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Classy Cravat

"B-bib?! Now see here, you uncouth barbarian! This is a CRAVAT!"

A cravat is a strip of cloth wrapped and tied around the neck, sometimes embellished with lace or other decals. It's a predecessor to the necktie, and a common accessory in 17th to 19th century men's fashion.

It's also excellent shorthand to show your audience that a character is one rich, classy bastard.

More often than not, a character who wears a cravat will be quite a proponent of the Good Old Ways - if they're not already living in Ye Goode Olde Days, that is (which they often are). Typically, they will be of Blue Blood or The Beautiful Elite. The more elaborate the cravat is, the more aristocratic (or pompous) the character wearing it will be.

If a character in the modern era wants to show their status, but doesn't want to look like they popped out of a time machine, they will often wear a toned down Affluent Ascot. These have the similar connotations, just with a more modern touch.

Compare Waistcoat of Style, which the cravat is often combined with. A part of A Man Of Wealth And Taste's repertoire. May be part of Awesome Anachronistic Apparel.

This page is specifically for the cravat that is most associated with formal period wear. The scarflike neckwear that Americans call an ascot (but what purists would call a day cravat) is actually much more casual. It was popular from The Fifties to The Seventies but still pops up occasionally.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Several characters in Code Geass, mostly Britannians, wear it, including Lelouch himself in his Zero costume.
  • Sasahara from Nichijou wears one, though it's revealed in the first episode that despite acting like an Upper-Class Twit he actually comes from a family of farmers.
  • Austria from Axis Powers Hetalia wears a cravat as a part of his aristocratic style.
  • Cravats are included in the male uniforms of Kinkan/Gold Crown Academy in Princess Tutu
  • Levi from Attack on Titan wears one, perhaps to emphasize his surprisingly fussy personality.
  • The cravat is part of the Shinsengumi officer uniform in Gintama.
  • There's bound to be at least a couple of characters in any given Gundam series who rock a cravat.

Fan Works
  • In Flash Fog, Rarity outfits Fluttershy with one of these to make her look like a proper authority figure.

Film

Literature

Live Action TV
  • Mystery writer and radio host Simon Brimmer in the 1970s television series Ellery Queen wore an ascot in 1940s New York City. He projects an image of himself as A Man Of Wealth And Taste in contrast to Ellery's absent-minded genius.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Elliot wears one on a "Girls night out" with Carla. It's played for laughs and to show how different their backgrounds are.
  • Charles Nelson Reilly often wore one, along with a Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe.
  • Matt Preston, celebrity chef on Master Chef. He even wrote a book titled Caravatalicious.
  • In the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica, Commander Cain of the Pegasus wore a cravat with his Colonial Warrior Uniform. He lampshades the trope somewhat as being a "lead from the front line" warrior type, he certainly doesn't fit the "cushy" stereotype for cravat wearers.
  • Nikola Tesla from Sanctuary has a fondness for cravats, to the point that Helen Magnus quips at one point the she hasn't "seen [him] so depressed since the cravat went out of fashion."
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fourth Doctor starts out wearing a square silk scarf instead of a tie, but switches to these as his character develops into an Eccentric Mentor authority figure rather than just Crazy Awesome.
    • The Eighth Doctor pairs a cravat with his natty Waistcoat of Style in the TV movie. It's a little more disheveled by "Night of the Doctor", to go with his more rough-and-tumble look overall.

Professional Wrestling
  • Before he joined D-Generation X and shortened his name to Triple H, he was Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a Connecticut blue-blood who used to wear slik shirts with a cravat.
    • In WCW before that, he was Jean-Paul Leveque, the same basic character and outfit but with a French accent.

Video Games

Visual Novels
  • Miles Edgeworth (pictured), Manfred von Karma, and Franziska von Karma from the Ace Attorney series all wear rather fancy cravats as part of their Awesome Anachronistic Apparel.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Rosa, Natsuhi and Lion Ushiromiya wear cravats, and they're all members of the wealthy Ushiromiya family. On the magic side, both Ronove and Dlanor A. Knox wear one as well.

Web Comics
  • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach of Girl Genius sometimes wears a snazzy little cravat - When he's actually wearing a shirt, that is.

Western Animation


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