Like many great things that have marked the history of mankind, the story of the cravat was inspired by love. From ancient times to the present day, Croatian girls used to tie a scarf around their fiancé’s neck, as a sign of their mutual love and fidelity. In this way they committed themselves to each other but also made their love known to others. At that time, the scarf was as today’s engagement ring.
It was a sign of their mutual commitment, showing others their love. The importance of this act dramatically increased in times of war. Through it, the women promised their fiancés that they were ready to wait for them for years, while the men - the soldiers - found solace and encouragement in this during the most difficult moments on the battlefield.
In 1630, the Thirty Years’ War was raging. Croatian light cavalry, famous for their exceptional bravery, had been recruited into the French Royal Guard. In addition to their military skills and courage, the Croatian light cavalry were also noted for their one original detail - they wore scarves tied around their necks - which was noticed by the fashionably sophisticated Parisians.
You see, in that time soldiers wore stiff high lace collars so it’s no wonder that the Croatian scarves – simple, airy, and elegantly tied in a knot and given by a woman - were accepted at the court of King Louis XIII.
Yes, you have guessed it correctly – that was the first tie.
The cravat, as a sign of dignity and civility, courtesy and ceremony, soon conquered the then-current civil fashion, winning-over Europe first, then America, and eventually the entire world.