An elegant accessory that started out as a functional item, the tie clip is perfect for keeping skinny ties in place, but it has the same function and stylish look for wider ties. Find out how to choose and wear a tie clip for the right style impact.
Made from materials that range from precious metals to plastic, tie clips can add flair to your look or detract from it when worn the wrong way. Discover how to make the right choices when you want to wear a tie clip, whether you’re going for a retro or modern look.
Tie Clip Essentials
Created to secure the necktie to the shirt to minimize any dangling, tie bars look best with slimmer ties, that have a width of 2-3 inches, but can be worn even with “fatties” when they’re matched correctly. There’s no perfect tie clip, some are made from gold or silver, others are made from stainless steel and even cheaper ones can look great if you find the right way to wear them.
Usually, tie bars need to stand out so they work best with solid color neckties. You can still wear them with style with a more busy tie, as long as you make sure that the tie clip doesn’t get lost on the tie because of very little color contrast.
The two common types of tie clips use either a pinch clasp or a side clasp. The side clasp is the classic one for thin neckties, while the pinch clasp is the right choice for wider ties in thicker fabrics, since they secure them better and keep them in place without revealing the clasp.
How to Choose a Tie Clip
When you decide to wear a tie clip, you have to pay attention to two important elements, its size and its color. Of course, depending on how formal your look is, you have to focus on precious metals like gold, silver and platinum for a really stylish and elegant look, but the basics of size and color are the same.
How to Choose a Tie Clip Based on Size
When tie bars are too thin or too wide, the result is never stylish. There’s no universal size for tie clips, so when you go shopping, you need to know just how thick your ties are. The minimum length of a stylish tie bar is half the width of the tie in the place where you secure it. The maximum is about 3/4 of the width of the tie. It’s not a good look to go longer and if the tie clip is actually thicker than the tie, you shouldn’t wear it, because you’ll be making a big style faux pas.
How to Choose a Tie Clip Based on Color
Silver and gold are easy to match options, since they work for most neckties, but you still have to make sure they look good with any other metals you’re wearing. A well chosen tie clip matches everything from your belt buckle and jacket buttons to any cufflinks or watch.
You should go with a more subdued color if your necktie is already very bright, but a tie clip is the perfect way to add a pop of color in a more monochromatic look.
How to Wear a Tie Clip
The right place to wear a tie bar is between the 3rd and 4th buttons of your dress shirt (counting downward). That should fall right under your pecs and sternum, the perfect place to secure the necktie. If you secure it higher or lower, you’re losing major style points.
Raise your necktie a bit when you put the tie bar on, so you have a little wiggle room, instead of tension between your tie and shirt. This will add a bit of depth to your look and will also prevent wear and tear on your shirt and necktie.
Whether you’re going for a very formal look or a more relaxed one, tie clips should always be worn horizontally. Make sure it’s a perfect horizontal line, because crooked is not a good look for tie bars. You need to stick to suits or blazer when you decide to wear a tie clip, since the functional aspect of this accessory also plays a part in your look. If you opt for a waistcoat or cardigan, there’s no point in wearing a tie clip anymore since your tie is secure.
If you decide to wear a tie clip with a pocket square, your look can easily turn too busy, so opt for one or the other or make sure that both are very simple: no embellishments on the tie bar, no prints on the pocket square.