Ah, the old necktie. It's been around in some form or another since the 17th century, yet it never fails to be a point of confusion when it comes to getting it tied. The Croatian soldiers France's King Louis XIII hired during the 30 Year War were responsible for first popularizing the piece of neckwear. It's purpose was to keep the top of the jacket together, but the decorative effect led the king to make it a mandatory accessory for any man attending his gatherings.
This kind of tie, named "la cravate" by the king, remained popular until the 1920s, when the modern tie was debuted. With the new style also came many new kinds of knots; the ages-old "Four in Hand" knot, though, still reigns as the most popular.