Croatian mercenaries were among the first tie-wearers in recorded history. As part of their uniforms, a piece of cloth was fastened at the top of their shirts to hold them closed. This not-yet-fashion-trend gained popularity in the 17th century where, during the 30 Years’ War, King Louis XIII of France adopted the snappy new style for his own men and “La Cravate” or necktie was born.
Neckties have since evolved and have recently found a home in the closet of my six year old son, who now insists on wearing one every day.
When my son told my wife and I that he wanted to start wearing ties to school I took his request with a grain of salt. I passively considered the root of his newfound interest and attributed the influence over his formal fashion goals to a character in his books, or perhaps a cast member from one of his favourite TV shows.
As time passed my son became insistent on adding ties to his wardrobe. He even suggested that we take him to buy new variety of collared shirts to host his newly desired fashion accessories.
So that’s what we did. A trip to the mall and a quick order from Amazon found my six year old outfitted with five ties and three crisp dress shirts.
I asked him why he was so interested in wearing a tie. His response; “I want to look handsome, daddy.”
I can’t argue with that. But where does this idea of what makes one handsome come from?
Although I consider myself somewhat fashionable, I rarely wear a tie. But when I do, there is a sense of confidence that is evoked. There is something precise in how what I’m wearing is put together. Something ceremonial in the process, like dressing with a purpose; like dressing for battle.
Ties represent authority and responsibility. My son observes this in the media and through fictional characters that enter his life. Maybe he wants to be seen in a more mature light? Or perhaps he just thinks it’s cool. Either way I’m happy that he possesses a sense of individuality.
I hope this never changes.
How do your children’s clothes differ from when you were a kid? Is there a youth fashion renaissance?