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If you work in an office, travel for business, work in banking or the legal industries, there’s a strong chance that you or a colleague wears a necktie. Did you know that December also serves to celebrate National Tie Month?  This isn’t a holiday just for the fellas, as women’s fashion has also been impacted by the neck tie. Since the beginning, ties in all their forms have been donned by influential, powerful and history-making individuals, and eventually became associated with business.

The History

Though there is evidence that some form of necktie existed by 221 BC, as shown in the tomb of China’s first emperor Shih Huang Ti, neckties as we know them started back in the 17th century during the Croatian War. During this time, the Parisian’s had their first interaction with the current menswear staple when the mercenaries caught sight of the Croatian soldiers’ silk cravats tied around their necks. Accustomed to sporting large poofy, ruffled collars, the French were attracted to the color and simplicity of the Croat’s scarves.

During King Louis XIV of France’s reign on the throne in 1643, and quite a while after the Croatian military uniform item had been adopted into French fashion, the king himself began to don the cravat and even employed the services of a cravatier. This necktie-maker would provide the king with an assortment of ties, or cravates, which he would choose based on his outfit. Some people even believe that “cravat,” the French word for “tie,” was just a corruption of the word “Croat.” In Spanish, the word for tie is corbata. Since that time, the cravat became a fashion piece representing distinction.

Celebrating the Holiday

This year, use #NationalTieMonth along with a selfie of yourself rocking that favorite tie. Just to be clear, guys and gals are welcome to participate. So put on those ties, ascots, and bow-ties and every other version that’s evolved from the necktie, post a selfie, and share the history of #NationalTieMonth


Sharon Schweitzer and Hannah Alvarado co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre and the Intercultural Communication Institute, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.

Continuing her higher education at Texas State University, Hannah Alvarado is set receive her Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2019. She is a native Texan with a background in writing, sales, social media marketing and customer service. Hannah aspires to perfect her passion and craft of writing and hopes to one day become a novelist. With all the fantastic opportunities offered at Access to Culture, she is excited to be a new member of the team. Connect with her at Hannah Alvarado.