An ascot is a thick scarf or tie worn around the neck. It brings to mind fancy horse races, elegant tea parties and regal events. It is one of the lushest looks in men's accessories and has been popular all through the history of men's neckties.
Ascots are traditionally made from expensive and/or indulgent material, such as silk, satin, velvet and lace. They can have bold colors, intricate patterns or subtle designs in the very weave. Rich tones tend to be the most popular hues, providing selections such as royal purple, burgundy, gold and cobalt blue.
Most ascots are folded to ride high on the neck and should never be a thin band at the shoulders. A thin band creates either a regular tie or fancy scarf look, not a true ascot appearance.
Ascots are tied just under the chin and twisted to lay flat, with one end folding beneath the other, creating a wide tie. The exact knot used with the ascot determines the shape, look and particular style name.
An ascot knot is when you use a simple knot on the ascot, just folding one end over the other. Instead of a knot to keep the tie in place, an ascot knot uses a fancy tiepin to secure the fabric.
The cravat, ruche, casual and knotted knots all twist and blend the fabric in different ways. This provides an assortment of styles and can take an ascot from casual to formal with just a few loops and twists.
Cravat knots are looped around the neck several times, then knotted in front with a pleat. Ruche knots have a loose double twist over the tie, instead of the tight, single twist in your basic tie knot.
A casual knot, or casual cravat knot, is identical to a cravat, except the ends of the tie are tucked into a collar or vest instead of hanging out. A knotted knot is a fancy knot that folds several times, pushing the ends of the scarf in opposite directions. The ends are then fanned out to lay over each other, with the ends tucked into the vest or coat.
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