2,000 Years of the Necktie: Ties Fit for Officers and Gentlemen

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Ties Fit for Officers and Gentlemen

by David Johnson
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Neckties Through the Ages

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In the 1880s the British military finally decided abandon its array of brightly colored uniforms that had always made such good targets. But they retained the beloved old military colors on the stripes of the neckties each regiment would come to adopt. These ties not only preserved the traditional colors, they provided the only creativity for the drab new uniforms.

The Royal Rifle Corps sported rifle green and scarlet ties, while the stripes of the Artists' Rifles were black, gray, and red; the Inns of Court wore green and blue stripes.

Exclusivity remains

Rules on who may wear the more than 200 regimental ties can be quite strict. Some of the prestigious London stores sometimes ask customers to indicate they have the right to wear a particular tie. This pushes up the price collectors are willing to pay for an especially rare tie. Some unusual or rare ties will change hands for thousands of dollars.

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