Men’s Cravat Ties
Cravats are neckpieces that men wear to accessorize open-necked shirts. The style originated in the 17th century when Parisian fashionistas began mimicking the neck kerchiefs worn by King Louis XIII’s Croatian mercenaries. Though these neckpieces started out as a casual accessory, these days, they add a dash of swagger to formal attire and informal wear alike and make an eye-catching alternative to the conventional tie.
How many types of cravats are there?
This accessory is manufactured in several different variations. Among the most popular are:
- Ascots: Ascots, which are sometimes called day cravats, are neckpieces that are designed to be tucked casually into partially unbuttoned shirts. Ascots owe their name to the famous Ascot racecourse where top hats, winged collars, morning coats, and ascots were the de rigueur male uniform well into the 20th century. Since ascots are worn close to the chin, ascots are typically made of silk or some other type of soft fabric that won’t scratch the chin. Ascots are pleated along their back edges to facilitate knotting them.
- Wedding cravats: Wedding cravats are formal dress accessories. They’re held in place by a scrunched bowknot. One flap goes over the other flap, and the two flaps are held into place with an ornamental pin.
- Steinkirks: Steinkirks are accessories that are deliberately designed to look messy in order to give their wearers a Bohemian ambiance.
What factors should you consider when buying a cravat?
Cravats are highly stylized accessories. When they buy these tie alternatives, most men already have the outfit the neckpiece will be complementing in mind. Consideration should be given to the neckpiece’s color, material, and size.
- Color: Since this neckwear is designed to be an accent piece, it works best if it contrasts with the color of the clothing it’s worn under. A plain white top may look best with a red tartan or blue paisley accessory; a black top will look dashing with a red neckpiece.
- Size: These neckpieces typically come as a one-size-fits-all item, but some designers manufacturer longer neckpieces that are intended for taller men. Typically, the side that’s intended to accommodate the knot will measure 34 inches by 12 inches while the other side will measure 27 inches by 12 inches.
- Materials: Silk is the most common material from which this neckwear is made. Frequently, silk neckpieces are designed with a cotton backing in order to facilitate tying a knot that will hold. In recent years, many manufacturers have begun making these neckpieces out of polyester. Particular care must be taken when washing polyester neckpieces because they may have a tendency to shrink.
How do you tie a cravat?
- Drape the neckpiece around your neck with the left end hanging approximately two inches longer than the right end.
- Wrap the left end of the fabric once around the right end.
- Begin wrapping the left end of the fabric a second time, but push the fabric through the neck loop to form a flap. This should form a loose knot.
- Spread the folds of the loose knot around the opening of your shirt.