Menswear is constantly experiencing resurgences and revivals of old styles and fits. Formal wear is one of the greatest examples of this given its long history when compared to other forms of fashion such as casual wear.
The suit and tie have been the “uniform” of the stylish and successful man for decades and gone through small changes all the while. One question you may ask yourself often is “how do I keep my tie looking great when I’m breaking down the dance floor, climbing mountains, or saving damsels in distress?"
The tie bar is a piece of men’s jewelry that has come back into fashion, and is here to help in all of those situations and more. A tie bar, when worn correctly, is both a functional addition to your outfit and a stylish one. However, how can you make sure you are wearing a tie bar correctly and in the right situations?
The following guidelines should help you when choosing a tie bar, deciding when to wear said tie bar and finally what ties to wear a tie bar with. Throughout the article you will also assuredly learn the many merits of the tie bar and why you should relish this resurgence of its use. So without further ado, here is our latest article: How to wear a Tie Bar
Choosing A Tie Bar
Functionally speaking the tie bar is a small piece of metal akin to a money clip. The tie bar’s main job is to keep your necktie flush with your shirt and the rest of your body no matter your posture or activity.
The tie bar may have small embellishments to make it more visually appealing, but at its core it does nothing more than utilize the same principles as a fashionable paperclip. The everyday tie varies in width so it is important to look at your tie selection before choosing a tie bar to make sure that the appropriate size is used for your tie bar.
All tie bars should match the width of the tie being worn with it or be only a few fractions of an inch shorter. At no point should a tie bar extend further than the tie it is being worn with, this will look odd and could catch on your suit jacket resulting in tears or hangups.
When choosing a tie bar you can use the same general rules you would use for choosing a watch to go with a suit. Gold and silver are commonly used colors for tie bars and can look smart with a matching watch.
Tie bars with a wooden front have also risen in popularity and are seen as more informal than their entirely metal counterparts. The best way to safely wear a wooden fronted tie bar is to match the finish to the color of the leather in your shoes or watch.
When to wear a Tie Bar
A tie bar is appropriate for more social situations than not and so is an extremely versatile piece of jewelry. The least applicable situation for a tie bar would be in extremely formal and extremely informal settings.
At black tie events and for situations where a tie is nearly too formal, a tie bar will look out of place. Situations like weddings, formal dinners, and semi-formal parties lend themselves to the use of a tie bar, but any situation where jewelry may be seen as disrespectful or too formal it is best to keep the tie bar with the rest of your jewelry at home.
Events where ties are a must in conjunction with a fair amount of movement or heavy lifting are where you will want to make sure there is a tie bar available. In these, and all times, that you wear a tie bar it should be placed between the second and third buttons of your shirt unless you are particularly long in your torso in which case you could possibly wear your tie bar between the third and fourth button, however it is not recommended.
Courtesy of The Gentle Manual
Tie Bars and Tie Types
Like the amount of situations that a tie bar is acceptable there is also no steadfast science of what ties a tie bar is suitable for. The main rule to go by is tie width and to simply remember that tie bars are for neckties and not bowties.
The width of your tie should match the width of your tie bar or at the very thinnest be half the width of your tie. Any tie that extends further than twice the tie bar risks becoming wrinkled because of the tie bar as well as not being aligned correctly with the shirt. In addition to all of these small details a tie bar that is too small will simply look ill-fitting and odd.
Otherwise the type of tie you wear with a tie bar allows you a lot of stylish discretion and is a perfect opportunity to play with color combinations as well as different textures of metal or other materials in coordination with different tie fabrics. A knowledge of different tie fabrics can help any hopeful adopters of the tie bar in allowing for a large amount of versatility in wearing a tie bar with multiple neck ties.
If you are someone who has trouble keeping their tie in place, is looking to bring a new element of understated jewelry into your outfits, or just think that your ties look a bit naked you may want to try wearing tie bars. Remember to keep the relative size of your tie and its tie bar in check and you will be adopting this look easily. In addition to tie width remember to use your best judgement when wearing any type of jewelry in a formal setting so as not to come off too flashy and above all mix and match fabrics and textures to achieve the look you want. Tie bars may seem like a scary formal wear frontier but with your new knowledge of the simple guidelines used for wearing a tie bar properly you can spice up your wardrobe easily!
A Wooden Tie Bar can add textural variety and sophistication to your ensemble!
And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it!
Feel free to check out our entire collection of stunning silk ties here at The Dark Knot!