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The perception and use of the ascot have shifted dramatically since it was first worn at the turn of the 18th century. Even its name was different. The ascot is a descendant of the cravat, the original form of neckwear. The term "ascot" evolved from gentlemen who attended the Royal Ascot Race in England and wore a looser, "day" cravat as a part of their morning dress. It served both functional and decorative purposes.

Beau Brummel was a notable figure in the history of ascots and 19th century style in general. If you have never heard of Beau, don’t worry, neither did we before opening the history books. Friend of King George IV and arbiter of men’s fashion in Regency England, he established the sartorial mode of tailored clothing for men and popularized the elaborately knotted cravat.

As we trend through history we find that the ascot has followed the ebb and flow of high end fashion eventually making its way into the bourgeois of society. The elaborate accessory lost the pretense of being reserved for royalty and is now worn more casually while maintaining an element of sophistication. Throughout the 1900’s the ascot was popularized by notable figures such as Clark Gable, Al Pacino and even Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo ! More recently, Jeremy Piven, Emmy Award winning actor flaunted the look with his statue raised in one hand and an elegant blue ascot knotted around his collar.

The ascot tie has always held its place in the history of fashion. At some points it has been at the precipice and other times the forerunner of pop culture. The image below depicts a familiar fashion lifecycle and suggests that we are once again entering an era of “nostalgia” for the ascot.


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