DON’T Let Your Tie Flop Around
The most important thing to know about tie bars is that, yes, it does have a practical purpose. Any ensemble where your tie has room to move around should include a tie bar to stop it from doing so in order for you to avoid looking messy. That said, there are times where a tie bar would be excessive and detract rather than add to a look—these are times where your tie would already be constricted. For example, if you are wearing a sweater or a vest, these will already do the work of keeping your tie in place, so wearing a tie bar becomes redundant. Use your best judgement.
DO Pick a Tie Bar That Is Approximately 3/4 of the Length of Your Tie
When picking out a tie bar, it is very important to focus on the length (That’s what she said?). That said, there is no “perfect” sized tie bar overall because the tie bar’s size only matters in relation to the width of the tie. So, the ideal tie bar for a given ensemble would extend to cover 3/4 of the width of the tie. You definitely don’t want the tie bar extending past the width of the tie.
DON’T Pick a Tie Bar That Is Colorful or Busy
You probably are used to us saying it by now but if all else fails, keeping it simple is always the way to go. When it comes to tie bars though, this is one area where color and pattern are best left alone. A standard silver (or gold, depending on the outfit) is almost always best. Some simple details like etching or a simple stripe definitely works but a flashy tie bar looks like you’re trying too hard. Think of it like it’s like gaudy jewelry, probably not the right move.
DO Wear Your Tie Bar Between Your Third & Fourth Buttons
Tie bar altitude is crucial to pulling it off properly. There are certainly varying schools of thought in this regard but for us, we think the space between your third and fourth shirt buttons (from the top button). This should mean the tie bar sits at about your sternum, just below your pecs.
DON’T Wear Your Tie Bar at an Angle
The biggest no-no in tie bar wearing is to lazily put it on without making sure it is straight. The tie bar should be perpendicular to the tie and parallel with the ground if you’re standing straight up.
DO Give Yourself Some Breathing Room
The best hint I can give you when fastening your tie bar is to first blouse your tie a bit. Don’t do it too much, but just enough to give your tie some texture. This helps you avoid pulling the tie too tight to your chest when you clip it. You don’t want to feel constricted all day and night. Not only will it keep you from feeling like the tie bar is pinning you down in addition to your tie, but it will also give your look some depth and stop your tie from seeming taut, flat, and lifeless on your chest.