The surprising origin of this garb apparently came from a group of Croatian mercenaries in King Louis XIV's hire wearing bits of cloth around their necks. The Sun King apparently found this to be stylish, so the custom of neckties took off. After all, this was at a time when if King Louis said "jump," everybody jumped. (It is not known what happened whenever he ever exclaimed "Merde!")
Anyway, the French word cravat comes from the French word for Croatia.
It got included in military uniforms; and hypermilitaristic Europe became increasingly neck tied over the next centuries.
By the 20th century, men's ties took on a general shape that has become ritualized, except for the ascot and the bowtie. Tie length and width may vary with fashions. At one time, skinny neckties were fashionable; but wide ties did a rebound, including the psychedelic "blow lunch" tie of the 1970's. I will leave you to figure that one out. But in the 1930's and 1940's, surprising patterns sometimes were used. Here's one that could serve to mark the ending of Prohibition:
And for guys who want to convince others that want to convince others that they are a sport who has all of his taste in his mouth and none in fashion sense. Don't wear this if you go out with a feminist:
Can this be an expression of sartorial freedom from the clutches of Prohibition and the military? This sort of neckware needs an explanation. However you may judge the wearer's taste, they are probably not good choices for job interviews, unless the person is interviewing for a job as a gangster or a bouncer at a gentleman's club. R-rated ties are generally not worn on Wall Street or in Congress, but things may change with the new administration.
How about a sedate Tabasco pepper tie?
Or maybe express pleasure for living in a particular state:
Finally, you can express loyalty to your favorite ailment, like swine flu. Or, at least, a souvenir of being having been sick:
(Bit of sick humor!) I hope your day and your neck is trouble-free.