Originating in the mid 16th century from Croatia, the cravat was the first tied neckwear to be commonly used by European Nobility. Recently cravats have been making a small resurgence; more people have adopted the neckwear for weddings and casual application. During the highly successful TV program Master Chef, Matt Preston has religiously worn a cravat. His personal style and larger than life attitude has truly been a great ambassador for this almost forgotten accessory.
Whether it's printed piano keys from the eighties or a plain black skinny, the necktie has been the standard accessory for the last century. The refined look depicted by the suit and tie is unmatched in this modern era. Any self respecting business man or power perverted politician won't be seen without a firm knot caressing their neck. Like all neckwear the tie's purpose is to draw the eye to the face. The tie also has the added benefit of splitting the body providing symmetry to the wearers figure.
The Bow Tie is rarely seen unless with a tuxedo. However, a growing trend is threatening the formal existence of this iconic coupling. The popularisation of wearing a skinny tie with a tuxedo has grown to epidemic proportions, almost rendering a black tie event equivalent to casual Friday. The casual use of a bow tie has been confined to pretentious academics and the odd modern man with a flair for style. A bow tie should be considered for more social events. Next time you're off to the races or out on the town you should try wearing your bow tie; nothing heralds the conclusion of the night like an unfastened bow tie.
A pocket square hastily stuffed into your breast pocket instantly accessorises your jacket . This easily perfected technique is by far the most effective for minimal effort. Originally the perfumed cloth was used to mask unpleasant odours. The height of this accessory came about during the early 20th century. No man would think about leaving the house without delicately placing cloth in his top pocket. With several different ways to present this simple accessory personal expression is easily emphasised.
The tie bar succeeded the tie pin. Born from the destruction of ties, the tie bar fulfils the same function without puncturing the fabric. A tie bar's purpose, fastening the body of the tie to the shirt, allowing the wearer to move without any interference from their tie. With the casualisation of corporate wear the tie bar has almost been forgotten, like most male accessories.
French cuffed shirts and cufflinks are the easiest way to formalise an outfit. The solid cufflink replaced a loop of silk ribbon during the 18th century, as the cufflink became a decorative element to express wealth. The Prince of Wales (Edward VII) popularised wearing cufflinks during the 1920's, and since then fundamental design hasn't changed. With modern working conditions many men opt for a buttoned cuff reducing discomfort whilst using a keyboard.