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Etiquette as Lifestyle - History of Tie

If some find the wearing of the tie monotonous, it is because they do not know that this name designates a considerable number of different varieties; that it is knotted in an infinite number of ways, and that there are as many materials, colors, patterns and shapes as there are kinds of fabrics (or ribbons) …

During antiquity it is not uncommon for men to wear a scarf around their necks. Mainly warriors, and for a rather simple reason: they protect themselves from the cold when they are sent in mild climates. It was also used to warm the necks of Roman speakers. Except during antiquity, men's necks were rarely covered.

The term "tie" is defined in the first edition (1694) of the Dictionary of the French Academy: "Cravate: a sort of handkerchief made of canvas or taffeta that surrounds the collar, and acts as a collar.” If this word is frequent in the second half of the seventeenth century, we did not find it in the literature before 1650, probably because it is the collars that are then in fashion.

Women also wear ties, especially in the eighteenth century. Moreover, it is only from the sixth edition of the Dictionary of the French Academy (1832-1835) that the tie is defined as an element of the proper masculine dress.

The tie probably comes from this very French taste for ribbons and lace. In the seventeenth century and the eighteenth, women and men are everywhere. At the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth, the tie wraps several times around the neck and can go up to the bottom of the nose, covering the chin and sometimes the mouth. The tie also follows the fashion of the collars (or the opposite). It is sometimes confused with the scarf and other pieces of tissue that are placed around the neck. While it seems today of a unique form, one can in truth, while remaining in a 'sober' style, vary it in many ways. After the Directory, in the early nineteenth century, men rarely wear lace to their tie.

The modern tie that we know is derived from what was called the “regatta”. Born in the 1850s, it responds to several imperatives of the industrial revolution that is taking place. Men need a practical tie that is easy to put on and comfortable. In parallel with these new needs, the front of the jackets has an indentation larger and larger. So it was natural to fill it with a tie that goes lower. The “regatta” is born. Why “regatta”? Simply because it was often seen on the neck of wealthy boaters.

The modern origin of the 3-ply tie sold in our time is attributed to an American: Jesse Langsdorf. It is he who inserts the cut at an angle to prevent the tie from twisting when worn. It is also he who proposes to insert a triplure totally integral with the envelope for more outfit. His invention was patented in 1924. His original testimony was even found.

The patent has of course expired since. A second will be deposited (still by Jesse E. Langsdorf), a few years later. He set out details and improvements as to his first invention.

Accessory mandatory 50 years ago, this is not the case now except for some highly codified professions. Rest then the pleasure of wearing a beautiful tie. The pleasure of wearing it when the majority of men abandon it. And especially because if he chooses well - it can sublimate an outfit.

Wearing a tie is not trivial. It often says a lot about you. As François Chaille says in his book The Great History of the Tie, it is because the tie is no longer useful that it means a lot. A little like the military insignia which are useful only to the extent that they inform us about the person: his rank, his feats of arms ...

So Tie or bow tie: a question of opportunity! We will choose the tie for formal occasions or to stay sober. Rather classic, it allows to be dressed without having to think too much. However, well chosen, it allows to distinguish according to the width, the print and the material. Traditionally, there is the silk tie; and in its modern versions, we love the silk grenadine tie, the slim tie and the knit tie. It is worn almost exclusively with a suit.

The bow tie will be favored for more singular occasions, allowing more demarcation and expression of his personality. For the most elegant events, where the tie is not enough, it is the bow tie that is appropriate, but only black or white and pure silk. We are referring here to galas and official ceremonies where the black costume reigns. If it is mandatory on the most chic outfits, the bowtie can be worn less formally on a casual outfit.

- In the office: Unless you are an architect or a physician - although the use is out of date - the tie usually takes over the bow tie in traditional or business occupations, and those in contact with the client. In the creative fields, the bow tie is seen more and more. It is worn as a mark of personal expression more than an attribute of work attire. Besides, the rest of the outfit is often casual with jeans and sneakers. As for lawyers, they must wear a white bowtie on their dress on solemn occasions. What about a job interview? If it is necessary to express its originality without risking passing for excess of zeal or offbeat, then why not. But this seems to us reserved for the creative or media industries.

- At a party with friends at a bar or for a birthday: The bow tie in all its place for an informal evening. How to wear it? On jeans, a casual shirt in color, denim or chambray sky blue or plaid for example, and trendy sneakers, it will express personality and refinement in a relaxed register. Your blue suit can stay in the closet. We can choose a black bow tie provided that the rest of the outfit is dark, so as not to create too much contrast. Of course a colored bow tie and / or a print will have its place. The fine tie could find its place on a casual evening outfit then part of a complete look, worked and mastered. It is, however, much less common nowadays.

- At a family party: Today, the young generation often sees the tie as too serious or too "corporate" for this type of occasion, and prefers to leave it in the closet to open his shirt collar. But to dress well at a family party, the bow tie will be very appropriate because it is at once elegant, refined and festive. If he is wearing a chinos and shirt, with or without jacket, or on a cardigan, he will echo the family opportunity without too much. For the more cautious, tryingto wear a bow tie in a family context is ideal. You will dare to wear it more easily in front of your loved ones, and the shower of compliments you will reap will give you the confidence to wear it on other occasions.

Ideal to stand out, we recommend the bow tie on the following occasions: a party with friends, a wedding, the new year or a family party, and even to make the marriage proposal! Think also about the bow tie for Christian religious holidays, a graduation ceremony, an artistic event such as a vernissage or an evening at the opera. In the office or for events the tie will be more privileged than the bow tie.

The tie clip, it is not mandatory, but will accentuate the formal side of your outfit.


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