20+ Differences Between Ascot And Cravat (Explained)

The men’s fashion industry has continuously debated the difference between Ascot and Cravat. If you are really into fashion, you might have encountered either of these terms. Each country has a different definition for Ascot and Cravat.

To know what both neckwear means and which one will suit you, scroll through this article about the difference between Ascot and Cravat. 


Key points of wearing an Ascot:

  • It was discovered in the 18th century 
  • It is simply a necktie that is secured with a knot 
  • It is meant for informal attire 
  • You can wear them during day time 
  • Ascot is not out of fashion 
  • It is a rare sight to see 

Key points of wearing a Cravat:

  • It was discovered in the 16th century 
  • An umbrella term that includes every neckwear
  • It is meant for formal attire 
  • You can wear them during night time 
  • The cravat is out of fashion 
  • It keeps making come-back  

Comparison Between Ascot And Cravat

Parameter Ascot Cravat
Main purpose For casual yet formal attire. It can be worn in the office as well. Every neck tie can be considered a cravat. Gives a formal yet stylish look. 
Time to wear Popular as a daytime neck tieFormal gatherings that take place at nights 
Style Informal to formal Formal 
Significance EleganceStyle Approachable accessory Friendly Informal Adds dignity Formal look Looks much put together 
OriginIn the 18th century, much later than the discovery of Cravat.In the early 16th century, used primarily by Romans. French made the use of Cravat more popular. 
UseWorn by men for informal events, casual business meetings Both professional and official events or meetings, wedding events, etc. 
Pronunciation As-kawt Kra-waat

Major Difference Between Ascot And Cravat

What Is Ascot?

You can identify Ascot as a tie worn inside a jacket or shirt. Ascot is categorized as an informal tie. An ascot is known as a ‘day cravat’ in Britain. Since Cravat is translated as a tie, the ascot is used as a casual tie that is preferred as casual office wear. 

The styling of the ascot can be quite tricky. Some can carry it effortlessly, and some may look pretentious. You must be brave and a fashion enthusiast to know what attire will go with an ascot.

Even though the ascot was traditionally seen as formal wear, men still preferred it to match casual wear. But the sight of an ascot is very rare nowadays. The place of ascot has been taken by silk ties now. 

Oh, by the way, it is pronounced As-kawt. 

What Is Cravat?

Cravat has been considered the original tie for ages. This French word is derived from the word Croat. Cravat can be used as an umbrella term for every bowtie, ascot, handkerchief, and necktie. The Croatian mercenaries referred to the cloth ties as Cravat. 

It originated as a ruff and pleated as a neckcloth in the early 16th century. It was also used as a bib or a napkin at that time. 

The ascot tie is called lavallieres in French. The plain or normal tie is called Cravat in French. 

The cravat is pronounced as Kra-waat. 


The origin of the Ascot:

  • Ascot is the oldest form of a cravat
  • In the late 18th century, upper Europeans wore a loose-fit tie 
  • These ties were paired with frock coats or morning coats
  • The present-times wedding still includes these loose-fitting ascots in the attire
  • These loose-ties gained their name in the Royal Ascot horse races
  • The ascots stopped being included in the morning wear during the Edwardian era
  • Even today, the US Army still wear ascot as a part of their uniform 

The origin of the Cravat:

  • The Cravat gained its name during the rule of King Louis XIV
  • Croatian soldiers worn the cravat
  • This was during the early 16th century 
  • Later after the Battle of Steenkerke, the cravat started coming in different fabrics
  • There were now being made up of muslin or linen
  • In the late 18th and 19th centuries, these cravats were worn under the collar of shirts. 

Contrast Between Ascot And Cravat


  • Ascot – Traditionally considered a formal attire, an ascot can be matched with every attire. You can use it on formal wear and informal wear as well. It is a necktie tied in a knot that stays behind the neck.

    The front of the ascot can be seen on the front of your shirt. It can be considered that ascot comes under cravat, but cravat does not come under ascot. 
  • Cravat – Every neckwear is a Cravat. Neckties, bow ties, and ascots are considered cravat. It is used in formal settings.

    The cravat was discovered much before ascot came into existence. This ancient piece of accessory is still in use. The Romans gave the trend and styling of a cravat. 


  • Ascot – Wearing an Ascot can be viewed as both formal and informal.
  • Cravat – Cravat is formal neckwear. 

Time to wear

  • Ascot Since it is considered an informal neck accessory, Ascot can be worn during all informal events or gatherings. Thus, the ascot is usually preferred for daytime events. 
  • Cravat – The formal look of the Cravat makes it proper for business meetings and wedding ceremonies. You can wear them during the night or at late-night events. 


  • Ascot – Ascots were a discovery of the 18th century. They came into existence much later than cravat. Hence, an ascot can fall under the category of Cravat. 
  • Cravat – Cravat was actually made a style statement by the Romans in the early 16th century. While the Romans taught us how to style the cravat and choose the outfit accordingly, the French popularized the use of the cravat.  


  • Ascot – By adding an ascot to your outfit, you add style and elegance to it. The whole attire can be considered approachable or friendly. This is perfect for an informal event. 
  • Cravat – Cravat can bring elegance to your outfit as well. In addition, wearing a cravat will give you an elevated look.

    The outfit can look much put together if you pair your cravat with the right attire. Furthermore, a cravat can add charm and dignity to your personality. 


  • Ascot – Worn by men, an ascot can be really helpful to spice up your informal attire. You can pair an ascot for an informal gathering, casual business events, or any event that does not require a much-sophisticated dress-up. 
  • Cravat – Cravat can simply make your formal attire more appealing. You can pair any outfit with a cravat for business events, professional meetings, etc. 


  • Ascot – Someone wearing an Ascot is a rare sight nowadays. While an Ascot is not completely outdated, the usage of Ascot is very minimal. 
  • Cravat – Cravat is indeed out of fashion. But it keeps making an appearance once in a while. It gained huge popularity once when David Beckham was seen sporting a cravat. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Is cravat a modern trend?

No, cravat has been in the fashion industry for ages now. However, the ascot is a modern trend that gives an informal attire look. 

Q2. Is cravat a summer wear?

The loose-fitting and comfortable style makes a cravat an easy choice for the hot summer season. You can pair your outfit with a bow tie or a simple necktie, and you are good to go. 

Q3. What type of shirt can be styled with a cravat?

While traditionally, no significant shirt is most likely to be paired with a cravat.

You can mix it up with a shirt of any color. For starters, a plain and regular collared shirt can be a great option to keep your style subtle. 

Q4. Are ascots really a fashion statement?

Back in the early centuries, the ascots were a thing primarily meant for the royal horse riders.

The customers of ascots have changed in the present times. They are not limited to only the elite class. Ascots serve the purpose of delivering an informal attire look.

Q5. Can ascots be matched with dress suits?

Even when ascots are meant for an informal look, they can easily be paired with suits as well. However, you will have to use a day cravat while wearing a suit. 

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