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There are few things that can make a man look more stylish than properly placed accessories on a well-fitting suit. Our clients enjoy various accessories, from cufflinks to tie bars, to give their appearance that extra pizzazz.
However, many of our customers aren’t fashion experts, and occasionally need some help when it comes to wearing their accessories correctly. In fact, we often get customers asking in store, over the phone, or via email “how do I wear a tie bar?”
This is a great question, because no one wants to wear an accessory incorrectly and look unfashionable. So, let’s jump in and discuss tie bars and how to correctly wear them.
Tie accessories date all the way back to as early as 1870, where aristocrats once used them to prevent the wind from whipping their tie around. Back then, ties were made out of very thin, paper like material and were prone to wrinkling and unraveling in the wind. Tie clips or pins were created as a tool with a purpose that soon became a staple in gentleman’s wardrobe.
Today tie accessories still serve the same purpose, uniting your tie to your shirt. However, they are now regarded as more of a way to accessorize an outfit, as opposed to a practical item. With so many different styles available, tie accessories are a common way many of our clients create a unique outfit, often matching other accessories such as watches, cufflinks, or other types of men’s jewelry, in order to pull the whole ensemble together.
When it comes to tie bars, they are two different types. Both are a “U” shaped pin that is worn horizontally around one’s tie. The difference between the two styles are their functionality and design, either a pinch clasp or a slide clasp.
A slide clasp is just as it sounds, a pin that simply slides over the tie and shirt on both sides. Slide clasp tie bars are typically used with thinner, lighter fabrics.
A pinch clasp has a spring bar attached to the back of the tie bar which pinches the tie to your shirt. The pinch clasp tie bar works best for thicker ties and heavier fabrics because it can open wider and hold stronger.
While tie bars are extremely popular, another great option is a tie tack, which are as simple as they sound. Tie tacks are a small pin usually with a pearl or small gemstone attached to a thin chain which is placed behind the tie and through the button hole to prevent the tie from moving around.
A tie tack does pierce through the tie and make a small hole which means they are not always the best choice, especially for ties made of a thinner material like silk or satin.
However, knit ties are ideal candidates for tie tacks because of their natural holes in the fabric. A tie tack is less constricting and allows for more movement than a tie bar because of the added length of chain between the shirt and tie.
There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to wearing a tie tack or tie bar, but there is a right and wrong way to wear them!
Do make sure the tie bar you choose is the appropriate size for your tie.
A good rule of thumb is the tie bar should measure ¾ the width of your tie. If it is too short it will not stay in place properly or hold the tie together. If it’s too large it will look out of place and sloppy.
Do make sure you are positioning your tie bar or tack in the appropriate place.
Proper placement is between the 3rd and 4th button on your shirt. The tie bar or tack should sit between the middle and bottom of your sternum.
Do try to match your tie accessory to the rest of your outfit.
For example, if your belt has a gold buckle, try to incorporate gold elements in your tie bar or tack. By doing this, your tie tack or tie bar will pull the whole ensemble together and give you a uniform look. Same idea goes for watches, cufflinks, and jacket buttons.
Don’t forget to attach your shirt to the tie bar or pin.
Many people forget the purpose of a tie accessory and simply wear it to look polished and put together. However, for it to work properly you must fasten the placket of your shirt with your tie.
Don’t wear a tie accessory if it is not necessary.
The purpose of a tie bar or pin is to hold the tie in place so if you are wearing another piece of clothing that serves the same purpose there is no need to wear both. For example, if you are wearing a vest or cardigan over your shirt and tie, your tie is guaranteed to stay put. The addition of a tie bar would overwhelm the look and be unnecessary.
Don’t put your tie bar on and just forget about it.
A crooked tie bar defeats the purpose of looking put together and polished. A crooked tie bar looks sloppy and draws unnecessary attention. A tie clip should always be straight across, perpendicular to the tie. It should never, ever be angled. So, look in a mirror or simply look down to straighten your tie bar every once in a while.
When worn properly, a tie accessory is a welcome addition and makes sure you look well groomed and stylish. Plus, it will ease the trouble of moving around and having your tie getting in the way!
If you’re looking for a way to make your outfit stand out try adding a tie bar or pin to make your outfit more unique.
To learn more about tie bars, tie tacks, and other forms of men’s jewelry, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to see for yourself and talk to any of our expert jewelers.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly about tie tacks, tie bars, or just have questions, you can contact us online anytime by emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply fill out our contact form. We’ll answer your questions quickly.