The most common knots a necktie may be tied in are, in order of knot size and formality, the four-in-hand, the half Windsor, and the full Windsor. The full Windsor is only suitable for extra long ties and/or very wide collars, and is the knot favored by royalty.

Despite the obvious torture of wearing them, I actually kind of like ties when they function in one department: women.

According to my girlfriend, a tie makes a man's image. Ties give a look of sophistication, especially when wearing a nice tie. Then again, the whole outfit you wear along with a tie doesn't hurt either.

Besides women, another function of ties it that people tend to treat you better when you wear one. ou don't believe me? Next time you fly, wear regular clothes on your outbound flight and see how people, such as the flight attendants, treat you. Then on your inbound flight, wear a shirt and tie. I can guarantee that you will be treated somewhat better.

The tie is also a socially acceptable BDSM device.

The company is the Master, the top. The employee is the Slave, the bottom.

The tie has links with the collar worn by the bottom, with the tightness of the top button of the shirt around the neck; as well as the leash which allows the Master to grab and pull.

Often, ties also carry the emblem of either the company, or the institution that awarded the tie: be it a previous school, college or university, a society, be it sporting, secret or professional, or an emblem which the wearer chooses. These show who the Master of that particular slave is: perhaps the Alma Mater, the Firm, or Homer Simpson or Grey-type aliens in Christmas hats that play We wish you a merry Christmas when you press the button. It is interesting to note that whilst society- and company based ties are acceptable, as well as geometric shapes that have no meaning, the comic, bright or downright insane ties are frowned upon by society. Perhaps this is because the use of comic ties suggests that the wearer considers himself to be a free man, when his wearing of a tie clearly shows that he is not.

And that is why I wear a tie to work as little as I can get away with, despite it being against the rules.

Bonus credit: why do women get to wear anything they like (within reason!), whereas men have to wear a shirt, tie, long dark trousers and an optional suit? Answers on a /msg, please!

What is the origin of the neckties that men wear?

It is possible that neckties date back to prehistoric times, although it cannot be proven. Prehistoric humans have often puffed and pounded their chests to show authority, and the rank of a male in prehistoric culture often depended on his chest ornaments.

The earliest form of a necktie appears in ancient Rome. Roman public speakers wore a neck cloth to protect their throats and keep them warm. Later on, Roman soldiers wore a neck cloth as did ancient Chinese warriors. It is believed that these were not worn as addornments but were used to pad and support the armor the soldiers wore. However, these neck cloths disappeared completely during the Middle Ages.

Most historians believe that the necktie originated in the 1660's during the reign of Louis XIV of France. A regiment of crack Croatian mercenaries, who were celebrating their victory over the Turks, visited France and were presented as heroes to King Louis. The king, known for his fondness for fashion, noticed that the Croatian officers wore brightly colored silk handkerchiefs around their necks. The king was so enthralled with these that he made them a royal insignia and created his own regiment of royal "Cravattes." "Cravat" comes from the word "Croat," referring to the Croatians. When today's U.S. Soldiers wear their dress uniforms, they also wear colored neck cloths representing their unit (blue for infantry, red for artillery, yellow for armored, etc).

This new fashion quickly spread to other countries. English gentlemen always wore some type of cloth around their necks, the more elegant the better. Cravats were fashioned from plaid, embroidered linen, and other fabrics. They were often decorated with ribbon bows, lace, and tasseled string. Some were so high that a man couldn't turn his head, while others were thick enough to stop a sword thrust.

In the United States, colonists wore colorful bandannas around their necks rather than cravats. Eventually the cravat shrunk in size and evolved into the modern neck tie.

Although most men cannot tie all the common necktie knots, it could be worse.... In the 1880's, there were 32 different ways to tie a cravat.

Cool Facts:

Until the Civil War, virtually all neckties were imported from Europe except for the "bola" tie that was popular in the Southwest.

When Napoleon wore black silk handkerchiefs around his neck in battle, he always won. At Waterloo, he wore a white cravat and lost the battle and his kingdom.

In 1917, Dr. Walter G Walford wrote a discourse, "Danger in Neckwear," which claimed that tight collars and ties made people ill by retarding blood flow to the brain.

Neck"tie` (?), n.

A scarf, band, or kerchief of silk, etc., passing around the neck or collar and tied in front; a bow of silk, etc., fastened in front of the neck.


© Webster 1913.

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