The tie bar has seen resurgence in the past few years with a newfound interest in (hashtag) menswear. It’s a classic accessory that’s always been worn with suits, but is becoming increasingly acceptable to wear with casual garments like leather jackets and denim jackets.
A YouTube subscriber recently asked, what is the proper way to wear a tie bar? And so here’s my take on how to wear a tie bar/tie clip and what to wear it with. Additionally, I cover my 7 rules for wearing tie bars.
You can watch the companion video below. If you like it, be sure to hit that thumbs up!
HOW TO WEAR A TIE BAR/CLIP
Personally, I think tie bars are one of the best ways to add a finishing touch to any smart casual look.
Let’s get into the 5 looks I put together on how to rock a tie bar.
TIE BAR STYLING INSPIRATION
Look #1: Suited Up
The more formal your look, the more conservative your tie bar should be. Keep it simple and go with a plain, rectangular tie bar. If you wear anything more ornate or novel, you’ll create a dissonance with the rest of your outfit.
Here we have a brown suit with a check pattern paired with a thick woolen tie with a beautiful texture and bold pattern. I love how the subtle blue lines of the suit pick up the navy from the tie and the blue from the pocket square.
Since this tie is made of a thick woolen fabric with a lot of weight, it pairs well with a nice statement piece tie bar.
Look #2: Smart Casual
The tweed blazer above straddles the fence between dressy and casual. It’s dressy because it’s a blazer, but more casual because of the color and fabric. I paired it with another casual staple, a shirt with a gingham check pattern and a casual chambray slim tie. Since we’ve got some colors to play with, I thought it was a good idea to have the tie bar pick up the colors from the shirt.
I choose a blue and maroon tie bar. They both work with this look. Additionally, the short length of the tie bar also complements the shorter width of the slim tie. There’s a nice balance of texture and proportion here.
Look #3: Harrington Jacket
You’re not just relegated to wearing tie bars with suit jackets and blazers. You can rock a tie bar with anything from the smart casual harrington jacket and leather jacket to a more dressed down denim jacket.
Look #4: Leather Jacket
The leather jacket leans into smart casual territory which lends itself to being dressed up. In this case I paired it with a cream, structured linen shirt with a navy woolen necktie. The little speckles on the tie add visual interest in a subtle way.
I decided to go with two of my favorite tie bars, the fleur de lis and arrow. These are pretty safe tie bars that can go with most any outfits with exception to the most formal of suits. I’d stick with a plain rectangle tie bar for that.
Look #5: Denim Jacket
The denim jacket is a casual style staple. Perfect in the spring and fall seasons as top layers and as a mid-layer in the winter. The beauty of the denim jacket is that you can dress it up, and one of my favorite ways to elevate a denim jacket is with a tie, but not just any neck tie, a silk knitted tie (more casual than other fabrics).
Since it’s a more casual vibe, I wanted to have fun with it and so I went for a playful whale tie bar, which I think adds personality. People are surely going to comment on it. Sometimes it’s cool to equip yourself with a conversational piece, especially if you’re at a networking event or party where you don’t know anyone. It can break the ice for ya.
Tie Bar Pro Tip: I like to pull the tie’s fabric up a little bit and then slide the tie bar on. Not only is it a cool and stylish look, but it also gives your neck some breathing room.
And now onto the rules.
MY 7 TIE BAR/TIE CLIP WEARING RULES
Tie Bar Rule #1: Avoid Redundancy
Never wear a tie bar if you’re wearing a waist coat or sweater.
If you are wearing a mid-layer like a sweater or a waistcoat, there’s no need to wear a tie bar since the purpose of the tie bar is to hold your tie in place, it just becomes redundant if you wear one with a waistcoat.
Tie Bar Rule #2: The Sweet Spot
Place the tie bar somewhere between the 3rd and 4th button.
Don’t go too high or too low with your tie bar placement, it will look awkward.
If you’re pretty confident with your style, then you can eyeball it for that sweet spot. Trusting your instincts goes a long way when it comes to effortless style.
Tie Bar Rule #3: Just Don’t Do It
Do not slant the tie bar diagonally.
You may think you’re being edgy or trendsetting, but it just looks unintentional as if it was knocked askew and you had no idea.
Your best bet is to keep it straight, especially with formal ensembles.
Tie Bar Rule #4: Keep It Functional
Do not negate the function of wearing a tie bar.
You want to ensure that the tie bar is clamped down to your shirt placket, that way your tie is secured and doesn’t blow away in the wind.
Tie Bar Rule #5: Don’t Overdo It
Take caution with the number of accessories you’re wearing.
You can wear a tie bar with a lapel pin and a pocket square so long as the individual pieces aren’t too loud or competing for attention. You want for a nice balance.
Again, trust your instincts, a good old eyeball test can go a long way, especially if when you start developing an eye for good style.
Tie Bar Rule #6: Watch The Length
Do not let the length of the tie bar extend past the tie’s fabric.
This example above is barely passable. In fact, I wouldn’t wear this combination and would instead opt for a shorter tie bar.
Tie Bar Rule #7: Keep It Cas(ual)
Do wear them with formal outfits as well as more casual ones.
The examples above feature 3 versatile jacket types beyond the suit jacket and blazer that work well with a necktie, tie bar combo.
Breaking the Rules With Caution
Of course rules are rules for a reason. It gives us structure and provides a starting point that beginners can feel comfortable when they begin experimenting. Of course as the old adage goes, rules are meant to be broken. You can break the rules (with caution), so long as you know them. Intention is key.
And there you have it. In this post you’ve learned how to wear a tie bar, what to wear it with and my 7 rules for rocking a tie bar. I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed creating it.
ONTO YOU. WHAT TIE BAR RULES ARE YOU GUILTY OF BREAKING?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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