Back to all articles

The History of Bow Ties

The bow tie shares its origin story with the necktie. Both items originated from the neckwear worn by Croatian mercenaries during the Thirty Years War in the 17th century, which was later adopted by gentlemen and became known as a cravate, or cravat. The cravat could be tied in a variety of intricate ways and dominated men’s neckwear for many years. Over time, the bow tie evolved from the cravat. In Victorian England, a dinner jacket with a white bow tie came into fashion for the first time. In the early 1900s, bow ties were often worn by stars, including Charlie Chapman, Fred Astaire, and Marlene Dietrich. During World War II, Winston Churchill was often seen wearing a bow tie. In the postwar years, members of the Rat Pack made the bow tie cool, while Sean Connery’s James Bond made it iconic. Today, bow ties are often associated with nerd culture, but they are also worn by certain men’s fashion icons. And of course, the bow tie is still considered the best accompaniment to a tuxedo for formal events such as weddings!

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.