Let’s begin with a short history of how stock ties came to be in the first place. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, stock ties were all the rage. They were worn by gentlemen as everyday apparel, later evolving into a more formal tie made of gauze, fine cotton or silk.
Here’s Thomas Jefferson sporting a swanky stock tie back in the day. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Eventually stock ties faded out of fashion for everyone in the world except… equestrians. Two hundred years later, we horse folk still haven’t gotten the memo. And while stock ties may arguably have some practical value–in the hunt field, for instance, you could use one to bandage your horse’s leg or as a makeshift sling–for the most part, modern-day equestrians simply tolerate them as an homage to outdated tradition.
Me, I’ve always considered stock ties to be a real pain in the neck–oftentimes literally. If you’ve ever been stabbed in the throat by a dull stock pin, you know what I’m talking about. The ones I grew up wearing were stiff, itchy, tight and uncomfortable in general.
My sisters and I always looked forward to tying each others’ stock ties as an opportunity to try to choke one another to death.
But here’s the good news: The equestrian world is finally, albeit slowly, coming around to the idea of a change. Bit by bit, we’re emancipating ourselves from our tired roles as slaves of equestrian fashion. A stock tie revolution is brewing.
I gave my old stock tie the toss a couple years ago, betraying my Pony Club roots with the purchase of my first pre-tied stock tie. And just last fall, I carried my rebellion a step further when I fell head-over-heels in love with this fashion-forward style.
A girl can’t have too many ruffles in her life.
Here are a few other ties I’m considering adding to my collection:
Or add a touch of subtle patterning with this Ovation European Collection Tone-On-Tone Pinstripe Ready Tied Stock Tie ($33.95 from Ovation)
Or dress it up with this Ovation European Collection Satin Untied Stock Tie ($39.95 from Ovation)
Finish your look off with a unique stock pin and voila! You look like a champion.
And when you look like a champion, you feel like a champion, and then you ride like a champion.