A Brief History of the Modern Necktie

The manner in which neckties evolved with the passage of time reveals a lot about how men’s fashion evolved as a whole. Although the concept of wearing a necktie could be traced back to ancient times, the modern necktie’s conception began when mercenaries of the Croatian Military Frontier started wearing them as part of their uniform while in service of the French crown during the Thirty Years’ War (mid-17th century).


They looked like simple pieces of cloth that have colors which did well to highlight the bright colors of their wearers’ uniforms. Even so, it actually served a practical purpose, which is to keep the upper portion of their jacket fastened, unlike today’s neckties which are pretty much worn for aesthetic purposes only. Such was its popularity that it eventually became a fashion preference in many parties and gatherings, where it was called La Cravate (or cravat).

From there, the cravat pretty much underwent robust changes (guides were even made on the many ways that you can tie a cravat, very similar to today’s plethora of necktie knot styles). It wasn’t until the mid-19th century when people began calling them neckties or ties instead. From that point on, it began to enjoy mass use, particularly in most Western countries. The four-in-hand necktie was worn by most men in Great Britain. Besides serving as a symbol of self-expression, it also became an emblem for various clubs and organizations.

In the beginning of the 20th century, designer ties as well as the so-called Macclesfield tie became widely-used. The former prioritized art more, though, while the latter served to emphasize one’s social status in America during the Roaring Twenties. Both are made of costly materials. The year 1936 is a pivotal one in the history of the necktie as it’s during this time when the Windsor knot was invented. This knot’s longevity (even now, it’s still the most popular and preferred necktie knot in the workplace and formal events) is a testament of how appealing its overall look is. Even its variation, the half-Windsor is equally favored.

Since then, necktie trends came and went, from Elvis’s kipper to the bolo tie and skinny leather ties, which eventually lead up to the introduction of the ABC necktie. At present, most men prefer wearing noticeably wider ties, with numerous eye-catching color patterns. Most designs are generic, featuring patterns such as stripes or polka dots as well as solid colors.

How to Tell the Difference between Each Type of Knot

Classifications of the modern necktie are not so much based on its connection with its predecessors (cravat, skinny tie, etc.) as its current styles or knots. The most popular knots are the four-in-hand knot (aptly also known as the simple knot because of the relative ease that you can do it), the Windsor, and the half-Windsor.

To the untrained eye, it could be hard to discern the differences between most knots. After all, the finished look of, for instance, the half-Windsor, Windsor and the Pratt knot are seemingly identical. Well, besides the apparent difference in their tying methods, most necktie knots are set apart by three main factors, namely: their shape, size, and symmetry. And, upon closer inspection of each knot, these aren’t hard to gauge.

Know that the type of necktie that you have could also dictate the knots that you can only do on it. For instance, if your tie is evidently thin, then it’s better to go for a knot like the four-in-hand. Additionally, if you’ve been wondering what the difference between the half-Windsor and Windsor is, the former is simply smaller than the latter. And, because of the near-perfect shape and symmetry of their triangles, they are always favored over the Balthus or Pratt knots.

Recent knots that are gaining popularity are the Elderidge and Trinity knots; however, they are considerably difficult to pull off. With that said, you can only ever expect more necktie knot innovations to come in the future. Most sartorialists and fashion experts have also been saying that neckties as part of men’s fashion isn’t ever likely to go the way of the dodo, at least, any time soon.

– online boutique


Dress Shirts All You Need To Know To Rock This Trend

Men’s fashion is a very delicate part of the beauty and fashion industry. This is because most men would like to make a statement without being too flashy. It has been like this for a long time and this conservativeness has left a lot of potential in men’s fashion untapped. However, these days things are changing with more and more people open-mindedly accepting and appreciating fashion trends and styles for men. A good example is that of dress shirts. Strictly speaking, these are not new to the world of fashion and have been around in different forms for as long as there has been human civilization. These days, however, men in dress shirts are considered fashion icons with the perfect blend of elegance and exquisite style that you cannot get with T-shirts and other shirt styles. What makes the so amazing is their versatile nature which means that you can wear them anywhere from job interviews and formal dinners to casual dates and parties.

What exactly is a dress shirt?

If you asked a fashion and design student to describe to you what a dress shirt is, they would tell you that based on their training it is a plain white button down shirt that is worn with a dinner jacket and either a bow tie or a slim tie and is supposed to be worn to formal occasions. This is true but the definition only gives the traditional point of view of these trendy garments. Basically, they are all shirts with an open front design where the two flaps are fastened either using buttons or studs. With the modern variation for men, the tie and jacket are optional and are not needed to qualify them as dress shirts.

How should a dress shirt fit?

Ideally, a dress shirt should fit just right which means that it is neither too tight nor too baggy. One of the best ways to ensure this is to have them custom designed and tailor made to fit your body’s specific measurements. The bespoke dress shirts are significantly more expensive but given the fact that you actually get a perfect and unique final product, it is safe to say that it is a worthy investment

If you cannot get one custom-made, it is still possible for find the right size for you from the size descriptions on mass produced dress shirts. These usually come as two-number descriptions with the first value representing the neck girth and the second representing the sleeve length. All you have to do is to take your own measurements first then find a shirt that has the closest values to yours for the best fit. You can also estimate and try on different options until you get one that you feel comfortable in.

Dress shirt fabrics you can never go wrong with

The choice of fabric for the dress shirt greatly influences the statement that it makes. Below are some of the most commonly used dress shirt fabrics and what impression they give:

  • Cotton– This is the internationally accepted standard material for dress shirts. It offers the perfect blend of comfort, durability and elegance. Cotton is also very popular because of its ability to absorb moisture as well as trapping dry heat. This makes it ideal for practically any weather and season.
  • Polyester– Polyester is the cheaper version of cotton and more often than not includes some of the latter material’s fibers. Like cotton, polyester can be worn anywhere and anytime. What makes it so popular is the fact that it is way more affordable than cotton yet it offers more or less the same in terms of aesthetics. However, polyester is not very durable and begins to fade and wear out with time.
  • Linen– This is the oldest material used for making dress shirts and was and still is appreciated for its light and cool nature. This makes it ideal for hot weather. However, it has one major flaw and that is the fact that it is highly prone to wrinkling.
  • Silk and wool– These two materials when used for men’s dress shirts scream elegance from a mile away. They are considerably more expensive than all the other materials but it is not without reason. Silk and wool are both very comfortable given their unbelievably soft nature. Both also have heat trapping properties which make them ideal for cold seasons.

One important tip when it comes to dress shirt materials is that with cotton and polyester, jackets and ties are optional. However, linen, silk and wool material dress shirts require the accessories to draw attention away from the extremely flashy materials.

Dress shirt colors you can never go wrong with

Unlike traditional dress shirts, modern day variations are considered appropriate in any color. This, however, doesn’t mean that any color works. There are, of course, some men who can pull of any color but there are not many of them out there and chances that you are not one of the lucky few are pretty high. Below are four colors that you can never go wrong with-

  • White- There is a good reason that for centuries, white was the color of choice for dress shirts. This is because in addition to exhibiting the man’s hygiene and good grooming, white was the one color that everyone looked good in. This fact has not changed.
  • Blue- This is one color that has always been linked to masculinity. Blue dress shirts are therefore a must have for every man. Lighter blue shades are the best in this case.
  • Off pink- Pink is considered feminine but with recent dress shirt trends it is slowly becoming unisex. Pink dress shirts for men give a fun and exciting feel and this makes them ideal for casual appearances. To avoid the feminine feel of pink, cotton material is ideal with its firm fabric patterns enhancing and emphasizing the masculinity.
  • Black- This is ideal with the linen, silk and wool material dress shirts. When coupled up with a brightly colored tie or jacket, the elegance and fashion forwardness projected is one that you will not get with any other combo.

Dress shirt patterns you can never go wrong with

Patterns are best applied on cotton and polyester material dress shirts. With these, you can have any pattern you want. However, below are two of the most popular designs that you will not regret having in your wardrobe:

  • Vertical stripes- These have slimming and lengthening effects on the torso and are therefore ideal for wearing without a coat. Medium and larger stripe varieties work better than the slim ones and offer you as the wearer a much elegant and sophisticated look.
  • Boxes- Again, medium and large boxes offer the best aesthetics and this coupled up with cotton fabric and a perfect blend of bold and subtle colors makes the pattern one to die for.


Dress shirts always look better with accessories. Some of the best include shirt studs, ties and bow ties as well as sleeve cuffs. These little details go a long way to ensure that the statement you want to make with your outfit is made. Jackets and formal coats can also be used to accessorize the dress shirts. A great example is how well they go with leather jackets combining masculinity and class in an incredibly breathtaking way.

– online boutique

Dress shirt DON’TS

To ensure that you successfully rock the trend, below are ten DON’TS to wind up our dress shirt 101 session.

  1. DON’T wear a dress shirt without ironing it
  2. DON’T wear baggy dress shirts.
  3. DON’T wear too tight dress shirts.
  4. DON’T wear silk, linen or wool dress shirts to a casual gathering.
  5. DON’T mix colored polyester shirts with whites in the washer to avoid color staining the later.
  6. DON’T wear the dress shirt without tucking in especially for formal occasion.
  7. DON’T roll up the sleeves. This will cause them to wear and tear with time.
  8. DON’T wear dress shirts without a vest or a t-shirt inside.
  9. DON’T wear a dress shirt more than once without washing it. Dirt and sweat stains destroy fabric.
  10. DON’T be afraid to try out new dress shirt designs. You just might discover you style in the process.