An ascot tie
, or ascot
, is a narrow neckband with wide pointed wings, traditionally made of pale gray patterned silk. This wide, formal tie is usually patterned, folded over, and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack. It is usually reserved for wear with morning dress
for formal daytime weddings and worn with a cutaway morning coat
and striped grey trousers. This type of dress cravat is made of a thicker, woven type of silk similar to a modern tie and is traditionally either grey or black.
The ascot is descended from the earlier type of cravat widespread in the early nineteenth century, most notably during the age of Beau Brummell, made of heavily starched linen and elaborately tied around the neck. Later in the 1880s, amongst the upper-middle-class in Europe men began to wear a more loosely tied version for formal daytime events with daytime full dress in frock coats or with morning coats. It remains a feature of morning dress for weddings today. The Royal Ascot race meeting at the Ascot Racecourse, gave the ascot its name, although such dress cravats were no longer worn with morning dress at the Royal Ascot races by the Edwardian era. The ascot was still commonly worn for business with morning dress in the late 19th and very early 20th centuries.
In British English the more casual form is referred to as a day cravat to distinguish it from the highly formal dress cravat. It is made from a thinner woven silk that is more comfortable when worn against the skin, often with ornate and colourful printed patterns.
For the Dress Cravat:
- The Ascot knot is used for the dress cravat and finishes with the ends under and over then in front of the chest held by a tie pin.
- The Cocolupa (Ruche) knot (formal type of cravat worn outside the shirt) like a four-in-hand knot for a modern tie
For the Day Cravat
- The simple knot, with the Ascot inside the shirt (more traditional for a 'day cravat')
- The simple knot, with the Ascot outside the shirt (less traditional for a 'day cravat')
- The Jabot knot (worn outside the shirt) (Not to be confused with the Jabot, which is a different piece of neckwear)
Popularity of the day cravat
The day cravat was worn in the early decades of the twentieth century as casual wear, often as sports wear such as when playing golf. The Duke of Windsor
often wore one in this manner. It was regarded as an elegant form of casual dress. Ascots of the casual day cravat variety were popular in fashion for teenaged and young adult males in the mid-to-late 1960s, coinciding with the mod
movements. Emmy award winning actor Jeremy Piven
is known to wear an ascot tie, an unusual choice in his time. US Army
Officer Candidates wear ascots as part of their uniform. Fred Jones of Scooby Doo
wears an orange ascot, which was a craze in the 60s next to tye-dye shirts, bell bottoms and peace necklaces. Michael Corleone
, Al Pacino
's character in The Godfather
, wears an ascot in a few scenes, and is pictured wearing it on some versions of the Part II DVD. Don Knotts
would often wear an ascot in his role as Ralph Furley
on Three's Company
- Villarosa, Riccardo: The Elegant Man - How to Construct the Ideal Wardrobe. Random House, 1992. ISBN 0-679-42101-7