Ever noticed the slimline silver bars that men of distinction wear on their ties? They’re called tie clips or tie bars, and they’re an essential piece of jewelry for the man who wants to look more professional and put-together.
A tie clip is one of those few pieces of jewelry that is actually functional. It weighs down your tie, keeping it sitting straight. It clips together the front and back of the tie, and clips to your shirt, so your tie doesn’t flap around. A tie clip makes for a much neater look, unless you somehow muck it up and end up with your tie bulging over the tie clip (I’ve seen it happen, but I have no idea how it’s possible to mess up something so simple). Tie clips can be plain or they can be elaborate and decorative. Either way, they are a great addition to your formal wardrobe.
You should only wear one tie clip. You could argue that more tie clips would do the job better, which may be true but it doesn’t look as formal. If you have particularly ostentatious style, you can experiment with wearing two or three tie clips at once. Novice tie clip wearers should stick to wearing just one rather than going overboard.
For the best tie clip look, it should be a little smaller than the width of your tie. At a minimum, it should be about two thirds the width of your tie, and it should never be wider than your tie. You can wear tie clip with skinny ties, but you have to get a shorter tie clip so it still has the right proportions.
A tie clip always needs to sit between two of your shirt buttons, so you are able to clip it to your shirt. Exactly where this is depends on the distance between your buttons, but it should be somewhere between the third and fifth buttons down. If you’re wearing a suit jacket with a high pocket, line it up roughly with the top of the pocket.
For the most sophisticated look, your tie bar should be fairly plain and minimalist. Silver is your go-to color, but gold isn’t a bad choice either depending on your personal style. However, it is possible to get intricately decorated tie clips. These would be frowned upon in situations where a tie clip is called for, but if you just want to liven up your suit for a semi-formal event, there’s no reason to shy away from decorative tie bars.
It’s stylish to wear a tie bar right now; it’s tragic to wear a tie chain. Tie chains –which look like a necklace strung around your tie- have a similar function to tie bars. However, you’ll be waiting a long time for a tie chain revival. At the moment they appear over the top and a little weird, unlike tie clips which are the height of sophistication.
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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/