How To Wear a Tie Bar

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The tie bar. A quintessential menswear accessory that has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to a revitalized interest in classic men’s style. A tie bar is a small detail that can have a big impact on a look. Here’s how to wear it properly.

Purpose: A tie bar is meant to keep your tie fastened to the placket of your shirt. It sounds obvious, but bears repeating lest a perfectly fine tie bar be attached only to a tie and simply left to swing in the breeze.

Styles: Tie bars come in two styles: pinch clasp and slide clasp. In general, I prefer a pinch clasp as I find it holds the tie more securely and stays in place better. However, if you have a thin tie, a slide clasp may be more appropriate as many pinch clasps are made to secure thicker fabrics and may not lay flat in that situation, making the clasp visible.

Size: A tie bar should never be wider than your tie. It should range in size between one inch and the width of your tie. 3/4 the width of the tie is just about perfect.

Placement: A good rule of thumb is to fasten the tie bar between your third and fourth buttons, around the sternum, and just below the pectoral muscles.

How To Wear a Tie Bar - He Spoke Style

Common tie bar mistakes: (L-R) tie bar fastened crooked; tie bar too wide; wearing with a waistcoat.

Detail: Just before fastening the tie bar, pull your tie upward to blouse it slightly. This will add a nice bit of depth and visual appeal and will also keep you from feeling constricted or like the tie bar is holding you in place.

Angle: Always wear the tie bar perpendicular to your tie; never at an angle.

Color: You can’t go wrong with silver. It’s classic, matches almost anything, and looks great on everyone. But if gold is your thing or you’re wearing gold accessories, then go for it: it’s always best to make sure your metals match. Avoid colorful tie bars; it will just look like you are trying too hard. As with most menswear details, a tie bar should be an accent, not the topic of conversation.

Bonus Tip: A tie bar should not be worn with a waistcoat or cardigan. Remember, the purpose of a tie bar is to hold the tie in place. If you are wearing a waistcoat or cardigan that’s already taken care of and at that point, a tie bar just becomes unnecessary and redundant.

Stylishly yours,

He Spoke Style

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Chime In

  • Mike M

    A quick question: I am getting married in October and I like the tie clip idea. I’m going with a navy blue three piece suit, a white shirt and black shoes. My cufflinks are silver, my watch is silver and my belt buckle is silver, however my fiance picked a gold tie for me to wear. Can I wear a silver tie clip with a gold tie? Some insight on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Mike, since you’re wearing a three piece suit, don’t wear a tie clip. The purpose of a tie clip is to hold the tie in place, which is what your waistcoat will do. It’s one of the style rules that I always adhere to.

  • Kevin

    What about a tie bar while opting for braces instead of a belt? Would the three horizontal pieces of metal on the front of one’s torso (the tie bar, plus the parts on the braces where they can be adjusted) be too much? Or would it be acceptable as long as the metals match in color? Thanks.

    • Denis

      Perhaps a bit late to the party but, That shouldn’t be too much as long as the colours match. Besides In principle you are wearing a jacket with it, so the braces aren’t showing all that much. It’s just the little hints and bits and pieces. In the end it is all in the details :)

  • Teemu

    One shouldn’t wear clipped braces. Buttoned ones are always more appropriate and easier on the eye.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      I’m also a fan of only buttoned braces.

  • http://hespokestyle.com/how-to-wear-a-tie-bar/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-4 Andrew

    Hi,

    Does the Tie Bar color have to match the the color of the adjustment tab on the braces?

    Thanks,

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Perhaps?

  • Michael

    Hi.
    If your house was burning down and you had to grab one tie clip/bar, what colour would it be and how wide would it be? (ie: whats your go-to pie clip/bar)

    Regards,
    Michael

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Great question, Michael. I’d take something simple, silver, and between 2-2.5″ wide, like this: http://bit.ly/1i4ESlP. If that’s a little pricey, check out this one and this one as well. Thanks for reading.

    • Rahnay Stuard

      No one color is good for everyone. According to my jeweler, darker complexions look better in yellow gold and lighter complexions look better in silver or white gold.

  • http://www.shop72.com Shop72

    Wearing the tie bar in a perpendicular manner will always hold the tie in good position in case of angle it may create problems –

    thanks
    Shop72 team

  • Ralph

    Hi Brian, what is your take on wearing a tie bar with a double-breasted suit? Is it necessary? In my opinion, it seems to fill the role a waistcoat has in keeping a tie in place. Do you agree?

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      I definitely agree. However, I think it could work if you wore it down slightly—as in, it wouldn’t show while you were wearing the jacket—if you planned to remove the jacket at some point. Good question and thanks for reading, Ralph.

  • Michael

    I have a navy blazer with brassy metal buttons. Would you say gold tie bar or might silver be fine?

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Always strive to match your metals, so if they’re brass buttons, go for the gold.

  • jay

    I am NOT a big fan of gold metal tie bar but I got it as a gift. since it was a gift from my guests, I feel like I need to wear it when I see them.
    However, i have NO clue what to wear it with it.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Jay, gold will always look great with burgundy or brown. Check out this post for a little inspiration. Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.aristocratsbowsnties.ca Shaheed

    I should add that there are now a lot of tie bars that are non-convential in terms of the material and colour. You can find people wearing black, brown, and even wooden ones however, these are more for a casual look. I agree with the gold as it depends on the colour you are wearing and also the look you are going for.

    Thanks,

    http://www.aristocratsbowsnties.ca

    • http://hespokestyle.com Brian Sacawa

      Yes, they make tie bars out of pretty much anything now. Personally, I’m not a fan of novelty tie bars. I prefer to stick to the classics.

  • Melton Brown

    I have recently been inspired by the classic men’s style. I have been thinking about incorporating a tie bar or two into my wardrobe and this post has definitely taught me a couple of things. Thank you!

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      You’re most definitely welcome!

  • Hakabukk

    I didn’t know that a vest is a waistcoat, an u shouldn’t wear a tie bar with them. Thank you

  • Andrew Sylvester

    Thanks again Brian!

  • Davide Beltramini

    Congratulations on the blog, I wanted to ask, what brand is the clock?

  • https://www.FrankWilder.com Frank Wilder

    To be grateful, is nothing more than to be full of what is great. What are you full of – Frank Wilder

  • KT

    Trying to decide on a gift for my husband. I see that some tie bars have just a clip, but some have a chain, as well. How does the chain fit in?

    I’m assuming that the clip part goes on the 2 tie pieces, then the chain over a button? Or does the clip part still go on the tie & the placket, and the chain is just a um backup?

    Thank you

  • rhone04

    spot on. gonna wear cardigan with tie so i guess i will not buy the tie bar for the meantime :)

  • Scooby Doo

    I don’t trust any tie-bar to stay in the horizontal position as they never do. My solution is to use a small stick-pin tie chain, attach it to the label of the tie, and the other end of the chain through a buttonhole. This way my tie is always in place, the chain does not show, and I can still wear a tie-bar if I really want the tie-bar look.

  • Don Draper

    I disagree with the placement part. All fashion blogs seem to have learned about tie bars from GQ, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when it comes to the tie bar its placement is everything as the reason for its very invention was to keep your tie in place and keep it from swinging around every time a gentleman sits down, stands up or eats soup.

    If you place it where all fashion blogs and magazines want you to (almost at the top of your shirt), you negate its function. This is because when you place it so high, the bottom part of your tie will keep on swinging around. If you place it where it should be (historically,the 1960’s) which is approximately between the 5th and 6th button from the top down, it will never swing nor move the entire day whether you are running, sitting down, standing up or any other physical activity.

    Yes, this will mean that people won’t be able to see you are indeed wearing a tie bar from afar, but this is okay. It is not supposed to be a flaunting item to show how fashionable you are, but merely a tool or sartorial accessory to complete your outfit.

  • Tobacco

    I’d always known the purpose of the tie bar was t hold the tie in place but I never thought it was improper or inappropriate to wear it with a waistcoat. Well I’d learnt lol, Thanks Brian.

    Emmanuel Paul (@ikingpoke)
    Style blogger at PokeLagos.com

  • Dan G

    Great post! Can we share it on our blog at: http://www.gentlemansgiftbox.com