So, now that I’ve spent far too much time watching the first season of Mad Men (late, I know), I’ve naturally developed something of a penchant for the splendid 60′s styling that makes this show such a sartorial treat for the eyes. With that said, one of the central characteristics of this “retro-dapper” look is the use of classic accessories that add that final touch to any suit, yet seem to have unfortunately gone forgotten today. A great example of such a staple accessory that deserves to be put back in the limelight is certainly the tie bar.
In short, a tie bar is exactly that: a bar that you pin to your tie. On top of pinning both the front and back ends of your tie together, a tie bar also fastens your entire tie to the placket of your shirt, the front part where the buttons are located. Thus, as simple as it may be, the tie bar truly is an efficient way of literally streamlining an outfit by ensuring your tie always stays in place, no matter what.
However, though the tie bar’s function may seem to be of a childish nature, there still are a few rules to follow when it comes to wearing this classic accessory. First, as mentioned in a great post by GQ, you should never wear a “tie bar too high or too low [as] it goes between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt.” It really is as simple as that!
Furthermore, another rule when it comes to wearing a tie bar is that it should never be wider than your tie. Simply put, that just defeats the entire purpose of even wearing a tie bar. As an accessory that is supposed to be as minimal as it is functional, an excessively-wide tie bar creates an unwanted horizontal line on your tie, that people will most likely confuse for an ugly design detail. Though it may seem like a minute detail, it definitely does make a difference when your tie bar is narrower than your tie. First, it prevents there from being bunching on the entire width of your tie. And, second, it just looks better. Hence, as suggested in a post by Dappered, “get a tie bar that’ll cover no more than 3/4 of the width of your tie.”
On a final note, one of the other great benefits of the tie bar is that, on top of providing you with some retro allure, it also enables you to experiment with different colour combinations in the most subtle of manners. For example, though the quintessential colour for a tie bar is classic silver-chrome finish, you can still experiment with different colours, like navy, black or even white, that would subtly contrast with lightly-coloured ties. This style tip is especially relevant during these hot summer months that represent the perfect opportunity to add some life into your wardrobe by wearing more lively colours and patterns.
All in all, wearing a tie bar in is without a doubt an easy and effective way of channeling the inherent suave charm of Mad Men and all of its dashing characters. Inspiration at its finest!