tie bar
Screenshot from GQ's video on YouTube.

A man in a suit is good. A man in a suit wearing accessories is great.

Often we only think about the basic look and we forget to accentuate our attention to detail. Even the smallest accessory like the tie bar can completely change an appearance, a style, or even a personality.

This underrated piece of metal, gold, rhodium and sometimes fabric deserves more credit, not only because it is a functional staple in a wardrobe, but also due to its discreet finishing touch to an already sophisticated look.

History

The tie bar originated early in the early 20th century, first as a basic functional clip to hold the tie in place, later more elaborate made with jewels and other precious metals. With WWI and WWII tie clips were appearing in the military. You could see which regiment a soldier had been or if they were part of a certain club. After that they gained popularity, when businesses started to brand employees with their corporate tie bars. When business standards relaxed in the ’80’s and ’90’s they basically disappeared.

Now they are starting to make a comeback as classic becomes the new. Another factor is that men don’t wear a vest that often anymore, thus needing this item to keep their ties in place and out of their soup.

How to wear

If you want to wear a tie bar, you should choose one that isn’t wider than your tie. Keep it narrow.

The best height to place them? Think of halfway between your tie knot and the top button of your jacket. Then wear it a little below that point. Another general rule is to place it between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt.

The tie bar is meant to hold the tie to the shirt, not just to hold the tie together, so attach it to your shirt. Also make sure you don’t pull your tie too tight down, when attaching the clip… You do want to be able to breathe.

You can pick a simple silver or gold tie bar to match with your jacket buttons, cuff links, belt buckle or watch. Or have an unique one to pop out from your outfit.

Just like cuff links, a ring or a pocket square, the tie bar is a great decoration to your suit and gives you flair. The bonus beauty of it, is that it is functional in keeping your tie clean and out of your way.

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