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Tie Bar/Clip

Personality Development

A tie bar or tie clip is a neat and stylish metal accessory that secures your tie to your shirt. With our ultimate guide, you will learn how to wear a tie accessory like the tie bar / tie clip (used interchangeably in this article) to maximize its functionality and overall appearance of your outfit.

WHY WEAR A TIE BAR?

Do you have to wear a tie bar? No. But, there are so many great reasons to do so.

  • It’s functional. A necktie accessory will keep your neckwear in place all day.
  • It helps to keep your tie clean. No more dipping it in your spaghetti bolognese while wooing a dame, Lady and the Tramp style.
  • It looks damn good and like any accessory, it’s a smart way to express your personal style. What man doesn’t want to look like he just stepped out of the pages of GQ?
  • It’s representative. Tie accessories designed with logos or emblems can showcase an organization, hobby, team, cause, or corporation that you support or participate in.
  • It keeps the upper portion of your necktie popped, if that’s your style. By pushing the tie fabric up a bit before fastening your clip, you provide your neckwear with a touch of fashionable slack and you’ll feel less constrained and look amazing to boot.
  • If your shoulders are uneven. The tie bar will help your tie hang straighter.
  • It's a handy gadget to use in a MacGyver moment, like when you have to pry something open or defuse a bomb.

THE TYPES OF TIE ACCESSORIES

The tie clip and tie bar are the most common versions of this stylish accessory, but we'll also cover the tie pin & tie tack, tie chain, and the tie strap.

THE TIE BAR

A tie bar is a strip of folded metal similar in form to kirby grips. It slides over your tie and shirt placket to keep everything in place.

Perfect for men who want their tie to lay flatter or for men who prefer thinner, more delicate neckwear fabrics.

THE TIE CLIP

A tie clip is slightly more technical as it has a spring mechanism similar to a clothes peg that holds the tie in place.

HOW TO WEAR A TIE BAR

Men’s tie bars are elegant and simple to use, however, here are a few pointers with images to help ensure that you wear them correctly.

LENGTH OF THE TIE BAR

The cardinal rule when choosing a tie bar is to ensure that it’s suitable for the width of your tie. Aim for one with a length that’s approximately 70-80% of the necktie’s width. You can go shorter, but definitely not longer.

HEIGHT OF THE TIE BAR

Tie bar placement should always be between the third and fourth button from the top of your shirt. Place it too high and it loses its functionality; too low and it will be obscured by your jacket and the element of style will become obsolete. You want it to be approximately level with your jacket pocket.

ANGLE OF THE TIE BAR

Make sure the tie bar is placed horizontally. Straight lines look neat and tidy. Some will argue that if you find yourself in a situation where the only tie bar you have is too long, you can wear it at an angle. But in our opinion, you're better off going without a tie bar in that case.

INCLUDE YOUR SHIRT

The tie bar has a function; To keep the necktie in place, so don't just clip your tie. Include your shirt placket too or your neckwear will be flapping in the wind.

KEEP IT SMOOTH

Don't push your tie bar in too far or you’ll create a pucker or cinch in the fabric of your tie. Make sure your neckwear is smooth and flat after positioning.

EXTRA TIPS

Above are the most important rules to know, but we've put together a few extra tips that might give you that extra edge.

SOME SLACK

As you’re positioning the clip, pull your tie up slightly before fastening. The extra slack allows for unimpeded movement throughout the day and it also adds depth to your outfit.

MATCH METALS

Try to match the metal of your tie bar to that of your cufflinks or belt buckle. In this way, you’ll add a refined and cohesive look to your ensemble. Read more about color theory here, for more details on working with color in your outfits.

HAVE FUN

Try to match the metal of your tie bar to that of your cufflinks or belt buckle. In this way, you’ll add a refined and cohesive look to your ensemble. Read more about color theory here, for more details on working with color in your outfits.

HAVE FUN

Don't wear a tie bar with a vest. The vest holds your neck wear in place so the bar is pointless, much like wearing suspenders with a belt. We've experimented with it, and even though a recent trend has been to wear both together, our opinion remains the same.

BE YOUR OWN MAN

Choose something that suits your own personal style. A tie clip that features a skull with rhinestone eyes will work if you know that you can pull it off. If you're just starting out, a silver-toned tie clip is always a sound choice, since the silver color falls outside the color wheel, and therefore works well with almost everything.

THE OCCASION

Choose your tie bar according to the occasion. They aren’t appropriate to wear to a funeral or a job interview for instance - too flashy. But to a wedding or while gambling in Monte Carlo? Why not?

CAREFUL WITH STRIPES

Avoid wearing striped tie bars with a striped shirt or tie. Reserve patterned bars for plain shirts and ties.

MATERIALS USED FOR TIE BARS

Most tie accessories are made out of metal. The more elaborate selections are embellished with materials such as wood, fabric, gemstones, pearls, enamel, plastic, resin, and glass. Choosing the right tie clip material for your needs is paramount as you should consider its form, function, and durability when it comes to wear and tear.

ALLOY TIE BARS

Alloys are a mixture of two or more elements. This makes them strong, formable materials to use for making jewelry. Often, they’re plated with gold, silver, or platinum making them especially attractive options for tie accessories.

  • Pro: Very affordable
  • Pro: Strong metal
  • Pro: Can be plated
  • Pro: Scratch-resistant
  • Con: Care of each alloy depends on base metal
  • Con: Can contain nickel, an allergen

BRASS TIE BARS

Brass is a copper and zinc alloy with a signature golden tone. Brass is often used in jewelry-making because it doesn’t tarnish like silver and it’s more economical than gold. With proper care, brass tie bars can be long-wearing and an attractive alternative to other metals.

  • Pro: Similar in appearance to gold
  • Pro: Less expensive than gold
  • Pro: Doesn’t tarnish as easily as silver
  • Pro: Easy to clean
  • Con: Can tarnish over time without proper care
  • Con: Uncoated brass is not engravable

STAINLESS STEEL TIE BARS FOR MEN

Stainless steel is by far one of the strongest and most durable metals used for making tie bars. You can count on it to last a lifetime and beyond without ever displaying scratches or defects. This material also comes in a variety of finishes, like gold-toned, rose gold-toned, and black to go with all of your looks.

  • Pro: Super durable metal
  • Pro: Available in a variety of attractive finishes
  • Pro: Scratch-resistant
  • Pro: Won’t tarnish
  • Pro: Engravable
  • Con: Shows smudges and fingerprints
  • Con: Can contain nickel, an allergen

STERLING SILVER TIE BARS

Sterling silver is comprised of silver mixed with other metals to increase its hardness and durability. Though it does tarnish easily, it also cleans up effortlessly. Sterling silver contains no nickel, so it’s a hypoallergenic option for jewelry design.

  • Pro: Engravable
  • Pro: Nickel-free
  • Pro: Easy to clean
  • Pro: Very aesthetically-pleasing
  • Con: Scratches easily
  • Con: Tarnishes easily
  • Con: Metal is on the softer side

TITANIUM TIE BARS

Titanium is lightweight and three times stronger than steel. Due to its incredible durability, it’s perfect for crafting jewelry. Titanium is less expensive than most other metals and it’s also hypoallergenic.

  • Pro: Engravable
  • Pro: Lightweight
  • Pro: 100% hypoallergenic
  • Pro: Scratch- and dent-resistant
  • Pro: Easy to clean
  • Con: Lacks the value of gold and silver
  • Con: Can not be soldered, limiting design possibilities

TUNGSTEN TIE CLIPS

Tungsten is another attractive, extremely hard metal that’s wonderful for creating jewelry. Its lustrous finish is resistant to wear and tear as well as tarnish. It’s affordable and hypoallergenic, making it a great tie bar material.

  • Pro: Extremely scratch- and tarnish-resistant
  • Pro: Finish will retain its lustrous quality
  • Pro: Engravable
  • Con: Heavier in weight
  • Con: Trendy material that may go out of style

YOUR PARTY CHATTER VERSION OF TIE CLIP HISTORY

Necktie accessories arrived on the scene in the mid-19th century...
Original neckties were often made with luxurious materials such as silk and lace that were lightweight and likely to blow out of place. Enter the tie pin (or tack) which was initially used to secure neckwear and seemed to do the job sufficiently. However, in 1926, when tie design evolved by being cut on the diagonal to avoid lifting and creasing, the tie bar and clip came about and became the tie accessory of choice. Stabbing and maiming your necktie fabric was no longer necessary!

Post-WWII, the idea of corporate branding evolved and tie bars were the perfect medium for linking you to your company or club. As the years passed and “flower power” became a thing, styles were more casual in nature and tie accessories fell out of use.
Luckily for the well-dressed man of today, men’s fashion is rediscovering its classic roots and tie accessories are once again taking center stage on neck wear around the world.


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