The why, where and how of wearing one…
Tie bars are narrow double strips of metal that come in two styles – pinch clasp and side clasp. Their purpose is to look awesomely sophisticated but also to secure your tie to the placket of your shirt. What’s a placket? So glad you asked. It’s the double layer of material to which your shirt buttons are fastened and into which the buttonholes are cut. So a tie bar keeps your tie straight against your shirt, rather than letting it flap about. Of course, it won’t do that if you only pinch or clasp the bar to the tie.
2. Pinch clasp or side clasp?
A pinch clasp (below) is better suited to thicker ties and thicker plackets and is generally preferable because it holds the tie more securely. But used on a thinner tie and/or shirt material, you’ll see the clasp. In such circumstances, opt for the less secure (but no less fashionable) side clasp.
3. How wide should it be?
If it’s the width of your tie, you’ve got it wrong—choose a wider tie or a shorter clasp. Ideally a clasp should be about three-quarters the width of your tie. Half-width is acceptable. Anything less will look stupid.
4. Where should it be worn?
A tie bar should be affixed between the third and fourth shirt button down from the collar. Where you place it will have much to do with what sort of jacket you’re wearing. If it’s a jacket with a high stance – that means where the top front buttons fasten – you’ll want to make the tie bar visible by wearing it closer to the third button. Generally two-button suit jackets have a higher stance. Three-button suit jackets have lower stance, meaning you can place it closer to the fourth button and it’ll still show and add that touch of sophistication to your look.