Origins of the Business Tie: How did the Accessory Evolve over time?

The business tie has been around for centuries and has taken inspiration from different cultures and time periods before landing on its current incarnation. The meaning of the tie has also changed over time and been worn to convey status and indicate belonging to a certain social group.

What are the First Known Origins of the Tie?

The first recorded use of the tie was during the Roman period and it was considered part of their uniform. Originally known as the Focale (which translates from Latin to ‘wrapping of the throat’) it was a functional piece as it protected the neck from chaffing by the armour. Interestingly the Focale was viewed as part of casual wear and it was not advisable to wear it during public speaking.

Uses in Early Modern Europe

Most believe the first use of the recognisable business tie was during the thirty years war of the seventeenth century. The piece was originally functional yet later acquired a more aesthetic draw, with King Louis of France finding the necktie appealing for royal wear; even making them mandatory for all royal ceremonies.

Progress to the Modern Business Tie

The style of the necktie remained the same for around two hundred years and the incarnation we recognise today did not emerge until the nineteen twenties. The style and way of tying the knots continued to change. The ‘cravats’ as they were called fell out of style in favour of the ties resembling more modern ones.

Art Deco and the Impact on Business Ties

The changing of the general design style from Art Nouveau to Art Deco during the thirties had an impact on the general styling of the tie. This period saw more custom ties being developed with more striking art deco patterns; the period also saw the widespread use of the Windsor knot created by the Duke of Windsor.

The Eighties Effect on Business Ties

The eighties are not a period remembered particularly fondly for their impact on fashion; one distinct icon of the era were the overly wide ‘Kipper’ ties that could at times measure up to six inches in width. Often worn in conjunction with the power suits of the era these business ties are often present in the Wall Street image of the time period.

Business Tie styles in Modern Times

Although there have been relatively few drastic changes in tie designs when compared to past developments there has been an emergence of much thinner ties which have come through alongside the trend of more slim fitted suits. As you might have noticed, in most business organizations, it has become mandatory for employees to wear a tie along with their custom ID badge. It marks a symbol of professionalism in such a setting. That said, with the rise of individualism in modern times, almost all ties are now acceptable allowing the wearer to display their own personal style.

Express yourself through your tie!

The development of neckties through the past century have created plenty of options for you to try; when you’ve landed on a style you like check out James Morton Ties for great quality custom clip on and business ties.