Older man with neckerchief choosing neck tie.

When it comes to neckwear, there are few accessories more stylish and elegant than a cravat or ascot tie. These two iconic fashion statements have been around for centuries, but the similarities between them often cause confusion. Consider the case of John, a 20-year-old college student who recently attended an important job interview. He arrived dressed impeccably in an expensive suit and a crisp white shirt, but he was unsure which necktie would be most appropriate - a cravat or an ascot? After much deliberation, he chose an ascot and was positively received by his potential employer.

The history of these two ties is intertwined and can be traced back to 17th-century Europe when they were first used as part of military uniforms. Over the years their popularity has waxed and waned but their style remains timeless. Although both cravats and ascots are neckties, they differ in several ways; from the fabric used to make them to the occasions on which they are worn.

In this article, we will explore the differences between cravats and ascots, their history and how to choose the right one for your outfit. We'll look at examples of some famous celebrities wearing these accessories and how you can use them to add an extra touch of class to your wardrobe.

1. What Is A Cravat?

A cravat is a type of necktie that has been around for centuries. It is often mistaken for an ascot tie, but in fact, the two are quite different. In fact, you could say they are 'worlds apart'. The cravat originated in the 17th century as a part of traditional men's military uniforms, and it was adopted by the upper classes of Europe who were looking to make a fashion statement. It is typically made from silk or other fine fabrics, and it is tied like a scarf or bow tie with intricate knots and folds. The ends of the cravat can be tucked into the shirt or left hanging loose.

The ascot tie is also a type of necktie that dates back to 19th-century England. This style was popularized by King Edward VII when he wore one during his coronation ceremony. An ascot tie is usually made of wool or polyester and features wide ends that hang down in front and are secured with a buckle at the neck. Unlike the cravat, which is designed to be tied in an intricate knot, an ascot tie must simply be buckled around the collar for a finished look. With its more modern design and versatility, it has become an increasingly popular alternative to the classic cravat. As we move on to look at what an ascot tie is...

History picture of 18th century royalty ball
Image from Canva.com​​

2. What Is An Ascot Tie?

An ascot tie is a type of neckwear that is often worn with formal attire. It consists of a narrow piece of fabric that is looped around the neck and tied in a knot at the front. The ascot tie originated in England during the late 19th century and was initially worn by members of the upper class as part of their morning dress attire. Today, it is popular for weddings, special occasions, and corporate events.

The ascot tie is usually made from silk or other fine fabrics such as cotton or linen. While traditionally it was always a solid color, modern ascots come in many different patterns and designs. They are also available in many different widths to suit individual preferences. The most common type of knot used for an ascot tie is known as the 'Windsor Knot', although there are several variations of this style.

The ascot tie has become increasingly popular over the years due to its versatility and the range of different styles available. It can be paired with a suit or blazer for a classic look or dressed down with jeans and a t-shirt for more casual occasions. Whatever way you choose to wear it, an ascot tie will give your outfit an extra touch of sophistication and style. With this in mind, it's easy to see why so many people today opt for an ascot over other types of neckties. Now that we have looked at what an ascot tie is, let's take a closer look at how it differs from its cousin – the cravat – in terms of materials and design features.

Polka dot scot tie
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

3. Differences In Materials

The materials used to make cravat and ascot ties are an important factor in the overall look of the finished product. Some may think that it doesn't matter, but the materials used can drastically change how a tie looks. For instance, silk is a popular choice for both types of ties and is a luxurious fabric that has a beautiful sheen when it catches the light. TIP: When wearing either type of tie, be sure to pick one made from high-quality fabrics as it will give you a more polished look.

But there are other materials besides silk that cravat and ascot ties can be made from. Cotton is another popular option because it's lightweight and breathable. It's also less expensive than silk, making it great for those who want to save money while still looking stylish. Wool is also sometimes used as its strong fibers make it durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. Each material has its own unique look and feels so finding one that suits your style can be fun!

It's important to consider the fabric of your cravat or ascot tie before purchasing one. Different fabrics offer different levels of comfort and durability so pick wisely! Experiment with different types of fabrics to find the one that works best for you. With a little bit of research and experimentation, you'll soon be confident in your decision on which material will bring out your personal style and fit into your wardrobe perfectly! As you explore the differences between cravat vs ascot ties, let's now take a closer look at the differences in design...

Folded fabrics in the textile fabrics store
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

4. Differences In Design

The intricate differences between a cravat and ascot ties are like a kaleidoscope of designs, each equally dazzling in its own way. In terms of design, the two styles differ in a multitude of ways:

From the fabric to the knot, there is no confusion between these two classic silhouettes. A cravat tie is crafted from a single strip of fabric that is pleated and looped around the neck before being secured with a pin or clasp. The ascot tie, on the other hand, is composed of two pieces - an ascot and a neckband - which are then tied together in a complex knot often referred to as “half-Windsor”.

The shape created by tying an ascot is quite different from that of a cravat:

  • Cravat has an asymmetrical shape, usually ending higher on one side than the other. 
    • Is considered more formal than the ascot tie and is usually seen at formal events such as weddings or galas. 

  • Ascot features a symmetrical shape with both sides ending at the same height. 
    • Is considered less formal than its counterpart and is typically worn for occasions such as horse races or garden parties.

These visual details are enough to distinguish one style from another - but they also give insight into when it’s appropriate to wear each type of tie. Both cravats and ascots can be found in many colors and patterns; however, their formality level will remain constant regardless of how they look. With this knowledge in mind, it's possible to make sure you’re dressed correctly for any event. Moving on from design differences, we turn our attention now to differences in origin...

Closer look to to perfectly tied ascot tie on neck of a man
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

5. Differences In Origin

The differences between a cravat and an ascot tie can also be seen in their origins. The two neckwear styles have different stories behind them.

A cravat is derived from the Croatian people, who were known to wear a piece of clothing around their necks during the 17th century. This garb then made its way to France and was adopted by the French military, which changed its shape into what we now recognize as the cravat.

Meanwhile, the ascot tie was born in Britain during the 19th century and was popularized by King Edward VII, who wore it at official events and races. The ascot has become synonymous with upper-class fashion and sophistication ever since.

To sum up the differences in origin, here is a list: 

1) A cravat originated from Croatia during the 17th century before making its way to France and being adopted by the French military. 

2) An ascot tie originated in Britain during the 19th century and was popularized by King Edward VII. 

3) The cravat is associated with French military culture while the ascot is associated with upper-class British fashion. 

4) The two neckwear styles have different stories behind them. Considering these distinctions between origin, it's time to move on to comparing their differences in formality.

Four German Protestant Reformers of 16th century
Image from Canva.com​​

6. Differences In Formality

When considering the difference between a cravat and an ascot tie, formality is an important factor to consider. A cravat is generally considered more formal than an ascot tie, as it is most often seen on special occasions such as weddings or black-tie events. An ascot, on the other hand, can be worn for both formal and casual occasions depending on the fabric used and how it is tied.

In terms of formality when wearing each type of tie, a cravat should be knotted tightly at the neck and tucked into a shirt with a collar; this will give the wearer an air of sophistication. An ascot, however, should be tied loosely around the neck and draped over the shirt; this has a more relaxed feel that can work in both formal and casual settings.

Overall, it's important to consider formality when deciding which tie to wear for any occasion; if you are looking for something sophisticated and classic then a cravat is your best option. For something more relaxed, perhaps with some texture or the patterned fabric then an ascot might be better suited. With all that said, let's look at how to wear a cravat correctly.

Perceftly tied paisley ascot tie on a man
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

7. How To Wear A Cravat

A cravat is a sartorial symbol of sophistication and class. It’s a timeless accessory that can make any man look dapper and debonair. Wearing a cravat is not as intimidating as one might think; in fact, it’s quite easy and straightforward. To start off, the cravat should be tied around the neck so that it hangs down to the middle of the chest. The tie should be tied in whatever knot is desired; most men prefer either a four-in-hand or half-Windsor knot. Once tied, adjust the length of the cravat until it is comfortable and looks neat. For extra flair, add a pocket square or lapel pin to complete the look.

When wearing a cravat, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, choose colors that contrast with your shirt color for maximum impact. Second, keep in mind where you will be wearing your cravat – more formal occasions call for heavier fabrics such as silk while casual gatherings may call for lighter fabrics like cotton or linen. Lastly, consider how tight you want your cravat to be; too tight can be uncomfortable, and too loose can look sloppy. With these tips in mind, you can confidently rock your chosen cravat with style and panache.

Having mastered how to wear a cravat with confidence and poise, let's now move on to learning about its equally stylish cousin: the ascot tie.

Man prepariing his ascot tie
Image from Canva.com​​

8. How To Wear An Ascot Tie

Did you know that ascot ties were first worn in the 17th century by the British Royal Family? This shows that an ascot tie is a timeless accessory for any formal occasion.

An ascot tie is a type of necktie with wide triangular ends, which are usually made from silk. It should be worn underneath the collar and fastened with a stickpin or brooch. To put on an ascot, start by folding it lengthwise and then placing it around your neck. Make sure that the wide ends are at the front and the narrow ends at the back. Then, cross one end over the other and tuck them into your shirt or jacket. The final step is to secure your ascot with a pin or brooch.

When selecting an ascot tie, there are many things to consider such as color, pattern, material, and size. You will want to make sure that your choice of ascot is complementary to your outfit and suits your style preferences. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the best one – but this guide can help you pick out the right one for any occasion!

Bicycle Ascot Tie on a young man
Sarah Mirk, CC BY 2.0​​

9. How To Choose The Right One

The ascot tie has a long and distinguished history in the fashion world, tracing its roots to the horse-racing turf of 19th-century Britain. It is considered an elegant accessory that adds a touch of sophistication and class to any formal ensemble. But with so many styles, cuts, and colors available on the market today, how can you choose the right one for your needs?

Allusion can be used here to recall a classic example of the perfect ascot style: Sean Connery’s iconic portrayal of James Bond in ‘Goldfinger’. His signature look - complete with a crisp white shirt and perfectly tied black ascot - is timelessly stylish. The timelessness of this look demonstrates that when it comes to choosing an ascot tie, it pays to invest in quality over quantity. It should be made from luxurious fabrics such as silk or wool and should feature intricate embroidery details that will stand out against lighter-colored shirts or jackets.

When picking an ascot tie, remember that the knot should be neat but not overly tight; it should nestle comfortably beneath your collarbone without feeling too constricting. The size should also be appropriate for your body type; a smaller knot works best for taller men while those on the shorter side may want to opt for larger knots that offer more balance in terms of proportions. With these tips in mind, any man can find his own version of Bond's classic style - and rock it like a true gentleman!

Choosing between cravat vs. ascot ties is ultimately a matter of personal preference; each style has its own unique appeal and can bring something special to an outfit when matched correctly with other elements such as color palettes or fabrics.

Portrait of Dapper Gentleman. Styled, well dressed man.
Image from Canva.com​​

10. Popularity Of Cravat Vs. Ascot Tie

Picking the perfect necktie for a formal occasion can be a challenging task, and there are many options available. Two of the most popular necktie choices are the cravat and ascot tie - but how do you choose which one is right for you? The popularity of these two styles may be the deciding factor in your choice, so let’s take a look at how they measure up against one another.

The cravat has been around since the 1600s, popularized by Croatian mercenaries in France who wore them to identify themselves. Today, it is seen as a more casual option due to its origins and is often used to dress up an otherwise plain outfit. The ascot tie, on the other hand, first appeared in England during the Victorian era and has remained popular among those who appreciate its unique style and timeless appeal. It is often seen as a more formal option than the cravat because of its sophisticated look.

Comparing their popularity isn’t easy since both have been around for centuries - with some periods seeing one more popular than the other. For example, in modern times the cravat is often favored for its versatility and comfort compared to an ascot tie which may seem too formal for some occasions. Ultimately though, choosing between them will come down to personal preference as each tie has its own unique charm that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Close up of beige jacket suit with white shirt and ascot tie
Image from Shutterstock.com​​

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Occasions Are Best Suited For Wearing A Cravat Or An Ascot Tie?

Have you ever wondered if there was a difference between a cravat and an ascot tie? Both are formal neckwear, but which is more appropriate for different occasions? What type of occasions are best suited for wearing a cravat or an ascot tie?

A cravat is a more casual form of formal neckwear. It is typically worn with business casual attire and often comes in more muted colors such as navy blue, light gray, and black. Cravats are also typically made of silk or cotton and feature intricate designs such as paisleys or stripes. A cravat can be worn to business meetings, lunches, parties, or other semi-casual events.

An ascot tie is much more formal than the cravat. It is usually made from fine materials such as silk or wool and comes in richer colors like burgundy and hunter green. An ascot should be worn with black-tie attire when attending special events such as weddings and galas. The overall look should be sleek and sophisticated, making it clear that no expense has been spared on the outfit.

Knowing the difference between these two types of neckwear can help you decide which to wear for any given occasion. A cravat may be appropriate for certain business situations while an ascot will always be necessary for special events that require formal wear. Knowing when to wear each style can ensure that you put your best foot forward when dressing up!

What Is The Difference In Cost Between A Cravat And An Ascot Tie?

It's no secret that cravats and ascot ties are typically on the pricier side when it comes to fashion accessories. But what may come as a surprise is just how much of a difference there can be in cost between the two. You could say that this factor alone would give someone pause for thought when choosing which one to go with.

To put it simply, cravats tend to be more affordable than ascot ties. While the exact cost depends on various factors such as material and design, cravats are usually cheaper by about twenty percent compared to ascot ties. That being said, this doesn't necessarily mean you're getting less value; it just means that you get all the same style and elegance for a fraction of the price.

At the end of the day, whether you opt for a cravat or an ascot tie is ultimately up to you. However, if budget is an issue then it might be worth considering a cravat first; after all, you don't have to break the bank in order to look good!

Is There A Specific Way To Tie A Cravat Or An Ascot Tie?

Tying a necktie is an art form. There are different kinds of ties, such as the cravat and the ascot, that each requires a specific way to be tied. Knowing how to tie these two types of ties correctly is crucial for making sure they look their best.

When it comes to tying a cravat or an ascot tie, there are some important differences to consider. A cravat is usually tied with a simple four-in-hand knot, while an ascot tie requires more intricate knotting techniques. The ascot also has its own unique shape and style that must be taken into account when tying it properly.

The key to correctly tying either type of tie is practice and patience. With enough time and repetition, you can master the skill of tying either type of tie so that it looks perfect every time. Additionally, there are many instructional videos available online that provide step-by-step instructions on how to properly tie both types of ties. Through dedicated practice and careful instruction, anyone can learn how to properly tie a cravat or an ascot tie in no time at all.

No matter which type of necktie you choose, it's important to make sure you know how to properly tie it before wearing it out in public. With the right knowledge and practice, anyone can easily become an expert in tying both types of ties with ease and confidence.

Are Cravats And Ascot Ties Appropriate For Both Formal And Casual Events?

When it comes to men's fashion, the cravat and ascot tie are two classic choices. But should they be worn to formal occasions or casual events? Here is a look at what these two ties have to offer and when they are appropriate for different types of occasions.

The cravat is a type of necktie that is usually made from lightweight silk and falls in an elegant cascade down the front of the shirt. It is generally worn with a waistcoat and a suit jacket for formal occasions such as weddings or job interviews. For more casual events, such as dinner parties or garden parties, the cravat can be paired with a blazer or even just a shirt and trousers.

The ascot tie is similar to the cravat but it has a more traditional shape, with long ends that are tied in a bow or looped around each other. This type of tie is suitable for more formal settings like black-tie events, religious ceremonies, and royal engagements. However, it can also be worn in less formal situations such as dinner parties or an afternoon tea if it is matched with an unstructured blazer or coat.

Both ties come in an array of colors and patterns that make them suitable for various types of events: 

Formal Events

Both ties can be worn to formal occasions such as weddings, job interviews and black-tie events if they are paired with appropriate clothing items such as waistcoats and suits.

Casual Events

The cravat can be worn with blazers or just shirts while the ascot tie can be matched with an unstructured blazer for less formal gatherings like dinners or garden parties.

No matter what kind of event you're attending, both the cravat and ascot tie will ensure you look dapper and on-trend - just choose the right clothing pieces to pair them with!

Are Cravats And Ascot Ties Suitable For All Ages And Genders?

The choice of neckwear can be a difficult one, and it's not always easy to know what is appropriate for any given occasion. Cravats and ascot ties are two unique items of clothing that have long been used as part of formal dress, but they also can be used in more casual settings. But perhaps the biggest question people want to be answered when it comes to these two pieces of neckwear is whether or not they are suitable for all ages and genders.

Undeniably, cravats and ascot ties bring a certain level of sophistication and elegance to any look. Whether you're dressing up for a special occasion or simply looking to add an extra touch of class to your outfit, these accessories have a timeless appeal that transcends age and gender. In fact, cravats and ascot ties are often seen as symbols of maturity and status among both men and women alike.

These classic items of clothing offer the perfect opportunity for people from all walks of life to express themselves through their style. Whether you're looking for something sleek and modern or something with a more traditional feel, cravats, and ascot ties provide an eye-catching option that will help you stand out from the crowd. With so many different designs available, there is sure to be something that suits everyone's tastes – no matter their age or gender.


In conclusion, cravats and ascot ties are both great choices for formal and casual events. They have an air of sophistication that is perfect for special occasions but can also be dressed down for more relaxed settings. The cost difference between a cravat and an ascot tie will depend on the quality of the fabric and the type of design being chosen. Both styles require some skill to properly tie, but there are plenty of tutorials available online to help you master the look. Lastly, there is no age or gender limitation when it comes to wearing either a cravat or an ascot tie - anyone can wear them with confidence! So if you’re looking to add a touch of class to your wardrobe, why not try one of these timeless accessories?