It seems fitting for a wedding necktie company to explore the origins of how men came to the ritual of knotting a piece of cloth around our necks. Metaphor for your wedding day? We think not. After all, it’s a necktie not a noose.
Naturally, I started my hunt for the history of neckties on everyone’s favorite search engine, Google. I knew upfront that the best place to get detailed information on such a mundane and archaic topic would be Project Gutenberg – a website dedicated to creating a digital catalog of books that are out of copyright, which means pre-1960 in the USA.
If anyone was going to record such a riveting subject, it would have to be a writer of some sort during the late Victorian era. Personally, a scene reminiscent of a Charles Dickens tale came to mind: staunch London fashion aficionado sitting comfortably in his high-back leather chair, stoking a coal fire and filling the office air with cigar smoke. Notes flying furiously as he records in great detail how the necktie came about. Fascinating stuff!
I tried all the usual variants in the search box that I could think: men’s fashion, early men’s neckties, and 1700’s neckties that don’t make you look like a pirate. That last one was particularly useful. I got some great tips for my pirate Halloween costume next year.
I slogged through a few ebooks on Project Gutenberg. I can’t believe how far we have devolved as a species in terms of our writing ability. The verbose grammar, spelling, and writing style in books written during the 1800’s is like learning a whole new language! I suppose in those days only educated individuals were able to put quill to paper and bang out a chapter or two. Not like today where any dolt who thinks he can start a blog, or necktie company, sits down to a computer and starts hammering away at the keyboard. Apes running wild comes to mind.
I quickly decided it was best to depart from the old Gutenberg website, rest in peace. I knew you briefly and may not be back. Unless I need a good topic sentence on ‘fashionable wigs to go with your necktie’ for my next article. Which I don’t.
I digress. If you really want to read about the history of neck wear, there are better resources available than I could ever hope to research and write. Here are a few that I found and have taken the liberty of providing a handy summary for you. Enjoy!
History of Neckties Resources
- The Evolution of the NecktieMy Summary: “We have some Croatian mercenary dudes who came to France in the 17th century to blame for being choked at work 8 hours a day.”
- History of the Necktie from 1700 – Present DayMy Summary: “Roman soldiers, and the Croatian dudes, are to blame for having a giant arrow pointing at my genitals 8 hours a day.”
- Ultimate Timeline for NecktiesMy Summary: “Wow. Apparently even China’s first emperor and his terracotta army are also to blame for this whole necktie craze!”
- All About CravatsMy Summary: “LOL. I’m sorry. My apologies to Sir Walter Raleigh. I just couldn’t stop laughing at that photo of him. He looks like he is wearing a white peacock around his neck! I am sure it was quite fashionable back in 1585.”
- Facts about NecktiesMy Summary: “A fact list about neckties. I had no idea i could buy a necktie that cost more than $200,000. I think I will take two, sir.”