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]

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    

Hermes Paris France Geometric Links Blue 100% Silk Authentic Designer Tie 59 EaSalvatore Ferragamo Recent Baby Ocean Blue Mice Hearts Whimsical Silk Tie CuteHermes Made In France Navy Blue Silver Chain D'ancre Horsebit Silk Tie 685 Oa NrDuchamp Tie Pristine 10cm Width Rrp £110Burberry Men's Tie Gray & Blue/plaids & Checks 2.7/8" 58" Italy Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Long Cute Tree Banana Mint Condition!!Salvatore Ferragamo Recent Deep Cobalt Blue Foulard Twill Ducks Swans Silk TieHermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie "h" Rogo Very Beautiful Mint Condition.!!!Salvatore Ferragamo Tie Bird On Dark Blue Classic Silk Necktie Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Very Cute Tie Pattern Mint Condition!!Burberry Beige Black White Plaid Pleated Silk Classic Tie100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Orange W/ Sheep & Sheep Dogs Playing W Balls Of Wool Xl Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Rare Very Cute Fish Mint Condition!!Hermes 100% Guaranteed Authentic Necktie Hermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Very Rare Flower Leaf Excellent Condition.!!!Authentic Mint Hermes Tie 100% Silk Sports Pattern Pink With Box 19374 Burberry, Banana Republic, And Ralph Lauren Ties, Set Of Three.Hermes Neck Cravat Pristine Rrp £200100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Navy Blue W Ornate Light Blue Twisty Horse Bridle LinksSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Elephant On Dark Blue Classic Silk NecktieDuchamp London England Multicoloured Woven 100% Silk Authentic Designer Tie Hermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Very Rare Baby Owl Excellent Condition.!!!Recent Burberry London Made In Italy Solid Navy Blue Thick Woven Dashed Tie NrSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Duck & Floral On Blue Classic Silk NecktieHermes Paris Made In France Terracotta Rust Gold Geometric Silk Tie 905 Ha NrSalvatore Ferragamo Tie Butterfly On Red Classic Silk NecktieBurberry Manston Check Dusty Pink Silk Skinny Tie Retail $190.00Burberry Tie Micro Floral Check On Dark Blue Classic Woven Silk Necktie100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Navy Blue W Yellow Blue Green Race Horse Silks Masks100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Charcoal Gray W Yellow Chicks Chickens Hatching From EggsHermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Very Rare Bear Excellent Condition.!!! Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Very Rare Cute Fox Mint Condition!!Hermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Long Very Rare Cute Fish Mint Condition.!! Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Very Cute Golf Mint Condition!!Salvatore Ferragamo Tie Gancini Check On Sky Blue Classic Silk NecktieSalvatore Ferragamo 100% Silk Blue W/ Multi Colored Lotus Blossom Pattern Tie NrBrioni Made In Italy Thick Midnight Blue Satin Geometric Diamond Stripe Silk TieHermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Rare Purple Beautiful Excellent Condition.!!!Duchamp Tie Pristine 9cm Width Rrp £110Hermes Men's TieHermes Paris Made In France Blue Foulard Twill Red Chain D'ancre Silk Tie 614 SaHermes Tie 5386 Oa Elephant On Red Classic Silk NecktieHermes Tie Pristine Condition 8.5cm Width Rrp £150Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Tie Anchors Nautical Red Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Very Cute Sea Fish Mint Condition!!100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Navy Blue Red & Brigt Blue Modern Dashes Boxes Grid100%auth Hermes Tie Horse 100% Silk Necktie Navy Men Made In FranceBurberry London 100% Silk Steel Blue Mens Italian Tie Hermes 100% Guaranteed Authentic Necktie Hermes 7698 Oa Light Blue Silk Tie ***horses!***Hermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Pink Long Rare "h" Rogo Excellent Condition.!!!Hermes France 100% Silk Neck Tie Very Rare Red Check Excellent Condition.!!!100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Red W Bright Blue Napa Wine Pinot Grapes Tan Barrel XlClassic & Timeless Hermes Blue Dolphins Gray Fish Animal Tie 5022 Pa Nr 1c100% Real Hermes Tie ~ Bright Blue W Dark Navy Blue Fancy Horses & Riders Xl Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Very Cute Animal Mint Condition!! Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Very Cute Horse Mint Condition!!Hermes Blue Hippos Tie 5195 Ia Extra Long! 60"A Pair Of Salvatore Ferragamo 100% Woven Silk Navy Blue Ties Salvatore Ferragamo Italy 100% Silk Tie Black Very Cute Chess Mint Condition!!