What is a tie bar for, and is there a right and wrong way to wear one?

Sam via contact form

Tie bars have been making a slow and steady comeback for a few years now. Initially thanks to David Beckham’s unwavering loyalty to accessorising his accessories, today you’d now be hard-pressed to find any stylish man worth his sartorial salt without one. They do, however, come with their own set of guidelines that should be adhered to, or you could find yourself looking less like Goldenballs and more like your bank manager.

Firstly, the width of the tie bar you choose is always dictated by the width of your tie. This sounds simple enough, but getting it spot on will make all the difference. Wearing a narrow tie? Go for a short, half-inch bar. Wearing a standard tie? The half-inch will still work, but push it up a size for a more impactful look. As a non-negotiable rule, don’t ever let your tie clip go over three quarters of the tie’s width (or worse, hang over the edge).

When it comes to metal, silver is a perennial favourite as it tends to combine well with most suit and tie combinations. For seriously formal occasions, your tie bar should be in the same metal as your watch, wedding ring… whatever other metallic accessories you are wearing.

You can of course get the right length and colour, but still come undone if you place it incorrectly. There are dozens of wholly unnecessary mathematic formulas out there to help you find the precise measurement of where the tie bar should sit. A much simpler method we prefer is to place the bar somewhere between the third and fourth buttons of your shirt.

And finally, a tie bar is not just there for decoration. Its whole purpose is that it prevents your tie from flapping in the wind, so be sure to clip not only both ends of the tie but also secure it to the shirt’s placket. Once you’ve clipped it on, give the tie a little pull above the clip to allow yourself some extra slack for movement. It’s hard to look stylish when your neck is firmly pulled into place all day, so give yourself some breathing space.

Fancy investing in a tie clip? As a starter, this classic silver 50mm slide from Hawes & Curtis will work for most occasions (providing you’re wearing a normal width tie), or for a more serious tie clip aficionado, this J.Crew sterling-silver example will add some American sheen to your day-to-day tailoring.

Natasha Daniels, Associate Editor

Men's tie bars

 Hawes & Curtis SILVER VINTAGE TIE SLIDE - Click to buyJ.CREW STERLING-SILVER TIE CLIP - Click to buyCharles Tyrwhitt Tie bar - Click to buyDUNHILL Barley gold-plated tie bar - Click to buy