Blast from the past…


The CRAVAT is a neckband, the forerunner of the modern TAILORED NECKTIE and BOW TIE, originating from 17th century CROATIA.

From the end of the 16th Century, the term BAND applied to any long-strip neck cloth that was not a RUFF.  RUFF = a starched, pleated white linen strip, originated earlier in the 16th Century as a NECK-CLOTH, as a BIB or as a NAPKIN.  It is possible that CRAVATS were initially worn to hide shirts which were not immaculately clean.  Like most men’s fashions, it was of MILITARY ORIGIN.  The traditional CROAT military kit aroused Parisian curiosity about the UNUSUAL, PICTURESQUE scarves, distinctively knotted at the Croat’s necks.  The cloths that were used ranged from the COARSE CLOTH of ENLISTED SOLDIERS to the FINE LINENS and SILKS of the OFFICERS.

il_fullxfull.313963051The sartorial word CRAVAT is derived from the French ‘cravate’, a corrupt French pronunciation of CROATE.  The French switched…

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