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It’s true that fewer and fewer of us wear ties regularly nowadays. The increasingly casual nature of our offices (in many cases, our homes) means that a “ties required” dress code is reserved for the most sartorially conservative offices. How do you accessorize this accessory? With tie clips, collar bars, and tie tacks.
Men who still wear ties may or may not use these accessories. This post will explain what they are, how to wear them, and how they may influence the image you project one way or another.
Tie clips are the most popular accessories of the ones we discuss here. Made from various metals such as gold, silver, nickel, or bronze, this is simply a clip that keeps your necktie secured to your shirt. Depending on your taste, you may prefer plain ones, colorful ones, ones with precious gemstones in them, or ones engraved with your initials.
It’s best to wear your tie clip either just below or just above the third button of your shirt (not including the collar button). If you like a bit of a rakish presentation, angle it slightly downward.
Though the word “tie” doesn’t show up in the phrase “collar bar,” these are still tie accessories. Collar bars are small metal tubes with ornamentation on each end that go through a shirt’s collar points. They sit underneath the tie. Collar bars create a visual effect wherein the very top of the tie rests on the collar bar. This pushes it up and out in a graceful arc shape.
You will sometimes see safety-pin versions of these, which are called “collar pins.” Any custom shirt can be made with an “eyelet collar” to accommodate collar bars, which typically have one end that unscrews for easy in-and-out. If you use a safety pin, it’s not uncommon to simply pierce through the collar points. As you might imagine, cinching the collar points together in this way precludes the need for collar stays.
It’s worth noting that shirts and ties worn with collar bars look very elegant, but are quite rare nowadays and are associated with dandyism. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something you should know so you can manage your image effectively. Wear one out to a nice dinner, but not a job interview.
Tie tacks serve the same purpose as tie clips: to keep your tie anchored to your shirt so it doesn’t flop around all over the place. It just achieves this goal in a different way. Instead of clipping your tie to your shirt, a tie tack has a sharp end that pierces through the tie and shirt. It’s then secured with a backing similar to an earring.
As elegant as these are, there’s one small drawback – it makes a hole in your tie. This isn’t the worst thing in the world since you can just be sure to use the same spot over and over again, but is something one should be aware of. They are also somewhat rare nowadays, as opposed to the 1950’s & 1960’s when they were much more common.
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