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The Cravat: Origins and Meanings

Cravats aren't just a symbol of elegance that adds an air of sophistication and class to any outfit — they're also a timeless form of neckwear that has adorned necks for many years. However, while many might be familiar with this distinct neckband and the formality surrounding them, its history isn't nearly as well known. The history of the cravat actually extends back several centuries and has interesting connections to both historical figures and events. Let's take a look at the origins of the cravat and how it became such a well-known part of formal fashion.

Origins in Croatia

The cravat has its origins in the traditional attire of 16th-century Croatia, a European country on the Adriatic Sea. Who exactly invented the cravat is not entirely clear, but it is believed that the wives of Croatian soldiers gave their husbands the cravats to tell them apart from their comrades. Regardless of who first created them, Croatia still celebrates Cravat Day on October 18th.

Cravats Arrive in France

Cravats would eventually make their way to France. During the Thirty Years War, France hired Croatian mercenaries to aid in their battles who arrived wearing cravats. Both the high-ranking officials and their soldiers donned them, although the materials they used to make them differed. These knotted cloths caught the attention of King Louis the 13th as well as the people of France, who saw them around the necks of Croatian mercenaries. From there, the cravat evolved from Croatian neckwear to a part of French fashion. The term cravat comes from the French word cravate, which is a corruption of croate — which means Croatian.

Cravats Go to England

The history of the cravat then brought the fashionable neckwear from France to England. Charles II, one of England's kings, brought the cravat back to the country back in the 1660s. Much like what happened in France, it became very popular, and members of the nobility began to incorporate them in their fashion. The English made their own additions to the cravat, adding their own patterns, colors, jewelry, and other stylistic changes.

Cravats Continue to Evolve

Cravats continued to be a mainstay in fashion throughout history and are still worn today. Not only are they visually appealing, but they provide an added layer of warmth during colder months by covering the neck area, protecting against chilly drafts. However, it now has to compete with other forms of neckwear, such as bow ties and is not quite as popular as it once was. Regardless, cravats are still a part of formal wear and will always be fashionable when worn at parties and gatherings.

Find Fashionable Cravats Today At Buy4Less Tuxedos!

Interested in continuing the history of cravats? Then reach out to Buy4Less Tuxedos today! We offer the best cravats and tuxedos at competitive costs and offer a variety of other high-quality clothing, including shoes and vests. Contact Buy4Less Tuxedos today and start looking at our endless customization possibilities for your upcoming event!