One of the smallest pieces of your style arsenal can also be the trickiest to get right. The tie bar has been picking up steam in recent years, and while it seems like a simple addition to any outfit, we care too much to let you get caught on the scene committing a tie bar faux pas. Here’s everything you need to know.
It’s not just shiny—it’s functional.
The tie bar is a small and mighty statement piece, but it also serves more than a visual purpose. Its actual intent is to keep your tie in place, so when wearing one, it should be fastened to the placket of your shirt. This way, your tie stays put no matter how wild your day or night gets.
Placement is key.
When it comes to placing your tie bar, it’s easy to go too high or too low, but the perfect landing zone is between the third and fourth shirt button, just below the pecs.
Never go too long.
Tie bars come in different lengths just as ties come in different widths, but no matter what, your tie bar should never be wider than the tie itself—try to keep it under 3/4 the width of your tie.
It’s for most, but not every occasion.
“Tie bars should be reserved for both fun and formal,” says style blogger Chris Law. This makes them a slick and savvy addition for both work and play events—not to mention impressing a lucky date. Leave the tie bar at home for more somber occasions, and Law suggests you think twice if you want to be taken seriously, especially if you need to make a solid impression. “A tie bar at a job interview screams, ‘I’m trying to be cool!’” Law explains. “No one cool ever screams that.”
Both tie and bar matter.
Tie bars look best with slimmer ties, but you’ve also got to factor in color. Feel free to rock a colorful or printed tie with a solid silver or gold tie bar, or if your tie bar has all the action, keep the tie simple and clean. Of course, there’s one smooth option currently flying under the radar.
“I think a wooden tie bar is the most interesting accessory,” says style expert Anoop Kansupada, one of the minds behind New York City-based accessories brand Men in Cities. “It can add style to something really simple. You can have a white shirt, a black tie, and then a wooden tie bar, and you’re gonna look at the tie bar.”