“A well-knotted cravat is the first serious step in a man’s life.”
Here at PGHQ we love a Cravat, or, as our American friends say, a ‘Day Ascot’. They have a certain charm, indeed a flair of style that has been forgotten by the current stylish gent about town. This is probably due to the heinous fashion faux pas that was part of the 1970s for men. The cravat became seen as either a thing for old men or 70s throwbacks and fell away from men’s wardrobes for more than 20 years, but they are now making a comeback and deservedly so!
On the 18th of October every year there is World Cravat Day, which was started in Croatia in 2003. The Cravat originated, like a great deal of men’s fashion, from the Military, in this case from 17th century Croatian Mercenaries. These mercenaries favoured a red piece of cloth tied around their necks, indeed they were so well-known for this piece of fashion that these feared men were called ‘The Cravates”.
In Croatia, the home of the Cravat, they have an organisation for the preservation and promotion of Cravats, Academia Cravatica, which launched in 1997 to promote both the Cravat and it’s history with Croatia.
The Cravat is the precursor of the modern tie and developed over time through various incarnations. During the 17th and 18th centuries it was the height of fashion, as Sir Percival Blakeney so eloquently states in the video clip below.
Beau Brummel, the sartorial legend, was famous for wasting hundreds of cravats by discarding ones that did not tie perfectly. Then the cravat started to change and the tie as we know it now developed in the Victorian period and took a fashionable hold over the stylish men of the world.
The cravat floundered and morphed into the style we know today, the Day Cravat or Ascot, which bears a striking similarity to the Cravat’s worn by those Croats in the 1600s. It was brought back to the height of fashion in the 1920s & 30s by the Duke of Windsor and a cohort of film stars such as Cary Grant, David Niven and the like, and stayed in fashion until the 1970s.
That brings us to today. I so enjoyed seeing my Grandfather wear his cravat and watching the stylish men of Hollywood past that I wanted to make the cravat an item the world would wear again. Therefore, we, along with some lovely friends such as Cravat Club, started #CravatFriday about 2 years ago in an effort to bring the cravat back into style and onto the racks of men’s wardrobes. Every friday we wear a cravat to show that it is a practical choice for men’s necks. This year the cause was taken up by Nicholas Parsons, the 90 year old British Entertainer and the media finally heard the call, with articles in the Telegraph and on the BBC.
So this Saturday, join with us and various other Gentleman around the world, and let us show that the Cravat is back. Take a #cravatselfie (or portrait as we at the PG refer to them) and post it on Social Media and make a donation to Prostate Cancer here justgiving.com/CravatClub.
Enjoy your Cravat wearing with historical pride!
P.S. We will be doing a video of how to tie a cravat in the near future, but is a simple thing to do.