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”)

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]

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]

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]

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]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Burberry Classic Navy Black Nova Check Print Woven Silk Neck Tie $165 Hrd891Coveted Tom Ford Frosted Purple Lilac Slinky Knit Silk Textured Tie Nr GorgeousTom Ford Rare Honeycomb Knit Grenadine Necktie Awesome. $400+Genuine Louis Vuitton Crav Petit Damier Rouge NecktieMen's Burberry Tie Necktie, Pure Silk Classic Plaid Worn Twice.Burberry London Tie Long Check Pink Made In Italy Jacquard Good Condition.!! Hermes Tie Original - Hermes Logo Made In France 100% Printed Silk Blue 5535 Ua Men's Skinny Burberry London Red 100%silk Neck Ties Made In ItalyHermes Mens Silk Necktie 7350 Pa Dark Blue Red Celtic Triple Crescent MoonHermes Tie Original - Made In France 100% Printed Silk Red 7997 Ea100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Blue W Fun Love Birds Doves In Trees With Harps & HornsHermes Tie 100% Silk Star Pattern -dark Blue Color L55.9 W3.5Hermes For Breitling Made In France Pure Silk Length 62" Widest 3.5" Exquisite! Mint Tom Ford Black W/ White Pindots 100% Silk Neck TieHermes Tie - Made In France 100% Printed Silk Blue 793 Ma$699 Louis Vuitton Monogram Mens TieHermes 7742 Oa Tie 100 % Silk Made In France-multi Color L55.9 W3.5Genuine Hermes France 7894 Rocking Horse 100% Silk Tie Red/blue/whiteHermes Paris Men's Tie, Blue With Blue Belts, Euc!!!Stunning Duchamp Harlequin Pink Orange Lime Green Yellow Purple Color Block TieHermes Paris Men's Tie, Maroon With Hexagon Pattern, Euc!!!Men's Burberry Necktie 100% Silk Made In EnglandBurberry Mens Necktie (stains)Burberry London - Scarf- Nova Check- Nice Color- Made In England- 100% CashmereDuchamp Bright Paisley Tie In Blue And Purples 3.5 X 59Brioni Handmade 100% Italian Silk Worn Once! Black And White Diagonal StripesMens Ivory Silver Duchamp Floral Silk Suit Tie 100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Lime Green W Ducks Chasing Aqua Blue Fish In The Waves XlMen's Burberry London Blue 100%silk Neck Ties Made In ItalyVintage Brioni Alan Cherry Red Woven Floral Field Triple Stripe Silk Tie Nr Wow100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Light Blue W Apes Reaching For Moon & Stars Evolution Xl Hermes Tie Box Only With 2014 Ribbon100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Pink W/ Blue Horses & Orange Fancy Equestrian Riders Xl100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Bright Lime Green W Light Blue Marching Penguin Family XlSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Fish & Coral On Green Silk NecktieSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Cat & Dog Polka Dot On Burgundy Red Narrow Silk Necktie100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red W/ Fun Tropical Angel Fish Swimming In AquariumBurberry Tie! Hermes Tie - Made In France 100% Printed Silk 7472 HaBrioni Men's Tie, Black With Beige Polka Dots, Euc!!!Hermes France 100% Silk Tie 7572 Sa Blue Very Cute!!!Hermes- Men's Tie, 100% Silk In Navy Background And Pink Loop DesignHermes Paris Silk Neck Tie Beautiful Blue And GoldSalvatore Ferragamo Tie 100% Silk Elephant Tiger Pattern -multi Color L59.1 W3.7Burberry London Monogram Tie 100 % Silk -blue/beige/white Color L55.9 W3.9Hermes TieHermes 7581 Sa Tie 100 % Silk Made In France-blue/beige Color L56.7 W3.5Burberry London Blue Nova Check Silk Tie Made In Italy AmazingHermes Herm100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red W/ Fun Light Blue & Yellow Jester Hats Burberry Nova Check Tie Reg $165 Save $$$Salvatore Ferragamo Tie Micro Check In Blue Woven Silk Necktie#2 Burberry London Woven Silk Check Tie 100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Dark Aqua Blue W Drayhorse Stirrup Links VintageMens Duchamp Multi-color Rainbow Striped Print TieHermes Paris Men's Tie, Brown And Beige Checks, Euc!!!Hermes HermSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Baby Chick On Red Silk NecktieSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Gancini On Sky Blue Woven Silk NecktieBrioni Satin Silk Tie Necktie | Dis. 05806