The modern necktie, worn mostly by men in formal and work environments, hales back to the humble cravat. The cravat has its roots in Europe, going all the way back to the Thirty Year’s War which raged between 1618 and 1648. Croat soldiers fighting in the war had, as part of their uniform, a tied neckerchief. Towards the end of the war, in 1643, the five-year-old Louis XIV wore a lace cravat. It wasn’t long before French noblemen took to wearing cravats and soon the tie came to symbolize nobility and reverence.
Even today the tie bestows upon the wearer certain confidence, offering them a look of distinction. Matched with the right suit and shoes, ties symbolize professionalism. They create an impression. They even come in a huge variety of colors and patterns so they can add interest and personality to the dress style.
If you believe that the tie is going anywhere soon, think again. Americans spend around $1 billion every year buying approximately 100,000 ties. There are even people out there who collect ties. They’re called grabatologists.
This infographic offers up 18 ways to tie a necktie – an exhaustive list? Not a chance. In 1999, Cambridge mathematicians Yong Mao and Thomas Fink calculated 85 different ways to tie a necktie. A Swedish team recently updated that number to 177,147.