2,000 Years of the Necktie: Bow Ties Take Center Stage

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Bow Ties Take Center Stage

by David Johnson
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Neckties Through the Ages

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The bow tie gets is name from the French, jabot, (pronounced ja-bow), a type of readymade 17th century lace cravat. In the 18th and 19th centuries, bow ties came in various materials and styles.

White bow ties were formal, but others were colored. For example, 19th century Irish immigrants to America favored brown, green, or red bow ties.

Tuxedo Park, New York

The enduring popularity of the black bow tie dates to 1886, when Pierre Lorillard V invented the tuxedo as an alternative to the tailcoats worn with white bow ties. The new dinner jacket got its name from the resort of Tuxedo Park, New York, where it was first worn.

Black bow ties and tuxedo are now standard at high school proms and weddings. But bow ties have lost favor for business because they are complicated to tie and must be made in the correct collar size.

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