History of Ties

This passage outlines the history of men's ties.

Lexile Level: 900L

Categories: History


The ties that men wear around their necks have been around for quite a while in some shape or form. In the 1600s they were used as a sort of fancy napkin that kept a man's shirt clean. They became very popular in France where they were called cravats. They had intricate lace on the sides. They contained all sorts of designs and colors. As ties became more and more elaborate, they started to take on more meaning. They were used to signify what social status you had. Certain colors and designs indicated from which family you came or to what nation you pledged your allegiance. The way you knotted your tie showed what sort of style you had. Today, ties are used in formal settings. A black bow tie with a black suit is our most formal attire today, while a hanging neck tie is more common and less formal.


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