Monday, June 12, 2017

Tying One On

Richie is a great fan of British police dramas.  The other evening while watching George Gently I saw a necktie on a character that looked very much like Fred's collar, Fred being our tuxedo cat.

His is a regimental stripe tie with alternating red and blue stripes with a yellow stripe thrown in for variety every now and then.  Very smart he looks in it, too.  I take it off every night and put it back on every morning because during the night, who knows what cats get up to, but one activity re-occurs with nagging regularity.  Went to bed in a collar; woke up without it.  We pretend he's going to the office when he's wearing his "tie."

But as I stared at the TV character's tie, I began to wonder where did neckties come from and when?

To my utter amazement, there are a great many things you can find out about a very ordinary clothing item. 

When did someone get the bright idea of tying a piece of cloth around their necks?  Why that would be during the 30 Years War in the 13th century when Louis 13 hired Croatian mercenaries to fight on his side and it was a custom of theirs quite probably as a form of identification. 

Another story is that women would tie a scarf around their soldier's neck as a sign of ownership.  This may have stemmed from the Camelot times when a lance contestant would wear His Lady's Scarf tied to the lance indicating the knight was protecting that lady.  . 

In WW2, due to silk and other fabric shortages, ties grew narrower to use less material. 

Many men are anti-tie and one bitter commentator wrote, "Did we learn nothing from the women's movement?"

Other commentators were anti-tie because it can so easily be used against the wearer as a weapon.  Every time I've ever seen a long-haired police woman with a pony tail, I've thought, "You're giving the bad guys a handle ..." 

After a parade of ascots, bow ties, Windsor knots and more, there is a new product on the market.  It is called a SHORTTI and it appears to be a normal neck tie until about four inches below the knot.  There the tie has been cut into a sort of V-shape that makes it look as if the tail of the tie has been tucked inside the shirt front.  Whether or not it will become the latest must-have of the fashion industry remains to be seen.  I'm not holding my breath.

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