckwear.  So many styles, so many ways to ‘tie one on’...  From baron to bank robber, the neckwear of choice for the 19th century man.  A swatch of color, not too bold, is just what a plain white starched shirt needs....  The cravat was the neckwear of choice for ‘everyman,’ from aristocratic counts to the working class.  Our Classic Cotton Cravat in Red is a practical way for the extrovert to add a punch of bright color....  Worn by gentlemen everywhere from plantation porches to poker rooms, [the cravat] is the quintessential 19th century way to ‘tie one on.’  A burst of color framing the face is just what a plain white starched shirt needs." (The Gentleman's Emporium) "The cravat is the forerunner of the modern tailored necktie and bow tie, originating from Croatia in the 1630's.  Like most men's fashions between the 17th century and World War I, it was of military origin.  In the reign of Louis XIII of France, Croatian mercenaries were enlisted into a regiment supporting the King and Cardinal Richelieu against the Duc de Guise and the Queen Mother, Marie de Medici.  The traditional Croat military kit aroused Parisian curiosity about the unusual, picturesque scarves distinctively knotted at the Croats' necks.  The sartorial word "cravat" derives from the French "cravate," a corrupt French pronunciation of "Croat".  On returning to England from exile in 1660, Charles II imported with him the latest new word in fashion: "A cravatte is another kind of adornment for the neck being nothing else but a long towel put about the Collar, and so tyed before with a Bow Knott..."  The manner of a man's knotting became indicative of his taste and style, to the extent that after the Battle of Waterloo (1815) the cravat itself was referred to as a "tie". (Wikipedia)