Men’s fashion ca. 1830: Cravats

It’s my birthday today, and what better way to spend it than with that under-appreciated little gem of the 1820s/1830s outfit, the cravat.  :)

Last time we talked about the under-layers of male clothing between 1825 and 1835: shirts, trousers, and braces.  Today we’ll talk about the next layer up: cravats, the early ancestor of the modern-day tie.

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On National Bow Tie Day, we highlight some 19th-century precursors of this natty neckwear. While dapper men skillfully created decorative knots from kerchiefs or long ties, the less deft could opt for pre-tied versions. Which would you choose?

Portrait of Edward Sturdevant of Hartland, Vermont,” 1823, attributed to Thomas Wale

Man’s Printed Kerchief, c. 1840, France

Man’s Stock with Bow, mid-19th century, United States

Portrait of Lieutenant Colonel John Wingfield,” 1803, by John Smart

Man’s Wedding Bow Tie, 1889, United States


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