Thursday, November 17, 2011

A is for Ascot

Ascots, descendants of the cravat, are a pretty awesome finishing touch when it comes to dressing up or adding a pop of color to just about any outfit.

Ascots come in two basic styles, the ascot scarf, which is a square of silk loosely gathered around the neck. And the ascot tie, which has a pleated neckband and can be worn either under or over the collar, and tied in a multitude of ways (thanks, e-bay).

1880s  Ascots were traditionally made of patterned silk, formal, folded and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack.

Ascots of the casual day cravat variety were popular fashion in the United Kingdom for teenaged and young adult males from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s, coinciding with the mod and psychedelic movements (thanks, Wikipedia).

found via Pinterest, original source unknown

Although women have probably always adorned their necks, they did not wear neckties until the later 1800s. Feminine versions of men's neckties began to appear along with the more tailored clothing women wore while bicycling, skating, hiking, or boating. Even more women began wearing ties, and trousers, during World War I, as millions of women headed to offices and factories to fill the vacancies created by men at war (thank you, Patrick McMurray).

These days it seems like just about any neck wear outside the bowtie and necktie falls into the category of ascot. Most men stick to classic, wide silk numbers, but the ladies have reinvented the ascot several times over.

1960s era flocked blouse with ascot tie from Sally Jane Vintage

Peter Pan Collar Dress with Pop Art Ascot at dadadress
side note: Hello! Peter Pan collar! Can I call 'em or what?

I adore these bridesmaids sporting Lady Ties made by the bride and owner of Ginger Root Design! Photos are by Tiffany Bolk.

What are your thoughts on ascots? Or really, on neckwear in general?

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