The Art of the Cravat for the Regency Gentleman by Kristen Koster

Following on from her Primer of Men’s Regency fashion, Kristen Koster now explains The Art of the Cravat for the Regency Gentleman.

One of the fun things about writing historicals is you have to learn all this really cool trivia. You need to be able to set the stage and do it in a believable manner. This includes how to properly dress your characters.

Contemporary heroes have life easy. They pretty much only have to know how to tie a half-Windsor knot and their heroines always step in to rescue the day if they’ve forgotten or get fumble-fingered. And then there’s the clip-on bow tie for formal wear.

Not so the Regency rake! His valet was under much more pressure to make his master presentable and indeed, even to shine above the rest and be perceived as unique. Instead of a couple of basic ways to tie that already nicely formed strip of silk that’s decorated in a rank suitable fashion, the Regency buck (or at least his man) was expected to be familiar with a far more numerous array of styles.

The Art of the Cravat: Popular cravat styles during the Regency.
Popular cravat styles during the Regency. Published by Stockdale, 41 Pall Mall, 1818.
The styles depicted include: The Oriental, a Mathematical, The Osbaldeston, Napolean, American, The Mail Coach, Trone d’Armour, The Irish, Ball Room, Horse Collar, Hunting, Maharata, a Gordion Knot and a Barrel Knot.

With so much effort to cover a man’s throat, it was no wonder silly chits would faint at the sight of a bared throat and a few sprigs of chest hair. We take so much for granted with our modern sensibilities.

You can find more information on the Necklothitania with descriptions of how to tie these styles at this site and links to more information about Regency fashion and life on my Regency Resources page.

Cross posted with the kind permission of Kristen Koster at Kristen Koster’s website.

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  1. Thank you for the information. I am an reinactor and have always wanted to keep the refined ways as part of my lifestyle, as to pass it on to the next generation as to showcase the true skills being lost by men.

  2. Another wonderful piece Kristen, but I do wish, as someone who goes to these type of events, that you would put up a step-by-step guide, with photographs if possible, on HOW to actually tie the different kind of cravat styles.

    Some of your steps on “A Regency Primer on 3 Ways to Tie a Cravat” is difficult to follow, which is a shame as I would love to master the “Barrel Knot” for events.

    There is a SERIOUS lack instructions (video and photograph) for those who would love to try these styles out across the Internet.

    Can you do this (put up step-by-step photographs) please? Thank you.

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