Neckties as we think of them today weren’t widely worn until the late 19th century, when they became a symbol of British gentry. The wide Windsor knot was devised for King Edward VII, and this style of tie spread to Ivy League schools and the white-collar world. However, it was U.S. tailor Jesse Langsdorf who came up with the three-segment bias cut in 1924 that became the staple of modern ties.

In the 1920s, ties were much shorter than they are today, as men wore their pants at or above their waists. Ties got skinny in the '40s and '50s, and wide again in the '60s, when Kipper ties were all the rage. Slim ties were preferred by the punks and New Wavers of the '70s and '80s, though, as respectable medium-width ties were worn by corporate “suits.”

Silk is the most popular material for neckties, but they’ve been made of everything from polyester to wool. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Prada, Gucci, and Salvatore Ferragamo have produced ties in a wide variety of colors and patterns, from solids and stripes to dots, checks, chevrons, houndstooth, paisley, and plaid. Burberry, naturally, sells ties in its famous check pattern, while Louis Vuitton and Gucci have incorporated their iconic logos into their patterns.

Perhaps the most coveted designer ties are the animal-print ties made by Hermès. This design firm first made its mark on the fashion world in 1937 with luxurious hand-stitched and hand-printed silk scarves bearing a wide range of imagery, including coats of arms, equestrian motifs, 18th-century maps, neo-Grecian embroidery, and patterns inspired by artists M.C. Escher and Piet Mondrian.

Hermès, credited with pioneering silkscreen printing on ties, began selling neckties in the 1950s, but these were only made for the company's Monte Carlo shop, where tieless gamblers would come to buy neckwear to gain admission to the casino.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that Hermès introduced its wildly popular line of animal-print neckties that went beyond the standard horses and game birds. This line, starting with elephants spurting water from their trunks, has featured hippos, pandas, koala bears, and lambs out of St. Exupéry’s “The Little Prince.”

Hermès ties have avoided the stigma of goofy novelty ties featuring pin-up girls or Santa Clauses because the animals are part of a subtle over-all pattern that looks tasteful wi...

Tom Ford, who kicked off a new era of elegance in men’s fashion starting in the early '90s at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, is another highly sought-after tie designer, as is Vitaliano Pancaldi, whose ties are considered works of art.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ventagli.org

Ventagli.org

Anna Checcoli's homage to the beauty and art of hand fans ('ventagli,' in Italian). Use the left-hand nav to browse… [read review or visit site]

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

Antiquespectacles.com

Antiquespectacles.com

Dr. David Fleishman's comprehensive spectacles site (over 3500 images), in collaboration with museums around the wo… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Men's Burberry London Nova Check Pattern Silk Necktie / Tie.Hermes Paris Navy Electric Blue Geometric Linked Rings Silk Tie France 7059 Ta** Burberry London Signature Silk Tie **Used Tie Cravatta Louis Vuitton Paris Never Weared With TagAuthentic Burberry London Navy W/ Logo Allover Silk Neck Tie ($5 Shiping W/wide)* Hermes * Blue / Elehphants & Coconut Palm Trees ~ Silk Neck Tie ~ 100 % AuthenAuth Hermes Silk Monogram "h" Necktie! Made In France!100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red Whimsical Brown Monkeys Swinging Vines Over Crocs XlHermes Paris 100% Silk Tie Red With Blue Tortoise 7388 PaHermes Paris Denim Blue Whimsical Monkey Alligator Foulard Silk Tie 7682 Ta NrMens Brioni TieLouis Vuitton 100% Silk Monogram Tie Made In Italy RedSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Dog On Blue Silk NecktieBurberry's Vintage Nova Check Silk Tie -england- Blue Label (rare)Duchamp TieWhimsical Salvatore Ferragamo Italy Made 100% Silk Neck Tie Flamingo Animal BirdBrioni Hand-made Jacquard-weave Silk Tie Necktie | Dis. 2f727Mint Salvatore Ferragamo Men's 100% Silk "saddle" Equestrian Neck Tie Italy* Hermes * Navy Blue & Red Silk Neck Tie * 100% Authentic $199 Recent Brioni Tie 100% Silk Deep Purple Polka Dot Hand Made In Italy Bnwt* Brioni * Mens Silk Neck Tie * Made In ItalyBurberry London Tie Long Check Jacquard Lavender Italy Very Good Condition!!! * Brioni * Silk Neck Tie *Authentic Burberry Tie Nova Check Plaid BrownOrange With Geometric Men's Salvatore Ferragamo Classic Silk Neck TieSalvatore Ferragamo Strawberry Red Gancini Logo Floral Foulard Twill Silk Tie NrHermes Hermès Silk Tie Necktie | 7853 Ua | Clouds Rabbits Sheep Ducks DolphinsUsed Tie Cravatta Hermes 7348 Pa PegasusAuth Burberry Men Multicolor Silk Novacheck Plaid Pleated Cummerbund Sz L Bn195Lnwot Giorgio Armani Midnight Blue Satin Woven Wave Geometric Arrowhead Silk TieWhimsical Salvatore Ferragamo Italy Made 100% Silk Neck Tie Flowers Floral DaisyUsed Tie Cravatta Hermes 7681 Ta Elephant And MouseUsed Tie Cravatta Hermes ParisHermes Tie - Snail / EscargotHermes Auth 100% Silk Mens Tie Blue Ivory Navy Knots 3 3/4 58" NwotDuchamp Tie, Pink With Yellow Flowers 100% Silk Rrp £129 (handmade In Italy) Men's Brioni Tie In Blue Burberry Burgundy Nova Check Tie Italy 3.2" Hermes Paris Raspberry Foulard Twill Silk Roped Belted Stripe Tie 695 Oa Nr LuxeHermes 100% Paris Silk Tie - Beautiful Gold Clover Leaf On Navy Blue - 7228 Ua * Salvatore Ferragamo * Blue ~ Silk Neck Tie * Made In Italy * Hermes Tie 5326 Ta H On Slate Green Silk NecktieBurberry London Classic Large Scale Check Woven Skinny TieHermes Silk Tie 100% Silk Tag 7431 Ha UmbrellasSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Elephant On Dull Pink Silk NecktieUsed Tie Cravatta Hermes 7029 TaDuchamp Signature Blue Check Tie 100% Woven Silk Handmade In EnglandHermes Tie Blue/white Airplane/glider In Clouds Extremely Rare Classic DesignBurberry London 'rohan' Woven Silk Tie - BlueBrioni Made In Italy Steel Grey Blue Satin Dashed Stripe Thick Heavy Silk Tie Nr100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Blue W/ Fun Whimsical Salmon Swimming Upstream XlBvlgari TieMen'n Brioni Tie In Blue And NwotBvlgari Tie100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Blue W/ Whimsical Tan Hedgehog Family Valentino Made In Italy Gloss Satin Pale Yellow Smooth Silk Blue Twin Stripe TieHermes Silk Tie 100% Silk Tag 7362 Pa Panda Bears BlueHermes Men's Mens Blue Gray & White 5558 Ma Silk Neck Tie NecktieHermes Paris Hexagons & Horse Shoes Silk Necktie, Mi France, 7935ma100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Yellow W Whimsical Gray Elephants Being Scared By Mice Xl