Wearing a tie is a concept that’s steeped in tradition, but it’s still as popular a way of signifying a club membership today as it was many years ago. Club ties are more than a decorative feature of an outfit. In the UK, they can also symbolise an allegiance to a sporting, military, educational or professional group or organisation.
The history of the club tie
Coloured and patterned neckties have been a popular way of denoting a wearer’s membership in a club or association since the late 19th century. Neckties have since become an essential component of a club ‘uniform’ worn for member’s activities or events, special occasions or functions, be they sports, regimental or otherwise. A club tie may also signify the membership of a particular grouping or role within a club, depending on the pattern, logos or colours that are featured on it.
The club tie that we know today might actually have its origin in a hat band. In 1880, it was reported that the oarsmen of Exeter College in Oxford tied the hat bands of their straw boaters around their necks, to set themselves apart from the other boat clubs. Indeed, it’s reported that they went on to create neckties in the same ‘club’ colours. As such, club ties are now also commonly worn by football, rugby clubs and golf clubs. Whether it’s a popular Premier League team or a local cricket club, they still represent the enduring sentiment of belonging and tradition.
Popular club tie patterns
The most common pattern for club ties in the UK is made up of diagonal stripes, usually in the form of alternating colours, running down the tie from the wearer’s left-hand side to the right. The colours on the tie may also be highly significant. They may symbolise official colours or have a historic connotation. The pattern of dark blue and red on the regimental ties of the Household Division, for example, is said to represent the Royal blue blood of the nobility and the red blood of the Guards.
Another popular club tie pattern is incorporating an emblem, crest or insignia into the design of the tie. This can be either as an all-over pattern, or just as a single motif, stitched or printed at the tip of the tie. Indeed, there are ways to incorporate both into a hybrid design – this is a good way in which to indicate a distinction among varying levels of membership of the same club. These logos often represent what the club is, what it stands for, where it’s based and give a nod to its heritage.
Creating a club tie
If you’re choosing to create a customised club tie, it’s important that you use a specialist with experience in designing and supplying club and society ties of the highest quality. They will be able to walk you through the process of creating a customised piece that is perfect for promoting and symbolising your club.
Club clothing is a great way to unite friends, colleagues and teammates. It still projects a sense of history and a connection to the past and the club tie has become the perfect and popular way to finish an outfit worn for a club dinner, or other special event and formal occasion, commemorating the history, tradition and success of the club.