The tie bar needs no introduction today, but there was a time when only a few stylish men knew what a tie bar is, and actually used it.
The tie bar is a small and mighty statement piece, but it also serves more than a visual purpose. Its actual intent is to keep your tie in place, so when wearing one, it should be fastened to the placket of your shirt.
The tie bar. Less than a decade ago, that little sliver of metal had been cast to the wayside of men’s style, a long-forgotten relic of a time when sharp-dressed men took pride in their finishing touches. Thankfully, fashion’s taste makers like David Beckham snapped to it and bring the tie bar back. Today you’d now be hard-pressed to find any stylish man worth his sartorial salt without one. As in, if you’re wearing a tie, you shouldn’t leave home without one.
They do, however, come with their own set of guidelines that should be adhered to, or you could find yourself looking less like an un-stylish banker.
Firstly, the width of the tie bar you choose is always dictated by the width of your tie. This sounds simple enough, but getting it spot on will make all the difference. Wearing a narrow tie? Go for a short, half-inch bar. Wearing a standard tie? The half-inch will still work, but push it up a size for a more impact look. As a non-negotiable rule, don’t ever let your tie clip go over three-quarters of the tie’s width (or worse, hang over the edge).
When it comes to metal, silver is a perennial favorite as it tends to combine well with most suit and tie combinations. For seriously formal occasions, your tie bar should be of the same metal as your watch, wedding ring… whatever other metallic accessories you are wearing.
You can, of course, get the right length and colour, but still, come undone if you place it incorrectly. There are dozens of wholly unnecessary mathematic formulas out there to help you find the precise measurement of where the tie bar should sit. A much simpler method we prefer is to place the bar somewhere between the third and fourth buttons of your shirt.
And finally, a tie bar is not just there for decoration. Its whole purpose is that it prevents your tie from flapping in the wind, so be sure to clip not only both ends of the tie but also secure it to the shirt’s placket. Once you’ve clipped it on, give the tie a little pull above the clip to allow yourself some extra slack for movement. It’s hard to look stylish when your neck is firmly pulled into place all day, so give yourself some breathing space.
Put these tips in mind:
- Pick up the right clip for the right tie
- The tie bar should always fall between the third and fourth buttons of the shirt
- “We see guys wearing their tie bar too high or too low all the time. The rule is simple: It goes between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt.”
- Clip your tie bar on your shirt
- “It may sound obvious, but a tie bar doesn’t just clip the front end of your tie to the back end. It fastens both ends to the placket of your shirt.”
- “Finally, never wear a tie bar that’s wider than your tie. That’s the worst! Keep things narrow.”
I am sure after reading this, you’ll consider investing in a classic tie bar.