While there are some trinkets of yesteryear that will hopefully forever remain abandoned from a man’s wardrobe — bell bottoms, bikini briefs and leather chaps, to name but a few — there are some hallmarks that have disappeared in the mid 20th century without any apparently good reason. There used to be items that any man could use to add a dash of elegance to his ensemble, or to reveal the spark of his individuality and speak to the confident nature of his personality. These simple items could raise the dead clothing from your closet better than Lazarus. This is why it is such a shame that many have become non-factors in the clothing of today’s man. Fear not however as today we bring a few items back to the forefront by spotlighting the tie pin and tie bar.
As long as there have been ties, there have been some kinds of devices to keep them stationed and from flailing and becoming entangled in everything from doors to pencil sharpeners, for the Jerry Lewis and Clark Kents amongst us. It is for this function that the Tie Pin and Tie Clip were introduced. The Tie Pin, as the name implies, is similar to a safety pin in that it fastens around the two points of your shirt collar in order to keep your tie secure and anchored between those two points. Of our three subjects today, it is the most subtle and at the same time one of the most distinguished. This little uncommon accessory, at least uncommon by today’s standards, is what can separate the best dressed from the rest of the pack. It represents that you take pride in the details of life, which relates to an employer that you take detail in your work and a potential mate that you are detailed in other areas as well…There is absolutely no need to get fancy or too extravagant as it is a subtle enhancement to your wardrobe, a gold or silver tie pin will do quite fine. Almost every true gentleman was seen wearing one in the 1950’s.
The tie bar is similar to the tie pin in its purpose and while being a bit more pronounced than the tie pie is still an understated addition to your style. It is clipped inside the area that your shirt is buttoned, about halfway between the knot of your tie and the bottom arrow it forms, unless you’re wearing a jacket, in which case you should raise it to a point that is visible. A tie bar allows you to get a bit more creative than a pin. Historically they were actually a way to show of your allegiance or affiliation with a group, so they can have a bit of decoration associated with them, including an insignia, jewels or personal design. The important thing about tie bars is to make sure that they are never big enough that they sloppily overlap your tie; they should go, at most, 4/5ths of the way across. The tie bar is the male equivalent, at least before male’s started wearing them, to the women’s earring. It’s just that little bit of extra that goes a long way, and doesn’t require any bodypiercing. It, along with the tie pin, should act to remind others just how much you stand out in the crowd, and as such should never be forgotten.
Rishi Chullani is a former banker turned Style Enthusiast and Entrepreneur. He currently runs men’s necktie line The Dark Knot (http://www.thedarkknot.com) and a Men’s Formal Wear Style Blog on the same portal. The Dark Knot offers approximately 120 designs across a range of patterns. The Dark Knot’s core philosophy is to help gentlemen dress better. Each of their ties comes elegantly packaged in a black gift box with a card with recommendations for matching suits and shirts.