The Neck Tie-Cravat
As millions around the world dress to go to work each day or to go out for the evening, most probably do not realize that a major accessory of their wardrobe, the necktie, or kravata, is Croatia's contribution to the world of fashion. The use of the necktie in Croatia dates back to as early as the mid-1600s. During the European Thirty Year War (1618-1648), Croatian soldiers were also drawn into battle and sent to fight in various regions of Europe. At that time, the traditional Croatian military dress included a picturesque scarf tied around the neck in a manner which is very similar to the style in which the necktie is worn today.
In 1618, some agents of the Holy Roman Emperor were in Prague being disagreeable. Some citizens threw the agents out a window. The agents landed on a dunghill, so they survived. Nevertheless, they were, in a foul temper, and (to simplify a bit) the “Defenestration of Prague" led to the Thirty Years War, which quickly, led to the need for Croatian mercenarie's. They were rough-and-ready fellows, but they did not neglect the decorative arts: They wore colorful neckwear made of various cloths, ranging from coarse material for common soldiers, to fine linen and silk for officers. The word "'cravat" is derived from the word “Croat” and neckties are descended from what those Croatians wore. It is unclear why those Croatians excited so much imitation. Few people at the moment are sticklers about following the fashions of Croatian mercenaries. Because some Croatian soldiers were stationed in Paris, this traditional outfit of these Croats aroused curiosity in Paris and their "Croatian style" greatly impressed their French counterparts.
French men adopted this new fashion of the unusual and picturesque scarves distinctively tied about their necks during the reign of Louis XIV and referred to it as "a la Croate", which eventually, became known by the French word "cravate". The tie entered the bourgeois fashion of that era as a sign of cultivation and elegance and went on to conquer the whole of Europe.
Today, men across the entire civilized world tie knots in neckties in every imaginable color and made from a wide array of materials from silk to burlap. Unlike many fashions, which fade or disappear over time, the necktie has retained its popularity for hundreds of years and is still considered a basic item of most men's wardrobes, rather than just a decorative accessory. As the court of Louis XIV was a trendsetter in culturevand fashion, tile use of the "'cravate" became wide- spread across Europe, with each country adopting a slightly altered word in their own language.
NAMES FOR THE
(CRAVAT) AROUND THE WORLD: