The tie we know today shares little resemblance to its origins. A young King Louis XIV took liking to a certain style worn by Croatian mercenaries hired during the 30 Years’ War. To hold the tops of their jackets together, mercenaries wore knotted neckerchiefs as practical accessories rather than decorative ones. Louis was quick to label these as “La Cravate,” meaning “the tie” in French, and deem them essential at royal gatherings. Although neckties originated with the Croatians, the French are credited with putting the trend in motion. So, why have neckties remained fashionable since the 17th century, and will they continue to power through? Is the tie dead?

The most likely answer to why neckties have remained in fashion is that they are, typically, the most expressive part of men’s dress. Available in varying fabrics, prints, and colors, ties create an avenue for men to reveal who they are or who they want to be. Their continuous high demand has even fabricated a personal evolution story. From square neckerchiefs, to ascots, to bowties, ties have been reinvented in every shape and size. For example, skinny ties were popularized in the 1950s and 60s, but gradually grew wider into the 70s and 80s - where unusual textiles like leather or suede were briefly used. But, with the pendulum of fashion swinging quicker than ever, men’s fashion has expanded into a much more evocative field, offering more than a tie as an expressive tool. In the past few years, there’s been a dwindling in tie sales, and formal-wear has picked up other accessories like printed pocket squares, lapel pins, statement loafers, socks, and belts – you name it. This doesn’t mean ties have completely dropped off the face of fashion, though.

2022 collections from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Vivienne Westwood project the “uniform” look for both men and women in the autumn/winter season. Gucci featured leather skinny ties, Louis Vuitton - floral prints, and Vivienne Westwood – geometric prints. Yes, the trend includes ties, but they must be bold.

Gucci Autumn/Winter 2022 (left), Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2022 (right)

Now, let’s answer the question: is the tie dead? The tie, rather than “dying,” is going through a rebirth. This is a rebirth of older trends and a new addition of boldness. It’s all about stepping outside of your comfort zone. Revamp your ties by testing out different patterns, fabrics, and colors, or try a new method of tying your tie. 

Tying methods to experiment with:

Double Windsor

 

 

o   Large

o   Symmetrical

o   Firm

o   Easily released

 

Half Windsor

 

 

o   Medium sized

o   Symmetrical

o   Best used with medium to light weight fabrics

o   Typically preferred by taller men since it requires less length than the Double Windsor to tie

Four-in-Hand

 

o   Small

o   Asymmetrical

o   Best used with heavy fabrics and wide neckties

Prince Albert

 

o   Medium sized

o   Slightly asymmetrical

o   Layered look, first turn of tie peeks out under second

Murrell

 

o   Small

o   Symmetrical

o   Adventurous, layered look

o   Inversion of Windsor knot, tail end lays on top of large end

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