With the rise of the casual office, the men’s necktie has lost much of its mojo. Who came up with the necktie in the first place?
Opinions vary, but many believe the concept originated in Croatia. Sometime during the thirty years war of the 17th century, Croatian soldiers visited King Louis XIV of France. The soldiers apparently wore loose scarves around their necks. Louis liked the look. “By 1650, Louis and his court were wearing Croatian neck scarves instead of the full lace ruffs that had previously been fashionable.”
Some argue that the necktie goes much further back. The terracotta soldiers buried with Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti seem to wear a kind of neck scarf that may be a type of early necktie. That’s from 210 B.C. Another possible originator — Ancient Rome. On a marble column constructed in 113 A.D., a group of soldiers appear to have neckwear.
Whether those instances “count” as neckties is open to debate, but most folks give King Louis XIV credit with making the look popular. Sister site Ask Yahoo! explains: “Exiled King Charles II of England brought the French cravat with him when he returned to his throne. Englishmen soon began sporting stylish neck scarves and tied them in as many as 100 different knots.”
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