The ascot tie is generally referred to as an ascot, and is a form of cravat that is
traditionally worn at weddings in a pale grey shade of silk, frequently with a pattern.
It is often worn with morning dress at weddings, involving traditional striped grey
trousers and a cutaway morning coat with tails and a wing-collar shirt.
Its origin is the early nineteenth century cravat, formed from a heavy linen material
and tied in an elaborate knot around the neck, being held in place with a stick pin,
often of gold or silver. The dandy, Beau Brummell, is probably the best known person
who sported such neckwear, though it was worn by most of the upper class and
royalty as regular wear, and by the middle class at formal evening occasions.
As the nineteenth century developed, the middle class became more influential,
comprising businessmen and the professional classes, and they started to adopt a less
formal, but nevertheless just as distinguished form of neckwear based on the cravat.
This was fashioned from silk, and even though it was a thickly woven silk, was
nevertheless lighter than the traditional cravat.
Since it was frequently worn as the traditional neckwear of choice for the horseracing
at the Ascot racecourse in Berkshire, England, it was given the same name. Keep in
mind that this was during the late nineteenth century, and by the time of the early
twentieth century and the Edwardian era when the royals attended the races, the ascot
was not worn at Royal Ascot. By that time the neckwear had reverted to more
traditional morning wear only.
In the UK, the ascot is now known as a day cravat, but not by the upper classes who
regard a day cravat as another form of neckwear. The dress cravat is of a thicker more
heavy woven material, and is more formal that either a day cravat or an ascot. The
ascot is the commonly preferred neckwear of choice for traditional weddings
involving morning suit and preferably Oxford shoes. Spats are also worn, but are not
Each of these forms of neckwear was developed to meet the needs of its own time.
The progression is basically from the very formal, worn by the upper classes to the
middle class businessmen, or 'nouveaux riche' to those who wore formal wear for
special occasions such as horse races and, today, weddings. The ascot is still worn
today as the dress of choice by many of the aristocracy and upper class, particularly
during daytime events.
There are a number of ways how to tie an ascot, as there are for a regular necktie. The
standard simple tie knot is generally used, whereby the ends are worn inside the shirt,
while the more formal Ruche, which is much like a four-in-hand tie knot, is worn with
the ends folded over outside the shirt and held in place by a pin. This is also referred
to as the cocolupa knot when used in respect of an ascot.
The simple knot is less commonly worn outside the shirt with a pin, and it is socially
preferred to wear either the cocolupa (ruche) in this way or a formal dress cravat as
opposed to an ascot. However, when you use an ascot for a wedding, you can wear it
as you wish because you want to look your best.
Many grooms wear the ascot under their shirt with a patterned waistcoat, or 'vest'.
Then, as previously stated, the cutaway tailed morning coat and striped trousers,
followed by Oxford shoes or, less traditionally, spats. The ascot is strictly a type of
day cravat rather than a tie, but many refer to it as an ascot tie and at the end of the
day it doesn't really matter.
What matters is that you look good in it, and if you wear it when you marry the
person you love you can be sure that you will look your best and remember that day
all of your life. It is also likely the only day that most men wear it, but why should it
be? If you look good in it why not wear it more frequently? More men wear ascots
and bow ties because more men don't. Be different, be noticed, and stand out from the