A necktie is an item that can sometimes differ in length and that is worn around the neck, resting under the shirt collar and knotted at the throat.

Originally neckties were worn as part of a uniform for the army to show who was in what group. Cravats (a traditional knotted neckerchief) are most commonly worn as neckties but were highly fashionable as attire for everyday during the late 17th Century. Neckties then took on different forms, making an appearance in such ties as Stocks, which were small pieces of muslin fabric that wrapped around the collar and pinned into place. Cravats were shown as a clear preference as a necktie, though, reappearing again in fashion in the 18th Century.

Today, neckties are normally worn by men for workwear, accompanying shirts and suits. They may be worn for social events but taken with a more casual approach, where they can be tied loosely with the top collar button undone, unlike a formal approach where the top collar button is fastened with the necktie neatly placed in a knot sitting just underneath.

There are several types of a neck tie which are ascot ties, bow ties, zipper ties, the clip-on tie and the cravat. There are also four main knots.

Neckties are sometimes part of uniforms worn by women, particularly at restaurants and hotels but were worn with outfits to suggest casualness during the 1970s and 1980s, proving to be on trend for the 1990s.

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Written by Hollyann Prince

Hollyann Prince, graduating in International Fashion Business at Nottingham Trent University next year, currently writing the Silhouette & Looks and Accessories section of the Dictionary for Catwalk Yourself. A lover of fashion history and everything unique.

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