This is an account of the development of the necktie, from the 1670s to the present, drawing on evidence from paintings and engravings, as well as contemporary written sources and photographs of high-fashion examples of this essential element in male dress. The tie is not only of interest for sartorial reasons, it also serves as a label, offering an insight into the man himself. An item of dress so close to the face is always conspicuous and, therefore, either by its presence or absence, a man is automatically assessed. His taste, or lack of it, is revealed. Even his politics, education or sporting achievements can be deduced. As long as ties are worn, a man's character and taste will continue to be judged by his choice of tie and the quality of the knot. This volume offers insights into the wearing of ties by historical characters, such as Samuel Pepys, whose pride in his wardrobe is clearly indicated in his famous diary, and the legendary Regency dandy Beau Brummell. It shows how current ties have developed from earlier fashion, and features examples of contemporary ties from the elegant and stylish to the downright outrageous. Today, ties are more popular than ever, and designer labels complete with more and more unusual designs and materials. Illustrations are drawn from contemporary paintings, from documentary sources, such as magazines and journals, and from original designs, as well as photographs of ties from the V&A's famous dress collection.