Wearing an Ascot Tie with a Tuxedo: History, Tips and Creative Uses

Wearing an Ascot Tie with a Tuxedo: History, Tips and Creative Uses
Table Of Content

The History and Tradition of the Ascot Tie

The ascot tie has a long and storied history dating back to the early 1800s. Originally known as a "cravât", these wide neckties were favored by members of the British upper class and eventually became known as "ascot ties" due to their popularity at the Royal Ascot horse racing event. Their emergence coincided with the Regency period in British fashion, which emphasized more casual elegance for men's formalwear.

Over the years, ascot ties became a standard component for traditional men's outfits like tuxedos. In particular, they are frequently worn to upper crust events like operas, classical music performances, Derby races, and elite country club events. An ascot adds an element of prestige and exclusivity to a gentleman's black tie ensemble.

Optimal Color and Fabric Choices

A high quality ascot is often made of silk or satin which gives it a subtle sheen. Ideal colors include classic black, midnight blue, and jewel toned shades of ruby, emerald, silver, and gold. Patterns can lend visual appeal, but solid colors help the ascot stand out prominently as a focal point against the standard black tux.

Pairing Ascots with Other Formal Accessories

Beyond just ties, black tie attire allows gentlemen great latitude to accessorize with cufflinks, lapel pins, pocket squares, and ascot ties to distinguish themselves. Satin and grosgrain fabric ascots nicely complement traditional formal shirts, wingtip collars, and vintage style tuxes embellished with tails, satin trim, and bow ties.

Key Tips for Wearing an Ascot Tie

Pulling off this formal neckwear takes a bit of finesse and observation of proper etiquette. Follow these guidelines when sporting your ascot tie:

Tie the Ascot Properly

Wrap it once around the neck, cross it in the back, then bring it to the front and secure with a simple knot. The top of the ascot tie should comfortably meet your chin while covering much of your shirt. Take care that it doesn't hang too loosely or pull too tightly.

Wear It With Confidence and Panache

The ascot tie has an unspoken air of dignity and self-assurance to it. Wear it like you mean it. Stand or sit nice and tall while socializing, gesturing, or posing for photographs. An ascot deserves your best posture at black tie functions.

Pair It With a Formal Suit or Tuxedo

Respect the rich heritage of the ascot by sporting it solely with high tier suits reserved for momentous celebrations. Contrasting it against more casual modern clothes undermines its vaunted status. Think galas over brunches when selecting your occasion to debut an ascot tie.

Incorporating Ascots into Fun Formal Attire

Now that the traditional guidelines have been covered, some fun can be had with ascot ties by creatively coordinating them with formalwear that sports a bit of personality and flair. Here are some suggestions on that front:

Experiment With Bold Colors and Patterns

Choose ascots featuring sheens, polka dots, checkerboards, paisleys and animal prints if you want to showcase your lively sense of style. This is your chance to accent your tux with eye-catching textures and colors. Go bold if you wish to pop at the party!

Don Tails, Top Hats and Cane Accessories

Want to tap into your inner 19th century gentleman? Pair your ascot with vintage tooled wingtips, tailcoats, Rolls Royce tux shirts, spats, handcrafted canes, and top hats for a classy vintage vibe. It's retro elegance at its finest.

Be Playful With Bow Ties

Fun printed bow ties provide opportunities to show some whimsy and playfulness. Floral, food and cartoon motifs lend themselves nicely when attempting more audacious black tie-ascot combinations that bend the rules.

So consider incorporating the ascot tie into your next formal affair, whether you want to observe strict dress codes or attempt bolder on-trend variations. Their storied past and dignified presence still shines through even modern incarnations of this ageless men's neckwear classic.


What are ascot ties actually called?

Ascot ties are actually known as cravats. The name ascot tie emerged due to the popularity of wearing them to the Royal Ascot horse races.

What color ascot goes best with a black tie tux?

The most formal option is a black or midnight blue silk ascot. Jewel-toned ruby, emerald, silver or gold colors also nicely complement traditional tuxedos.

Can you wear an ascot tie instead of a bow tie?

Yes, ascot ties and bow ties can generally be worn interchangeably with black tie and white tie dress codes. Feel free to choose whichever neckwear accessory you prefer.

What shirt pairs best with an ascot tie?

Formal wingtip collared shirts perfectly match the elegant regency style of ascot neckwear. Classic pleated tux shirts also make natural partners for ascot ties.

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