2,000 Years of the Necktie
Cambridge & Oxford School Ties

by David Johnson

NECKTIES
THROUGH THE AGES
 
Introduction

210 B.C.
China's First Emperor

113 A.D.
Did Romans Wear Ties?

17th Century
Croatian Cravats for the King of France

Cravats Go to England

Real Men Wear Lace

18th Century
Cowboy Bandannas from India

Sailing the Seven Seas

19th Century
Business Suit Takes Shape

Cambridge & Oxford School Ties

Ties Fit for Officers and Gentlemen

Bow Ties Center Stage

A Tie Singing Dixie

Lord Byron's Legacy

Women Tie the Knot, Too!

20th Century
Paris Presents Designer Ties

Celebrities & Rock Stars

Ascots Cross Finish Line

Bolo: The Tie That Won the West

Turtleneck: The Anti-Tie

 
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The I Zingari Cricket Club, founded by a group of Cambridge University students in 1845 is believed to have created the first sporting colors. They designed a flag of black, bright, orange-red, and gold, symbolizing "out of darkness, through fire, into light." Blazers, caps, and ties were eventually created in these colors.
Rowing colors

In 1880, the rowing club at Oxford University's Exeter College One men's club, invented the first school tie by removing their ribbon hat bands from their boater hats and tying them, four-in-hand. When they ordered a set of ties, with the colors from their hatbands, they had created the modern school tie. School, club, and athletic ties appeared in abundance. Some schools had different ties for various grades, levels of achievement, and for graduates.

Middle class pretensions

Such ties had enormous appeal to the vast Victorian middle class. As industrialization allowed for mass consumption of material goods, men wanted to stand out, to assert their social superiority, or to proclaim their allegiance to a group.

Today four-in-hand refers to both the standard necktie and the most common knot used to tie it.



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