Learning how to deal with neckwear seems to be the norm once you’ve reached adulthood. But, be that as it may, you might ask yourself, “Why would I want to wear anything around my neck if it’s such a waste of time?” After all, it takes so long to do it properly. However, you’ll know the answer to this once you’re required or obligated to go to different events, especially formal ones.
Although wearing a simple long-sleeved shirt and pants is enough to let people know you’re going somewhere formal, wearing the same things repeatedly gets old quickly. Therefore, if you want to spice up your wardrobe a little more, use neckwear. Neckties are common in formal settings since they give their wearers a sharper and more professional look. The same goes for bowties. However, if you want to replace ‘professional’ with ‘dapper,’ consider using cravats.
In the past, cravats were typically worn by military men as part of their uniforms. But, as you know it, the fashion industry took one look at them and started to promptly use them to enhance one’s style. Since they’re a type of neckwear, you’ll see them as colorful pieces of fabric tied around the neck. Although they possess some differences which set them apart from the other types of neckwear, you could still pinpoint their similarities, especially if you learn more about them from this guide.
How To Tie A Cravat
As mentioned earlier, cravats still bear similar features to other kinds of neckwear. Therefore, if you can already tie a necktie with your eyes closed, you might feel a sense of familiarity when handling cravats. But, if this is your first time dealing with neckwear, you must learn the ropes.
1. Let It Be Uneven
Since you can always include neckwear as your fashion accessory, you should always remember that making them uneven on purpose is the right way to do it. Admittedly, it might be annoying for some to see one end hanging lower than the other, but the reason for that comes later. For now, hang your cravat around your neck with one end longer than the other.
To know which one should be lower, use your dominant hand as your basis. Ideally, it’s recommended for the longer one to have an excess of three to four inches compared to the shorter one. Once they’re properly hanging around your neck, wrap the longer end around the shorter end. Ensure you have a tight grip around the latter to secure the knot. Do this until you complete one loop.
After securing your loop, wrap the longer end around the shorter one again. But, once you have your second loop, have it cross the knot before slipping it through the center of the knot. Adjust it by pulling on the long end, just like you’d do with a necktie.
Now you’ve adjusted it, pull the long end more to have it cover the front of the knot. Don’t twist the fabric while slipping it through. Otherwise, the cravat will get crumpled up as you let it hang on the front of your shirt.
2. Tuck It In
If you leave it as it is, your finished cravat resembles a necktie more than anything. Therefore, tuck the ends of the cravat to give it that signature cravat look. Always remember to keep the fabric flat as you fasten it. However, where you tuck it in would depend on your attire. If you’re wearing a shirt, tuck it inside after popping off some of its buttons. But, if what you have on makes you look like you’re going to a gala, tuck the cravat outside your shirt and into your waistcoat or vest.
3. Be Wary Of The Heat
Considering you have fabric wrapped around your neck and closing off the collar of your shirt, it’s no wonder why you might end up feeling warmer than you’d prefer. Therefore, it’s best not to wear a cravat if where you’re going is hot. Because not only is it uncomfortable, but some fabrics used for cravats often bleed their colors out.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Although you know how to handle a cravat properly, it doesn’t end there. Because besides that, you must also learn what to avoid when it comes to wearing a cravat.
1. Don’t Pick A Random Fabric
As mentioned earlier, some fabrics ‘bleed out’ when under high temperatures for too long. Even though silk cravats look attractive with formal wear, they’re also extremely delicate. Hence, they’re one of the fabrics that ‘bleed out’ under the sun. If you still want to wear cravats despite the heat, look for polyester ones.
2. Don’t Clash
Since it’s an accessory, cravats are meant to complement your outfit, not stand out. Always ensure your cravat matches the color of your outfit’s main piece (such as the coat). However, if you don’t want a singular color scheme, you can use your eye color or a pocket square as a reference. Whichever the case, always remember to match colors with something else.
3. Don’t Close Shirt
Unlike a necktie, cravats are mostly hidden by your shirt. Therefore, it’s best to open a couple of buttons to display it. But, anything more than two will have you end up flashing some skin or your undershirt. Both of which will look extremely sloppy.
Mixing your wardrobe around is a fun way to experiment with your sense of style. After all, sticking to one aesthetic can get boring. Therefore, it’s best to try something new once in a while to broaden your preferences and learn more about what the fashion industry has to offer. Neckwear has always been one of the most overlooked accessories in fashion. However, wearing them never fails to complete the look you’re going for. And, cravats are a great example of a dapper accessory.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.