Black tie history



The early days of the necktie:

Depending on how one defines the term necktie, the history of ties goes as far back as the history of weaving fabrics. Men and women tied scarves around their necks to protect themselves from wind and the cold. Later on, in the mid 16th century, Croatian soldiers used a string of clothes to tie up the top of their jackets. The ends would hang loose around their neck, and most fashion experts agree that this piece of clothing was the root of all neckties. Later on the French adopted the necktie and for the first time, and for the first time, the necktie didn’t severe any other purpose but to be a fashion accessory and a symbol of affluence and upper class.

The modern Necktie

Neckties as we know them today came around in the late 18th century during the industrial revolution. The first necktie knot, the Four in Hand, was invented by the British, and is still today one of the most used tie knots together with the Windsor tie knot.

What about the History of the Black Necktie?

Traditionally early neckties that were reserved for the rich and affluent were white in color and made from the finest silk fabrics available. During the 18th century black neckties were introduced but were quite unpopular, and viewed as untraditional and “too peasant-like” by the noble house. This changed by the 1820s as King George V was crowned and introduced the black tie. He required his guests to wear black neckties during formal events, something not to popular with his guests. It is said that many still kept the popular white tie in their pockets. Later on, during the 19th century other colors and more patterns of neckties appeared. Initially reserved for schools, military (British Regimental ties), and sports.

Today, black neckties are reserved mostly for formal events. The dress code is called “black tie attire” for a reason. The more solid color the black necktie, the more formal it is. Bow ties are sill the most formal, and worn in combination with a tuxedo and cummerbund.

An exception to the general rule that black neckties are reserved for formal events, are skinny ties. Recently skinny neckties, measuring 2″-2.5″ in width, have gained a lot of popularity, especially among younger men. Black skinny neckties are most popular. Young men, or hipsters, often times choose a skinny necktie in black and wear them slightly loosely knotted with the top button of the shirt open.


Black neckties history: All you need to know about black neckties. How has the black tie become a symbol for formal attire.