How to choose a tie
Do you have difficulty choosing a tie? Let our quick and cheerful guide come to your rescue with a few handy tips:
A brief history of the tie
The first ties ever discovered date back to 210 BC. They were found on the Terracotta Soldiers that were discovered in 1974. The soldiers, discovered near Xian in China, watched over the grave of the Chinese Emperor, Shih Huang Ti. Ties were not commonly worn in China at the time, so why the soldiers wore them is a mystery.
Ties became popular in England in 1660. Charles II recaptured the throne after Oliver Cromwell's death. Many aristocrats who had fled England during its time as a republic returned, and brought with them a fashionable item from the European courts - a cravat. (The cravat was introduced to Paris, France by the Croatians in 1635).
The cravats in England became very flamboyant, in keeping with the extravangantly styled clothing and powdered wigs of the time, and were worn widely by the aristocracy. They were made of materials included ribbon, lace and linen, and some were ornately embroidered.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, lace cravats became de rigeur for the rich and famous, including politicians, kings and army chiefs. The finer the lace, the more prized the tie. The finest lace at the time was said to come from Belgium and Venice.
Most of the subsequent developments in ties were only worn by the rich and fashionable, until the introduction of the bandana from India at the beginning of the 18th century. They were made from silk and had designs printed on them. They were popular with cowboys to keep dust out of their faces.
The first sports tie came about in 1845, and was worn by students at Cambridge University who were in a cricket club. The first school tie was created in 1880 by the rowing club at Oxford University Exeter College, who asked that a tie be made in the same colours as the ribbons that went around their boater hats.
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