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Four street style looks using tie bars
10 March 2014

Sartorial 180: How To Wear & Correctly Position / Size A Tie Bar

The tie bar’s recent resurgence in popularity has been nothing short of amazing (and highly welcomed)!

But there are some basic rules for wearing a tie bar, to make sure it’s doing its job and you’re looking good!

How To Wear A Tie Bar

What Is A Tie Bar For?

A tie bar is for both form & function, as it is used to attach one’s tie to a shirt and look good in the process! This stops the tie from flapping around in the breeze, and / or dunking in one’s soup!

I see too many men wearing it purely as an ornament, and not actually attaching it to their shirt’s placket.

Man attaching tie bar to shirt and tie

Click To Enlarge

  1.  Step 1: Place the tie bar around the shirt opening
  2. Step 2: Slide the tie into the gap and release the clasp
  3. Step 3: Check your work
  4. Step 4: Admire your tamed tie

Tip: if you’re looking down at the tie, your perspective may seem to “shorten” the amount of tie fabric required. So just make sure there is some excess (I like to allow a little more to make the knot stand out).

Correct Position Of A Tie Bar

The tie bar typically sits between the third and fourth button down on your dress shirt.

Man positioning a tie clip on shirt

There can be a few slight exceptions, that would relate to the jackets “stance” (where the jacket’s lapels meet at its top button, and how low that point is). At most, this will only ever be a few inches.

DON’T wear it somewhere near your mid section, or up around your throat (as it’s not much use up three!).

The tie bar SHOULD be seen when your jacket is on and buttoned (which is always when standing).

[See four great tie bar looks at the bottom of this article.]

Correct Size Of A tie Bar

There are three possible options for the size of a tie bar, two are right and one is wrong!
Correct tie bar size, using three sizes to illustrate

  1. Wider = NO!
  2. Same = YES
  3. Narrower = YES, as long as it still clasps to both the tie and shirt while not distorting the tie off line

When You Should NOT Wear A Tie Bar

As discussed above, a tie bar was initially designed as a functional tool for narrowing a tie’s range of motion. As with most things in menswear, the tie bar became more ornate over time.

Thus a tie bar loses its root function when wearing a waistcoat (vest) or sweater.

Tie bar incorrectly worn with waistcoat vest

NO NO NO! Don’t Become An Over Danderized Victim!

No Tie Bar Required

Three piece suits with shirt and tie

No Tie Bar Needed

Dapper looks with sweaters and ties

No Need Here Either Good Sir!

Some Dapper Looks With A Tie Bar

Four street style looks using tie bars

Click To Enlarge

“Sartorial 180″ is a new column that seeks to explain common menswear applications and problems with quick, need-to-know guides. Let us know of any “Sartorial 180″ topics you would like us to cover in the comments below, contact form, or on one of our social profiles.

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