The military background of the tie
The essential purpose of the tie is simply to add colour and finesse to your outfit. Some think a tie helps you keep warm or hold the shirt in place, but that’s not true. A tie only adds color or a pattern to your outfit, which can be formal or more casual.
Just like a lot of our clothes the tie has a military background and has become more common in the civilian life. The military background originates from Croatian mercenaries, who were a part of the French army during the Thirty Year’s War. They wore a cravat, which slowly evolved into the tie we know today.
The mercenaries used the cravat to show their unity and comradeship. This inspired the French and Louis XIV of France, the sun king, to do something similar. From 1850 the cravat became more loose and longer, and eventually it got the shape and form of the tie.
A tie can have a lot of different designs and the most common tie is a solid color tie. A striped or pattern tie can give more personality in your outfit. Striped ties come from the British army and were used for events which required civilian outfits. They could show the military department with their regiment tie.
The design of the regiment tie inspired Brooks Brothers to produce striped ties which got very popular among the Ivy League universities. The difference of the regiment tie and the repp tie is the stripes. On a regiment tie the striped go from the left and down to the right, and Brooks Brothers repp tie does the opposite.
How to style your tie
A tie can give your outfit more personality and be more colorful. Your tie can help style the rest of your outfit. A tie can give you a business look, if your tie is in the same color or nuance as your blazer with a white or light blue shirt. If you want to present yourself as more creative, you’re better off with a pattern tie.
When you decide to wear a tie, you have to know how to tie a tie. You can see how to tie a half Windsor or a Windsor here.