Single or Married- Learn How to Tie the Knot The Ultimate Sign of Elegance.
Some say the history of neckties goes back to China’s first emperor, but it was Louis XIV, the Sun King, who made neckties fashionable. In 1667, the king was presented with the Royal Cravates, an elite regiment composed of Cravates (as Croatians were named by the French) mercenaries. The Cravates had been the main accessory to a crushing victory by the Hapsburg Empire.
The King was delighted by the colorful silk bands the soldiers were wearing around their necks. Soon the cravat was in fashion. The King’s mistress, Madame de La Vallière started wearing a bow-shaped cravat (this knotting is still called a Lavallière). The king had the court office of Cravatier created. And every morning the Cravatier presented several cravats to the king so he could choose the one he was going to wear that day.
A century later, Beau Brummell revolutionized the cravat by only wearing white neckties. He was changing ties as often as three times a day to be sure that the cravat was impeccably starched, tied, and . . . spotless. He knew some 30 ways to tie his tie.
Although some 100 million ties are sold in the United States every year, the cravat may be going out of fashion and we may be witnessing the designers’ last stand. In their fight for the epitome of what makes a gentleman, designers have been going from wide to narrow to wide, from silk to wool (sorry, cashmere).
But all ties are not knotted equally, and, unfortunately, modern American men mostly know the four-in-hand knot that is a no-no with French and Italian collars or woolen ties. Thank God the Duke of Windsor was a dandy before becoming (ever so briefly) a king. Not only did he invent the cuff on trousers; he was also known for knotting his tie a unique way; for which the knot was so aptly named.
With that new Borelli shirt and Turnbull & Asser cashmere tie you just bought at Barney’s, why not try something new. Try a Windsor knot or a Half Windsor knot.
So learn how to tie your tie like a king.
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