Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs
1650s, from French cravate (17c.), from Cravate "Croatian," from German Krabate, from Serbo-Croatian Hrvat "a Croat" (see Croat). Cravats came into fashion 1650s in imitation of linen scarves worn by Croatian mercenaries in the French army in the Thirty Years War.