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A Beginner's Guide to Tie Pins, Tie Clips and Tie Bars

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.


What’s the Difference?

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.

diagram-of-tie-bar-sizes

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 it look good, your tie won’t be flapping in the wind or become disheveled.

tie-bar-beckett-simonon-shoes


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 flare, or keep it close your chest for a streamlined appearance. 

 

Tie Pins (or Tie Tacks)

A similar animal to the clips and bars, tie pins are made up of a t-bar, chain and fastener. A lot of men prefer wearing tip pins because they tend to be a bit more discreet and serve as a subtle accent.

These days, you can find tie pins in all sorts of designs.

Keep these tips in mind:

Position it in the middle of the tie, a hands-width above the first button of your jacket (or above your belly button).

tie-pin

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.

Conclusion

Whichever you choose between Tie Clips. Bars and Pins, have fun and experiment. You might discover you love them all, or just one style. You might also realize none of them work for you. 

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for upcoming posts.
We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

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1 comment

  • 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.

    Monica,

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