Do you ever find yourself throwing your tie over your shoulder when you lean over to wash your hands? Maybe you carry your coffee uncomfortably far away from your body just to ensure you don’t end up dipping your neckwear in your freshly brewed cup of caffeinated beverage? Your shirt and tie combo has lost its edge and needs something new to spice it up? Introducing tie clips and tie bars!
These tie clips and tie bars are a group of fashionable gentlemen’s accessories that can take care of all those above concerns. Tie fastening devices (better known as tie bars or tie clips) are simple in design yet can add so much to a look both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
So join us as we dive into this assortment of tie fasteners and help you find the one that will keep your tie stylish and coffee stain free.
Tie bar aka tie clip
The tie bar or tie clip is the most recognisable of the tie fasteners. Popularised in the early 20th century, it has become one of the most common menswear accessories today. It functions simply by clipping the tie to the placket of a dress shirt, only allowing the portion of the tie below the bar to dangle freely.
This comes in handy, for example, because it helps prevent you from drenching your tie when washing up before that important business dinner.
There are two types of tie bars, pinch clasp and side clasp. The pinch clasp version is made up of a spring-loaded hinge. The side clasp version is one long piece of metal that has been bent to form a U shape, and looks similar to a money clip.
There is an unspoken rule when it comes to tie clips and tie bars widths: It can be any width as long as it’s not wider than your tie.
Alternative Tie Fasteners
There are two other types of tie fasteners, both of which are far less common than the traditional tie bar. The first is the tie pin which was the tie bar’s historical predecessor. Personally, this accessory scares us because it involves poking a hole through your tie.
If you had a silk tie you may be able to carefully poke the pin between the fibres, however we personally don’t trust ourselves with sharp objects around our ties.
The other uncommon tie fastener is the tie chain. It is made up of a bar that slides over a shirt button and a chain that rests in front of the tie to keep it from swinging out too far from the body. It is more for decoration as it won’t keep your tie firmly against your chest like the other options will.
So you have selected a tie accessory that best fits your personal style. What do you do when you want to wear it? Where do you place it and when do you wear it? When putting the tie accessory in place, you typically settle it between the third and fourth buttons on your shirt, starting with the top collar button as “number one”.
As far when you should wear a tie bar, the answer is whenever you would like. There is something a tie bar does that makes an ordinary shirt and tie combo look very polished and put together. What about with a suit? You may have heard some people scoff at the idea of wearing a tie fastener and suit jacket at the same time since the jacket can hold the tie in place without the use of the accessory.
They liken it to the quote from the 1968 movie Once Upon a Time in the West where the character Frank says, “How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can’t even trust his own pants.”
We don’t have such strong feelings against the tie clips and tie bars and jacket combo. Not only does the look appear complete, if the jacket is removed you still have a level of defence against the dreaded tie dunked in coffee scenario.
If you are in need of the functionality of a tie bar however aren’t up for wearing the bar across your chest you can even opt for a hidden tie clip.
Guide to Tie Clips and Tie Bars
No matter the tie fastening accessory you prefer, wear it with confidence knowing you look sharp and won’t have to worry about staining your tie again. Food stains, on the other hand, are a whole different story, and there’s not much a tie bar can help with in that department.