As a follow-up to our guides on french cuffs and pocket squares, we thought it’d be helpful to give you a primer on yet another oft-overlooked sartorial staple: the humble tie bar. These badboys have been enjoying a bit of a resurgence as of late, and since they’re slowly becoming more popular among fashionable guys like yourself, we figure you could probably benefit from another quick-reference style guide on how to wear them properly. This definitely isn’t rocket science, so we’ll keep it short.
When to Wear One
Whenever the hell you want. Tie clips aren’t as formal as cufflinks, so it’s fine to wear them in just about any situation. Just make sure you leave them behind when you’re wearing a waistcoat or any other garment that holds your tie down naturally — in those situations a tie bar is redundant and unnecessary.
What Type to Use
Generally speaking, there are two types of tie clip: the type that actually clip on, and the type that slide on. Either will do, although it’s worth mentioning that, in our experience, the kind that clip on are typically a bit thicker, and might not lie flat against your chest in some situations. The slide variety is better for keeping things flat, but they’re also a bit more unruly. Use good judgement, and wear the right type for the occasion
How Big it Should Be
Your tie clip should never be longer than the width of you tie. It should extend somewhere between halfway to all of the way across. No more, no less.
Placement & Orientation
Perpendicular to your tie, and as straight as humanly possible. Diagonal or even slightly crooked looks sloppy. In terms of location, you should aim for the center of your chest, toward the lower end of your pectoral muscles.
Color & Finish
The tie bar is an accent, not a centerpiece, so try to keep that in mind when choosing a style. When in doubt, go with a classic silver. If you’re wearing other accents, be sure to match metals — you wouldn’t want to be caught dead wearing gold cufflinks and a chrome tie bar.