How the Thirty Years’ War Gave Us a Staple of Men’s Fashion
When you stop and think about it, men’s neckties are pretty weird. How did we come to think that a thin strip of cloth tied in a noose-like fashion around a man’s neck was stylish and fashionable? Who invented the necktie in the first place? And why?
The answers to these questions will take us back to 1618, the start of the Thirty Years’ War. King Louis XIV of France, the Industrial Revolution, and the Roaring Twenties all played a hand in today’s neckwear fashions, as we will see in these colorized photos.
The Thirty Years’ War
The aptly named Thirty Years' War lasted from 1618 to 1648 and was one of the deadliest wars in European history. It has been estimated that between 4.5 and 8 million people, both soldiers and civilians, were killed in the conflict. It all began when Ferdinand II was ousted as the King of Bohemia and replaced by Frederick V of Palatinate. The Palatinate, now southern Germany, was a strategic location so the rulers of other nations got involved to ensure that their interests in the region were upheld, turning an internal conflict into a war that involved most of Europe. The Thirty Years' War disrupted the balance of power in Europe.