When Americans think of the Repp Stripe, they think of the classic Ivy League necktie with colorful, diagonal banding. But the history of the Repp Stripe goes far beyond neckties.
In the British Isles—where group association is flaunted through heraldry and tartan plaids—Repp Stripes signify one’s membership in a specific group: a military regiment, a school, an athletic team, even a social (drinking) club. Small variations in color, band-width, or pattern distinguish one clan from another.
The origin of the term “Repp” is unclear. Some say it is derived from “regimental.” Others believe it comes from “repetition.” And others, still, maintain the word has evolved from the word “ribbed,” a reference to the textured fabric on which the stripes may have been woven.
The English cufflinks, pictured above, present a handsome black and emerald stripe—clan affiliation unknown.