Tie bars are back in style and with them several questions regarding their use. Here’s an essential guide on how and when to wear this functional accessory.
Tie bars have been a popular accessory in men’s fashion since the early 1800s because of their functionality, but also their elegant design. Aside from keeping your tie in place, they provide a sophisticated touch to the look as well.
They might be a simple, small accessory, but they can have a huge impact on the overall look. And that is why a lot of men don’t know if they should wear one in the first place, or when and how to do so. These are our tips on how to include them in your wardrobe.
What is it for?
Before we dive into how and when you can wear a tie bar, let’s talk about its purpose. Tie slides or tie bars help you keep your tie in place by clipping it to your shirt. If you often have to deal with your ties moving around all the time, then this accessory is the perfect solution for that problem.
Men who are required to wear a tie at work will agree that this accessory is great for keeping ties clean too. Leaning over the table during lunch, for example, has a big risk of staining your tie and clothes with food. So slide bars and tie clips help keep your tie in place and therefore clean.
As with many other accessories, there are different types of tie bars. The most popular options are tie clips and slide bars, but you can also find tie chains, tie pins, tie straps and even tie tacks. As you can see, options are endless nowadays, but we will mainly focus on the first two.
While their purpose remains the same, tie clips come with a hinge that can be open and closed from behind. Slide bars, on the other hand, only need to be slid into place.
Aside from their function, tie bars are also another accessory men can use to add that touch of personality and fashion style to their looks. Slide bars and tie clips come in a variety of designs, colors and shapes, and they help you add that decorative element to your outfit.
You can learn about what color tie is the best for a black suit and white shirt look here.
Last but not least, if you have uneven shoulders, then you might want to consider adding this accessory into your closet too, as it will make your tie hang straighter than usual.
How to wear a tie bar?
We have been over the function, now we need to talk about style. Tie clips or slide bars should be worn between the third and fourth buttons from the top of your shirt. If you position your tie bar too high or too low, it won’t fulfill its purpose and the tie will move around anyways.
Some men don’t really know this, but tie bars are meant to be clipped to the shirt in order to keep the tie in place. If you don’t attach the slide bar directly to your shirt, then the tie clip will lose all purpose.
Moreover, if you place it too low it will also remain invisible underneath your jacket. You want to position it approximately at the level of your jacket’s pocket. And remember, by all means, always check that your tie bar is straight and horizontally aligned in order to look neat and tidy.
If you are also wearing a jacket or suit on top of your shirt, then make sure that the tie bar or slide clip is visible above the jacket’s top button. In case you opt for a sweater or vest on top of your shirt, then avoid wearing a tie bar. There is no point in adding it to your look, as the additional garment on top will substitute the slide bar’s function.
When to wear it?
Another important question that we need to answer is when it is appropriate to wear a tie bar and the answer is actually quite simple. Basically, tie slides can be worn at any occasion where you are required to wear a tie.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you can wear any type of tie bar. There are slide bars more appropriate for formal events, while others are more suitable for business occasions. In a work or formal setting, for example, you want to opt for plain metal tie bars with simple, subtle designs.
During social and more casual events, such as weddings, you can choose more colourful or creative designs that reflect your personality and style. You might want to check out what makes a tie more or less formal.
DOs and DON’Ts
No matter if you choose a slide clip or tie bar, they should never be wider than your tie. It’s all about proportions. If you are having a hard time remembering this, then this thumb rule might come handy.
You should keep your slide bar about 3/4 the width of your tie, meaning the width of the tie clip should occupy about 70% or 80% of the width of the tie.
Ties often come in three different widths: a standard of 3.25 inches, a narrower of 2.35 inches and an even skinnier style of 2 inches. Therefore, your tie clip’s width should be kept 1.75 inches, 1.5 inches and finally 1 inch, respectively.
In addition, you should always think about your accessories as a whole. So, for example, let’s say you’re wearing a belt with a gold buckle or a watch with a silver mesh, then your tie bar should be kept in those respective tones. Avoid matching different metal shades like silver and golden accessories in one same outfit, and instead opt for only one metal shade.
If you still have further doubts, in this article you’ll find everything you need to know about ties.