(above: Stainless steel checkered tie bar cufflinks.com)
I see men time and again misusing their accessories. They like the style, try it out, but then don’t have the know-how to pull it off.
To make sure you gents are in-the-know about tie bar etiquette, I went straight to the source, the fashion bartender of tie bars Paul Song from cufflinks.com
Q: Many men struggle with the placement of a tie bar. What is the proper placement?
PS: Traditionally, the placement of a tie bar has been between the 4th and 5th button. The trend now sees the tie bar rising, people are generally wearing them a little higher between the 3rd and 4th button. It accentuates your height and personally, as a shorter man, the 4th and 5th button would be closer to my belt buckle. You want it to pop and be visible above and beyond the first button of your jacket.
Q: How should you determine the length of the tie bar you wear?
PS: The tie bar should generally cover about 3/4’s of your tie, no need for rulers, but you want a little space. You definitely do not want a tie bar to have hang over the end of your tie. It does depend a little on the tie, slim vs. thick, but a good rule of thumb is to allow for a decent amount of space between the end of your tie bar and the end of your tie.
Q: How should one determine when and with what type of look to wear a tie bar?
PS: With the tie bar making such a strong comeback, I wear a tie bar almost every time I’m wearing a tie. I definitely would suggest wearing them on formal occasions. Its quite a chameleon of an accessory, it allows you to bring some personality to a formal back suit and tie. But at the same time, it looks great and works with a crisp shirt, tie and jeans. The great thing about a tie bar is that it kind of elevates your look. There are going to be days, generally Mondays, where you kind of stumble out of bed and what you wear is not the first thing on your mind. Then, there are days when you feel great, you want to look great and a tie bar is a finishing piece that will get you to the next level. What I will say is that there is a fine line to cross, as well. While a tie bar looks great, you don’t want to over-accessorize. There is a difference between Don Draper and Mr. T (no offense to Mr. T). Don’t be the guy with the earring, big ring, over-sized watch, pocket square and tie bar walking with a cane on the same day! Use your better judgement and some stylish restraint.
Q: What are things to consider when purchaseing a tie bar?
PS: Color is huge, if you wear ties with bold patterns (not a bad thing) make sure to go with something a little more subtle. A minimalist look, sleek silver, gunmetal, etc. If you are a little more conservative, feel free to spice it up with a patterned tie bar, something with stones or enamel. Be aware of the width as well, if you wear slim ties check out the dimensions and make sure you stay true to the 3/4 rule.
Q: Women love men in a tie bar! How can we convince our men that they are chic and masculine?
PS: The power of persuasion from women is strong. Most men fall victim to this on their own. But if you need a nudge, its a trend. Style is cyclical and we are returning to a classic time. I mentioned Mad Men before and that jump started the look, but it’s everywhere. Look at the covers of GQ or Esquire and you will see a tie bar on every cover. It’s not a fleeting fad, it’s a look that is totally right now.
Q: If a tie bar is the entree what would the perfect side dish be?
PS: I’m biased, but the perfect side dish would be a pair of cuff links. I said use restraint earlier when pairing jewelry together, but cuff links and a tie bar are similar in a sense that its subtle style. They both have the ability to communicate that you know how to dress well without screaming it in your face. A pop of shine coming off your tie, a sliver or color peeking out of your jacket cuff, these are things that bring a look together.
Check out the amazing selection of tie bars and cufflinks at cufflinks.com
(above: Onyx and Hematite Striped Mosaic Tie Bar cufflinks.com)
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Then, leave a comment on this post between Aug.28 and Sept.3 telling me how you plan to start incorporating tie bars into your looks this Fall.
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