Tie Bars – How to Wear Them | Alfani Red $24.99 | Kohl’s $18.00 | Lord & Taylor – $45.00
I once said: “A tie bar can scream retro for retro sake.” Well Guess what.
My mind has changed a bit.
Tie bars always seemed like the annoying kid brother of the pocket square revival. A crisp white pocket square, razor flat folded and just edging out of a jacket pocket, adds that extra sliver of contrast. It looks really sharp and goes perfectly with a well cut suit. Wearing a tie bar on top of that seemed to push the look from updated classic… into an almost costume-like realm.
Combine a pocket square with a tie bar and pomade slicked hair, and you’re really no different than the kid who puts on his Klingon Battle Garb and heads off to the Star Trek Convention. He’s watching Captain Jean Luc Picard, while you’re worshiping at the throne of Don Draper.
But tie-bars have stuck around. Over the last year or so, a good pattern of how to effectively wear a tie bar without looking like you stepped off the set of Mad Men has emerged. Here are some suggestions on how to wear this resurrected and yes, functional accessory. I love the pocket square, but unlike a tie bar, it won’t keep your necktie out of your soup.
1. Wear some Color – You’ll look like you’re from the black and white TV era, if you look like you’re on black and white TV. Gray suit, white shirt, black tie and tie bar? Mix in a blue shirt and it’ll make a world of difference.
2. Width of the Tie Bar – Going for a modern look? Get a tie bar that’ll cover no more than 3/4 of the width of your tie. It’s like a lap bar on an old roller coaster. Plenty to keep it under control, just enough missing to be dangerous.
3. Positioning – The traditional style is between the 4th and 5th button. An updated, stronger, more stylish look is between the 3rd and 4th button. It makes you look taller and slimmer.
4. Tie Bar or Pocket Square. Pick one – Can you wear both at the same time? Sure… but it’s probably best to wear just one at a time. It’s highly possible to over accessorize even if you’re staying away from the real flashy stuff.
5. A Tie Bar does not have a Chain – That would be a tie chain. And you shouldn’t be wearing one unless you’re a Grandfather. And if you are a Grandpa? Still don’t wear one. Unless you’re the conductor on a locomotive. Then we’ll let it pass.
And as is almost always the case, it’s the small stuff that can be the most fun to splurge on. If you’re looking to give a gift, or just buy something for yourself that’ll last a lifetime… you can’t go wrong with the Sterling Silver Tiffany Tie Bar seen below. $85.00