National Necktie Day falls on October 18 every year. The day honors the invention of neckties. The modern necktie — that we love and wear — is the creation of Croatian mercenaries who wore it as a neck protector. National Necktie Day is a popular holiday in Croatia and is celebrated with great zeal across the country. Students attend school wearing their best ties and the men pass on the blue and black to embrace funky colors for the day. The day has been celebrated since 2008 — when it was recognized as an official holiday by the Croatian Parliament.
History of National Necktie Day
Croatia is known for its majestic waterfalls, scenic islands, football stadiums, and of course, neckties. The ‘cravat’ — a short knotted garment tied around the neck — has been prevalent in Croatia since the 17th century. Considered to be the symbol of professionalism and the final touch to formal wear, the necktie owes its humble beginnings to cravats worn by Croatian soldiers on the battlefield. Red cravats became part of the uniform of Croatian soldiers during the 17th-century war.
The fashion item soon traveled to Western Europe and was embraced by the French. In 1646, seven-year-old Louis XIV of France wore the cravat to the Royal Court. The trend caught the eye of the English, who made their own cuts and transformed the squared cravats into the necktie as we know it. Croatia claims the invention of the necktie and has dedicated the day to its cause. The republic protects its heritage in many ways. In 1997, Academic Cravatica — a nonprofit organization — was founded to promote the original cravat and its relevance in history as the object of adoration and utility.
The cravat joins the MP3 player, the parachute, the zeppelin, and fingerprint identification as the biggest Croatian contributions to the world. This fun and fitting tribute to the necktie is loved and appreciated by all Croatians. Prominent towns are lit up in celebration, as people come together to party in their best neckties. The capital city of Zagreb becomes a tourist attraction, as many events are planned by the locals, including a march featuring the city’s famous Cravat Regiment.
National Necktie Day timeline
Croatian mercenaries start wearing crossed clothing on their necks as protection during the war.
The Croatian regiment fashioning the cravat reaches France and catches the eye of the public.
Men's neck knotting fabric becomes a serious apparel accessory and the cravat is reintroduced into the market as a ‘tie.’
Croatian poet Dživo Šiškov Gundulić’s birthday is designated as Cravat Day or National Tie Day.
National Necktie Day FAQs
What does a tie symbolize?
Through the years, ties have been seen as symbols of genteel birth, social rank, coming of age, blind following of tradition, and, of course, male sexuality.
What do you wear with a tie?
A tie goes best with a jacket or a vest. You can opt for a formal look with a blazer and shirt, or you can dress down by pairing them with a loose t-shirt and some jeans.
What is a British necktie?
The most well-known traditional British tie is the regimental necktie. Slightly thinner diagonal stripes, a less shiny silk fabric, and the traditional regimental colors of olive green, maroon, navy blue, and yellow characterize the regimental tie.
National Necktie Day Activities
Hold a luncheon
Since we are celebrating the most elite formal accessory of a man’s attire, a luncheon should certainly be considered. Invite your friends and family for a high-class seven-course luncheon with a formal dress code. And yes, ladies are allowed to come with a necktie too.
Craft your cravat
A necktie is a perfect accessory to experiment with. Bold colors, some beads, and hot glue will be your partners in the process. Just take a necktie and adorn it with the things you like and the style you prefer. Thanks to Croatia, we have the permission to play out our own interpretation of our favorite neck apparel.
Read about Croatian history
Croatia is a land of vibrant culture and interesting people. National Necktie Day is a great excuse to read up all about its mighty history and its past leaders. You can also board a plane straight to the majestic land and experience the scenic glory for yourself.
5 Fun Facts About Neckties
It’s a great gift
Neckties are the most gifted item on Father’s Day.
Shengzhou city in China is the biggest manufacturer of neckties in the world.
Seventeenth-century neckties were made with chainmail as a protection for the neck.
One tie, many plays
A necktie can be tied in more than 177,000 ways.
There’s a word for that
Necktie collectors and enthusiasts are called ‘grabatologists.’
Why We Love National Necktie Day
It’s a gentleman’s pride
A necktie has been the symbol of power dressing and professionalism for centuries. So much so that at one point in history, a mere touch of another man's tie was a signal for a duel. Neckties elevate any outfit, making National Necktie Day a fitting tribute to the cause.
It’s more than a tie
The necktie isn’t just another accessory. Historically, the tie has served many purposes, including the protection of the neck. The evolution of the cravat and its fabric has reduced it to a fashion accessory. On National Necktie Day, we honor the multipurpose uses of the tie and celebrate its historic significance.
It honors the history of Croatia
A necktie is now considered a Croatian ingenuity. From the music we love to the delicacies we can't get enough of, the nation has given us a lot. National Necktie Day honors the contributions of this beautiful country.
National Necktie Day dates