How To Tie A Wedding Cravat Or Formal Ascot For Proper Traditional Morning Wear

How To Tie A Wedding Cravat Or Formal Ascot For Proper Traditional Morning Wear

Learn how to tie a formal daywear ascot which is also known as the cravat. It’s an item with a very vintage aesthetic and it’s particularly popular in Britain. We can still see worn for weddings, or at Royal Ascot when people wear morning wear with a top hat and a proper type Ascot.



What’s The Difference Between A Formal Ascot And A Casual Ascot?


One thing that stands out immediately is the shape. The formal Ascot is quite wide and has a slim band that’s consistent in the middle which is something that will be around your neck. Basically, it has the same shape on both ends. A casual ascot is similar in the shape, however, it usually has a kind of folded neckband which is worn around the neck.


The other difference is that a casual ascot is just silk and there’s no interlining. On the other hand, a proper formal ascot is much stiffer because you want it to hold a shape and a fold of the knot you want because of that, it’s silk with an interlining which makes it thicker and more robust in terms of keeping its shape.

Perfectly Worn With A Wing Collar

Another important distinction is that the casual ascot is worn inside of your shirt and it pops up from underneath your unbuttoned top shirt collar and the formal daywear ascot is perfectly worn with a wing collar.

Gentlemen-at-Royal-Ascot-in-Morning-Coats with Balmoral Boots and Button Boots

Gentlemen at Royal Ascot in Morning Coats with Balmoral Boots and Button Boots



Fort Belvedere ascots are made of high-quality Italian wedding silk and so it is the perfect item for a formal wedding or a day at the Royal Ascot at the races. If you want to, you can keep everything in place with a stick pin. A formal ascot is probably the most formal piece of silk neckwear that you can wear and you can pull it off the proper way. It’s extremely elegant and debonair. Some people like the Victorian flair of it because it was very popular around the Fin De Siècle and the early days of the 20th century.

Two Ways To Tie An Ascot

The Popular Way

The Popular Way

The Popular Way

The first one is the more popular one mostly seen at wedding parties. It’s basically like a four in hand just with a slight adaptation. If you think that a formal Ascot is simply too much for you, you can get our regular three-fold ties in the same wedding silks in our shop as well, please take a look. Of course, if you decide to go with a formal ascot, you always want to go with a detachable winged collar and not with a turndown collar. It would simply look odd.

  1. Find the label in the middle of the formal ascot and place it firmly against the back of your neck.
  2. You don’t want both sides to be at the same length so you pull on the right side until it’s about 4 to 5 inches longer which is about 10 to 12 and a half centimeters. Ideally, you want the formal ascot to be very wide on the left side and very slim on the right side.
  3. Now you take the slim end from the right, fold it diagonally over the left, with your left hand take the part that you just fold it over and bring it back to the original side, pull it a little snug.
  4. Now again, bring that end that you just brought to the right and fold it over once more around to create what will be the knot.
  5. Now with your left hand, you take the tip go back behind and push it up from the back so it comes out on top. Pull a little bit so your knot tightens up a little bit. Just like a regular four in hand knot, you take the tip now and push it through the hole that you just created. Ideally, you want to pull up and push up that knot a little bit so you create some wrinkles and so it doesn’t look like a regular necktie. You’ll also notice it’s much bigger and that’s okay.
  6. Once you’ve done that, simply pull on the long end in the back and adjust the knot until it sits snugly against your collar. As you can see, the front end is much shorter than the back end and it looks kind of odd, however, you only wear a formal Ascot with a formal waistcoat or a vest.
  7. So as a final step, you simply have to tuck it into your vest and it looks great. Voila! the popular way to tie a formal Ascot. If you’re not wearing it at the end of the day, simply unravel the knot in the opposite way you tied it which means you pull through the front part first and unwind it, very simple.
The traditional way

The traditional way

The Traditional Way

  1. First, locate the label in the middle of the formal Ascot and place it firmly against your shirt collar. Once again, you pull the right side slightly longer about three to four inches or seven and a half to 10 centimeters.
  2. Now the right side is folded over the left side and then brought up through the hole that you just created in the back.
  3. Now the part that you just pull through should be in your right hand and the other part should hang straight down.
  4. Now you take the part that just hangs down with your left hand and point it to your right. Subsequently, you take the piece in your right hand and you just pull through and fold it over so now it points downwards.
  5. Once you’re done with that, you take the point that hangs down vertically and bring it up through the loop you just created from underneath.
  6. Once we got it through the hole, you pull firmly on both ends of the formal ascot. You can adjust the knot a little bit and you can see it creates a horizontal knot with some wrinkles. Now ideally, you want to take the item on the left and have it point to the right, and the item from the right point over to the left. Basically, the two ends cross each other.
  7. Now that you have folded over both ends in an X shape, you can tuck them into your waistcoat, keep adjusting until you like the look.
Wedding entourage in light pink formal ascots

Wedding entourage in light pink formal ascots

Now it’s time for a tie stick pin. A tie stick pin is a simple pin that is decorative. The most traditional thing is maybe a pearl, but you can also have maybe a knot or any other kind of precious or semi-precious stone. The easiest way to find one is at vintage stores, flea markets, or on eBay.

Now you want the decorative element of your tie stick pin to be exactly in the middle when you look at it from the front and about two to three maybe four inches below the knot. Don’t have it too low and not too close to the knot. You can use the gorge of your morning coat lapel for a good indicator on where you want it to sit.

If you’re right-handed, hold the ascot up with your left and poke through the tie stick pin through the silk knot. Now that you poked through silk, carefully poke it through the middle of your shirt fly and back out to the front. That way, the pointy end of the tie stick pin is against your skin, you won’t hurt yourself, and it’s on the top part of the fly. Not only is it a decorative item, but it also keeps your formal ascot in place all day no matter if you run, dance, or celebrate because your horse just won.

What’s your take on formal ascots? How do you usually wear them? Drop a comment below!

How To Tie A Formal Ascot For Proper Traditional Morning Wear
Article Name
How To Tie A Formal Ascot For Proper Traditional Morning Wear
Two ways to tie the formal ascot and how one can pull it off and look dapper.
Gentleman's Gazette LLC
Publisher Logo
12 replies
  1. Robert L. Officer says:

    Interesting and helpful article. Our coaching club has had ascot ties made up in our club colors to wear with morning coats for our tools, and I admit I struggle to get an acceptable knot, perhaps because of my 18″ neck.

    I have noticed in recent years, as English royal weddings and funerals, etc., have been increasingly televised here, that there is an almost universal preference for four-in-hand ties and turned down collars with morning dress.

    • John Browning says:


      …if you are looking for made to order / extra length (Regency) Ascots then you might find these people very helpful:

      there doesn’t seem to be much they can’t do including matching pocket squares (?) and also Jabots

      They are based in Alberta and prices seem to run around the $25 mark

  2. William says:

    Dear Mr. Schneider,

    Thank you for another wonderful and highly informative article.
    The quality of the information and the quality of the presentation
    of the information leave me with a hunger for more. Could you please
    help me with a few questions I have on the topic that was covered?

    1. What is/are the acceptable colour/colours for formal ascots?
    I am under the impression that the only acceptable colours are
    solid silver or silver as the dominant colour, but I may be wrong.

    2. Is it acceptable to wear a formal ascot with a Stresemann or
    a stroller suit, or is it only acceptable for morning suits?

    3. The shirt to be worn with formal ascots has to have a wing collar,
    but should it have a pleated or a plain front? Because of the formality
    of the attire, it would make sense that french cuffs are essential,
    but are button cuffs and convertible cuffs permissible?

    Thank you for your time. I am looking forward to more of your
    excellent articles and videos.

    Yours sincerely,

    • Gerofono says:

      Let me propose my answer to your queries, if I may.

      Ascot may be of any color you choose, however grey is a tad more formal even if pastel colors are quite elegant as well.

      I would only wear a formal Ascot with morning attire. My preference is to wear one only with a light grey morning coat and trousers. (see my comment below).



      Winged collars are ti be preferred wearing ascots, however as one does wear a waist-coat, the front of the shirt should be plain.

      French-cuffs (double-cuffs) should not be worn with morining attire, simple cuffs closed by cuff-links should be preferred. My personal preference is for non-precious cuff-links with any type of day-wear, including moring attire.

      • William says:

        Dear Mr. Gerofono,

        Thank you for putting in the time and the effort to answer my questions.
        I read both your response to my comment and your separate comment.
        You answered all my questions, and I highly appreciate it. It is exciting
        to learn that you are such a well-dressed gentleman. I wish you a nice day.

        Yours sincerely,

  3. John Browning says:

    thanks for another great article, Sven.

    It would be a pity if we concentrate entirely on Cravats for formal occasions.

    -There is great potential for casual Ascots in hot climates like Australia, where Formal is definitely the exception .

    Any kind of a neck tie during the heat of the day is a problem at outdoor events, here.

    But if you go from (-say) the Cricket and want to spend the cool of the evening dining al fresco, then a spare Ascot can make things far more comfortable as things chill down.

  4. John Browning says:

    thanks for another great article, Sven.

    It would be a pity if we concentrate entirely on Cravats for formal occasions, and perhaps I can refer re4daers to your equally impressive parallel article on casual wear Ascots

    -There is great potential for casual Ascots in hot climates like Australia, where Formal is definitely the exception .

    Any kind of a neck tie during the heat of the day is a problem at outdoor events, here.
    But if you go from (-say) the Cricket and want to spend the cool of the evening dining al fresco, then a spare Ascot can make things far more comfortable as things chill down.

  5. Gerofono says:

    I am inclined to wear an ascot only with coat, waist coat and trousers of the same light grey color often favored by Prince Charles; whereas with the more formal dark-grey morning coat, buff double-breasted waist-coat and striped trousers my prefernce is for a tie.

    Oddly, in several pictures are shown gentlmen wearing morning attire with the coat fastened.

    I have always thought that this was a faux-pas as that type of coat should always be left unfastened, as one does wearing tails, its evenig counterpart.

  6. William Batson says:

    Raphael, another wonderful article on a fashion accessory which is unique in the modern world (at least in the United States).

    While this article is on ascots and cravats I think you may be interested in a purchase I made recently which does tie in to wedding ceremonies and formal occasions. I recently acquired a vintage beaver Dobbs New York top hat, with it’s original hat box, for only $50; my guess is that it is probably from the 20’s or 30’s. Even though it needs a significant amount of work to be properly worn again, it is a treasure for me to own. It is especially rare to come by where I live, (Phoenix) where many men do not cherish traditional style anymore.

  7. hullpong says:

    So, can we expect a revision of the White Tie DOs and DONTS video? In the currently published video Sven makes clear (at around the 8 minute mark) that having a waistcoat sticking out below the front of the evening tailcoat (and I quote) screams: I dont know what Im doing and Im just wearing this because I have to. Criticism is specifically made of two former Presidents and yet, as clearly shown on the video they are showing much less waistcoat below the front of the morning coat than Mr Cumberbatch in the pictures you so praise from the Met Gala. Consistency in advice is key. If having an overly long waistcoat is wrong you should have the courage to highlight this, even whilst otherwise praising other elements of somebodys style. my customer essay


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *