Cravat that 'just screams personality' may revitalize men's fashion, designer says
Don't quit your job if you're tired of the suit and tie.
After 20 years of wearing the business man's uniform, Calgary lawyer Claudius du Plooy tried to find an ascot — a men's fashion item that was a favourite of his father's in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"I decided, well, if I can't find ascots anywhere to buy in town, I better start making them," he told the Calgary Eyeopener.
The ascot, which is a type of cravat, is a long piece of fabric that's tied around the neck but tucked into the shirt with an open collar. The usually colourful material balloons to fill the area.
- Watch Calgary Eyeopener director Paul Karchut learn how to tie a cravat:
Du Plooy has kept his day job as a lawyer in Calgary, while launching an online business, Claudius Cravats, that designs and makes Italian silk ascots — which he sells for $143 each.
One has an Andy Warhol-inspired checkered background covered with pistols, a style du Pool dubbed "Not Your First Rodeo."
"This is really a shout-out to Calgary as a city that people generally would not see as a fashion centre," he said.
Ascots and cravats were originally for "the higher society," du Plooy said, as a daytime alternative to the standard tie. Later designers toned them down, allowing for more casual wearing.
"Fashion comes in waves," said Claudius Cravats designer Sheena Anne.
"For the cravat or ascot to come back now really gives a revitalization to men's fashion. They have a little bit more style. It just screams personality when you see one."
- Hear more about how the cravat is making a comeback
As for whether men are taking to the new necktie, du Plooy says he's had some interest from British fashion media — and a few of his friends have jumped on board.
"They can't stop sending me texts and emails saying, 'I got another compliment on this,'" he said. "So it seems like it's being very well received."
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With files from Paul Karchut, Monty Kruger and the Calgary Eyeopener