A lot of dads will be getting Father’s Day presents this Sunday and chances are one of those gifts could be a necktie.
Easily the most popular male accessory, every guy needs one at some point, which makes it a useful gift. While these days ties are typically worn on formal occasions or with standard business attire, that wasn’t their original function. Just ask anyone in Croatia, where the predecessor of today’s necktie was invented.
According to tradition, a woman — who might be seeing a boyfriend or husband off to war — would give her partner a kerchief to tie around his neck as a sign of love and fidelity.
When the legendary Croatian Light Cavalry arrived outside of Paris during the Thirty Years War in the 17th century, the beautiful silk and cotton kerchiefs they wore caught the attention of the French. Soon it became the fashion in the court of Louis XIV for men to wear a kerchief “a la Croate” (in the Croatian manner), which later became “the root of the new French word “cravate.”