Tie Clips: Beginners Guide to Suave Style

Updated April 26, 2021
Tie roll with golden tie clip

The popularity of tie clips brings a nostalgic flair to men's ties for a fun, yet practical jewelry addition to your wardrobe. Discover practical advice for how to wear a tie clip for flawless style.

Tie Clip Placement

There's nothing more embarrassing than not knowing how to wear a tie clip. Too many men wear a tie clip too high or worse, too low. You want this tie accessory to do its job in keeping your tie from flapping about or becoming askew underneath your suit coat.

Count the Buttons

The easiest way to determine where to clip your tie bar is to count the buttons on your shirt. The fashion rule of thumb is to insert your tie clip somewhere between the third and fourth buttons of your shirt, counting from the top down. This practice ensures your tie clip placement is correct. After all, you want your tie clip high enough so it isn't obscured by your buttoned suit coat.

Tie clip placement

Avoid This Common Mistake

The most common mistake men make when using a tie clip is to clip the tie bar only to the tie. The purpose of the tie clip is to anchor your tie snuggly to your shirt, so it doesn't slip out from under your coat or become crooked.

How to Put on Two Types of Tie Clips

There are two types of tie clips. One is a slide clasp, and the other is a pinch clasp clip.

Slide Clasp

The slide clasp tie clip simply slips over the front of your tie. You position the back clip behind your shirt placket to secure your tie to your shirt. The back of the clip is designed with a slight arch to allow the other end of the clip to grasp your shirt snuggly. This type of tie bar is often recommended for ties made of thinner fabrics.

Pinch Clasp

A pinch clasp tie clip is a good choice for ties made of thicker fabrics. You may discover that a pinch clasp tie clip holds your tie in place better than a slide clasp. Attach the pinch clasp so your tie is secured to your dress shirt. A few simple steps ensure you end up with your tie bar in the most advantageous placement.

  1. Hold the hinged end of tie clip between your index finger and thumb.
  2. Locate the space between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt.
  3. Position the tie clip between the two buttons.
  4. Squeeze the hinged end of the tie clip.
  5. Slip the front of the tie bar over your tie.
  6. Position the back clip behind the placket of your shirt.
  7. Release the tie clip hinge.
  8. Your tie should be secured between the front and back of the clip.
  9. Your tie should be firmly clipped to your shirt by the tie clip.
  10. To remove, simply press the two hinged ends together to release the tie clip.

Keep a Little Slack in Your Tie

You want to ensure that your tie will give slightly as you move about. When you are placing the clip on your tie, tug up slightly on your tie as you add the tie clip. This ever so slight slack in your tie will allow the tie to move with your body and not tug too tightly against your shirt.

Tie Bar vs Tie Clip

Tie bar and tie clip are terms used interchangeably for a tie clip. Technically, the slide clasp is referred to as a tie bar and the pinch clasp is referred to as a tie clip. Both serve the same purpose of anchoring your tie to your shirt.

Tips for Wearing a Tie Clip

When you wear a tie clip, follow a few helpful tips to ensure a fashion success. Make sure the tie bar is level and never at an angle. One thing you should avoid is selecting a tie clip that is wider than your tie.

Best Width for a Tie Clip or Tie Bar

It's always better to have a narrow tie bar. The classic look is a tie bar that is the exact width of your tie. However, you can successfully use a tie bar that is 3/4 the width of your tie. This presents a good visual for your fashion style, as well. If you don't have a larger tie bar, you can get by with a tie clip that is just half the width of your tie. However, anything shorter will look odd and your tie can slip out from a short tie bar.

Tie clip widths

Button Your Suit

A fail-safe way to ensure you have placed your tie bar correctly is with a visual once over. You should button your suit and if you can still see your bar clip, then you've successfully placed it.

Choose a Style You Like

While a tie clip has a practical function, it is also a stylish piece of fashion jewelry. You can choose a decorative tie bar, such as a 14kt gold with a diamond stud, a gemstone bar, or a simple design.

Match Metal Colors for Your Ensemble

If you wear cufflinks, then you should match the metal color with your tie bar choice. You will use a gold bar clip with gold colored cufflinks and a silver tie clip with silver cufflinks. You should also take into consideration the color of your suit coat buttons, especially if they are metal. If you don't wear cufflinks, then you will match the metal type of your tie clip with your belt buckle and/or watch.

Consider a Tie Clip With a Chain

When a chain is included with a tie clip, it is used as a tie guard or decoration. The chain should never be taut against your tie. It generally creates a loop below the clip or bar. Some chains are longer and feature an emblem or motif in the center, such as the symbol for an organization or other affiliation. Some chains feature a charm-like symbol.

Wear It Without a Jacket

If you are wearing just a dress shirt with your suit pants, then wear a tie bar. It will keep your tie from flapping about in the breeze and provide a more polished professional look without your suit coat to help keep your tie in place.

Know When You Shouldn't Wear a Tie Clip

There are a couple of times when you don't want to wear a tie clip. If you are wearing a tie with a cardigan, a tie clip is unnecessary since your sweater will prevent your tie from moving about. If you wear a three-piece suit, the vest will anchor your tie in place.

How to Wear a Tie Clip and Look Cool

When you know how to wear a tie clip, it's easy to look as though you stepped off of a magazine cover. For a sophisticated look, avoid novelty tie clips and opt for a simple yet classic style.

Tie Clips: Beginners Guide to Suave Style