Historically, the bow tie settled into the gentleman’s wardrobe in the late Victorian era dating back to the 17th century.
During the Prussian wars, Croatian mercenaries would wear colorful “scarves” around their necks to denote rank and distinguish officer from enlisted man. To keep their shirts closed, soldiers wrapped a loosely fit tie around their necks. This early form of today's men's tie served two purposes: To keep the top of their uniforms closed, and to protect the soldiers' necks from the cold wind and rain. Overtime, these seemingly practical pieces of fabric would evolve into what we know today as the bow tie.
Initially, these neck adornments were worn only by the Croatian Army, but was later favored by the high society of France. While fighting alongside the Croats, French soldiers took a liking to the Croatian fashion innovation and took the idea back home to show King Louis. The king loved the ties so much that he made it a required fashion accessory during formal functions. To honor the Croats, King Louis gave the tie the name "La Cravat", derived from the French term for “Croat” a name still used today in France.