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    

Tom Ford Cotton & Silk Black Bow TieLuxurious Recent Brioni Purple Woven Pattern Silk Tie Made In Italy Thick Euc NrRare Burberry London Pink Navy Nova Plaid Mens Silk TieMens Hermes 100%silk Neck Tie Lovely One Look!Burberry London Men's Necktie Classic Burberry Tie Hermes Cotton Black Bow TieBrioni Satin Silk Hand-made Tie Necktie | Dis. E 070241Impressive Brioni Navy Blue Heavy Twill Emblematic Birds Of Prey Silk Tie Nr Modern Vintage Hermes Paris 100% Silk Black White Geometric Square Bow Tie NrHermes Navy Blue Chain Horsebit Pattern # 643 Ta Mens Silk Tie$225+ Brioni Metallic Beige Light Brown Dot Weave Pattern Mens Silk TieSmooth Hermes 5357 Oa Tie 100% Silk Pattern Blue/green Color L59.8 W3.7Gorgeous Hermes 7938 Ma Tie 100% Silk Floral Pattern Multi Color L60.6 W3.5Burberry London Woven Pink 100% Silk Men's Tie In Check Made In ItalyHermes Silk Neck Tie Tonal Blue H Print Pattern Paris France Euc 5291 Ta ClassicTom Ford Plaid Tie Wool & Silk Blend Excellent ConditionHermes Hermès Silk Tie Necktie | 7495 Ia | Sea Shells Oysters And PearlsAuth Hermes Tie Twill Silk Honey Comb Teddy Bear Blue Dress Necktie 7920 Ma100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Blue W/ Classical Horse Bridle Links & Pink DotsHermes Paris 7420 Ha Red Bridal Belt Pattern 100% Silk Mens Tie - 3.625"Salvatore Ferragamo TieAmazing Rich Deep Blue Brioni Tie- Wow!!Burberry London Blue Checks Silk Tie - NwotBurberry London Purple/blue/biege Checks Silk Tie - NwotGorgeous Burberry London Designer Plaid Neck Tie Professional Classy Silk$185+ Salvatore Ferragamo Green Good Luck Clovers Horseshoes Mens Silk TieElegant Brioni Italy Pale Silver Satin Gloss Woven Blue Inset Stripe Silk Tie NrHermes Paris Maroon Numerical Silk Necktie, Made In France 645669 EaHermes Hermès Silk Tie Necktie | 7986 Ea | Interlocking "h" PatternHermes Hermès Silk Tie Necktie | 5262 Sa | Equestrian Horse Snaffle Bit Motif100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red W Fun Tan Puppy Dogs Bones Doghouse Stars Moons XlBrioni Italy Ocean Blue Foulard Twill Spotted Navy Brown Geometric Silk Tie NrAmazing Rich Chestnut Brown Floral Brioni Tie 65'long!- Wow!!Salvatore Ferragamo Jacquard-weave Silk Tie Necktie | Morning Glories FlowersFerragamo Tie Golf Clubs And BallsHermes Hermès Silk Tie Necktie | 7472 Ha | Birds Doves FlowersAuthentic Louis Vuitton Necktie 100% Silk Made In Italy 12115e100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Darker Blue W/ Fun Pink Orange Giraffe Jockeys Racing XlDuchamp London Silk TieSalvatore Ferragamo Tie House Printed In Light Blue Silk Men's NecktieBurberry Nova Check Plaid Beige Silk Mens Designer Neck TieSalvadore Ferragamo Skinny Blue Silk Tie - Nwot100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red W/ Light Green & Blue Downhill Alpine Skiers TreeLouis Vuitton Gray Pink Logo Pattern Italian Silk Tie StunningBurberry London Gold Red Blue Striped Mens Silk Tie100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Blue W/ Fun Jockey Jumping Over Hurdle Confused Horse XlHermes Cow And Frog NecktieAmazing Rich Chestnut Brown Floral Brioni Tie- Wow!!Authentic 100% Louis Vuitton Lv Velvet Parade Mens Loafer Shoes 6.5 Noir BlackExcellent Condition Navy Monkey Crocodile Mens Hermes TieHermes Hermès Silk Tie | 7110 Oa | African Zebras Umbrella Thorn Acacia Trees Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Neck Tie Horseshoe DesignHermes Tie Geometric Snails Pattern 7839 Ua 100% Silk Made In FranceHermes Paris 5253 Sa Gray Rabbit Pattern 100% Silk Mens Tie - 3.625"Louis Vuitton Black White Thick Stripe & Logo Pattern Italian Silk Tie100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red W/ Fun Yellow & Pink Sailboats Sailing Ocean XlBurberry London Tie 100% Silk Nova Check Pattern Multi Color L58 W3.7Gorgeous Brioni Tie 100% Silk Floral Rose Pattern Blue/red/orange Color L61 W3.5Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Neck Tie Lady Bug Motif Made In Italy Hermes Hermès Silk Tie Necktie | 5075 Pa | Dotted "h" Motif