A necktie and a cravat are both types of neckwear, but they have distinct differences in terms of their design, style, and usage. Here are the main differences between the two:
- Design and Style: A necktie is a long, narrow strip of fabric that is tied around the neck, with a knot at the top and a pointed end hanging down in front. A cravat, on the other hand, is a wider piece of fabric that can look more like a neck scarf once in place. It is often pleated and can be worn with a more relaxed, open-neck style or tucked under the collar of a shirt.
- Formality: Cravats are generally considered more formal than neckties and are often worn on special occasions such as weddings or black-tie events. Ascot ties, a type of cravat, are worn with morning dress and are associated with formal events like the Royal Ascot horse race. Neckties, in contrast, are more commonly worn in business settings or as part of a school uniform.
- Knots and Tying: Neckties are tied using various knots, such as the Windsor, Half-Windsor, or Four-in-Hand. Cravats, particularly ascot ties, are tied with a rudimentary knot and can be worn over the shirt, secured with a pin. Day cravats, which are more informal, are tied in the style of an ascot but tucked into the shirt.
- Origins: The cravat originated in the 17th century as a part of traditional men’s military uniforms and was later adopted by the upper classes of Europe as a fashion statement. The necktie, on the other hand, evolved from the cravat over time, becoming a slimmer and more streamlined piece of neckwear.
In summary, neckties and cravats differ in their design, formality, and the way they are tied. Neckties are more common in business settings, while cravats are often associated with formal occasions and have a wider, more scarf-like appearance.