A Beginner's Guide to Tie Pins, Tie Clips, and Tie BarsWritten by Tigre Haller
Admittedly, men’s accessories can get a bit confusing. But, it doesn’t have to be, as I talked about in my last article about lapel pins.
Perhaps the most recognized - albeit misunderstood - accessory is the tie pin...and the tie clip...and the tie bar. Oh boy!
(Let’s not even get into tie chains.)
Take a breath, relax, and keep reading. We’ll sort this out together. Don’t worry.
- The Main Differences Between All Three
- The Tie Bar vs. Tie Clip
- How to Wear a Tie Clip or Tie Bar
- How to Wear a Tie Pin
- Why Wear Tie Bars, Clips, and Pins
What’s the Main Difference Between These Three
Tie Bars (or Tie Slides) slide over the tie and shirt to help secure the tie to the shirt.
Tie Clips open like a jaw on a spring to then close around the tie and the shirt in order to secure them together.
A similar device to the clips and bars, tie pins are made up of a t-bar, chain, and fastener. A lot of men prefer wearing tie pins because they tend to be a bit more discreet and serve as a subtle accent.
Tie Bar vs Tie Clip
Essentially they are the same - from the outside. They are usually made from metal and are horizontal. Usually. The most common literally look like bars, but you can find feathers, wings, glasses, mustaches, cars… get the idea?
Tie Clips open like a jaw on a spring to secure your tie to your shirt.
Tie Bars (or Tie Slides) slide over the tie and shirt.
Neither one should be longer than the width of your tie.
A good rule of thumb is to keep it about 3/4 the width of your tie. Use this handy guide to help you decide:
|TIE WIDTH||TIE BAR or TIE CLIP WIDTH|
|Standard (approx 3.25″)||1.75″ - 2.25″|
|Narrow (2.35″ - 2.9″)||1.5”|
|Skinny (less than 2″)||1″ - 1.25″|
For both clips and bars, you want to make sure all the parts of your tie are aligned before securing it to your shirt. Not only does this ensure it looks good, it also ensures your tie won’t be flapping in the wind or become disheveled.
How to Wear a Tie Clip or Tie Bar
Hold the wider part of the tie (the blade), the narrow part behind it (the tail) and the shirt placket (the front part with the button holes) together.
Then secure the clip or bar between the tie knot and the first button of your suit jacket (generally equal to the fourth shirt button). Fluff the blade out a bit for a touch of flair, or keep it close your chest for a streamlined appearance.
How to Wear a Tie Pin
Position the tie pin in the middle of the tie, a hands-width above the first button of your jacket (or above your belly button).
Secure the t-bar by pushing it through the closest shirt button, pulling the chain a little through, and buttoning up the shirt.
Then pull the chain all the way so it is dangling at the front of your shirt.
Remove the stick pin from the closure, push it through the front of your tie, securing the back piece of the tie and attaching the closure.
Better to wear a tie tack with woven ties (such as wool) as opposed to fine, silk ties so the hole isn’t as noticeable.
Why Wear Tie Bars, Clips, and Pins
They are decorative. Tie bars, clips, and pins come in a variety of different styles, colors, shapes, all kinds of things! Men can add a personal touch to their wardrobe through the use of one of these bars or pins.
Much like the use of socks in a wardrobe, you can choose to go as basic and formal as you’d like or get funky with character pins and wand-shaped bars.
They keep your ties clean! When you lean over things like a kitchen table you, run the risk of collecting food onto your tie. A tie clip, bar, or pin keeps your tie in place so that it doesn’t fall out and skid across the delicious meal.
A fix for men with uneven shoulders. Uneven shoulders can be caused by a number of different things:
- Uneven leg length
- Uneven abs
- A pinched nerve
- And more!
Regardless of the cause, uneven shoulders make for a crooked tie, and a tie clip, pin, or bar helps keep that tie straight.
They keep popping tie knots down. If you are someone that likes the look of popping tie knots, a tie bar, clip, or pin can help to keep the knot in place.
Now that you have a better understanding of the differences and similarities between tie pins, clips, and bars, have fun experimenting with all three to discover which one you like best. Don’t forget to look into the different types and styles they have of each! You may just discover a new personality inside yourself as you try on new and unique tie pins, clips, and bars.
I, too, am a female, although have neither son nor grandson to my name. I just love a beautifully tailored suit, and want to accentuate their timeless charm without detracting from them with an ill-placed accessory. Thank you for this great article; it’s the best I’ve found on the topic, and I’ll definitely put the info to good use.
I’m a raw stone jeweler and I specialize in suit & tuxedo accessories. I namely cut stone for cufflinks, tie bars and lapel pins. This was a great article. It was well written, organized, and easy to follow. I would love to share with my clients for those who constantly ask the differences here.
Kindly, Michelle of R|O
Well looks like the other two comments were women. Kinda funny since this is kinda directed towards men. Nonetheless here I am and your article did a fine job at educating me in tie bars and the such. Thanks a bunch my man.
I also am a female reading this article, however, I am raising two grandsons. One of which enjoys dressing in a suit. I recently found my father’s tie bars and clip and wanted to inform them of their use. I remember my dad wearing them and want to pass them on to my grandsons. Thanks for the information.
Thank you for this. As I am a woman who never had Sons I have all daughters, I’m divorced much longer than I was married. Now I have grandsons and son-in-law’s and I know nothing about dressing men so these are very helpful to me.
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