As the renaissance in classic men’s style continues seemingly unabated, various accessories that enjoyed their heyday during the 1920s – widely considered the golden age of men’s style – have enjoyed newfound popularity as sartorially-inclined caballeros continue to rebel against frat-boy fashions in the age of business casual.
While single-breasted peaked lapel and double-breasted suits make a bold statement, the tie-clasp, also known as the tie-clip or tie-bar is a small piece of men’s jewelry that can subtly enhance the appearance of the suit while simultaneously announcing that here is a man who cares about the details.
Purpose & Nuance
The basic role of the accessory is to prevent the tie from flapping around. At the same time, it also acts to maintain the tie’s arch at the neckline. Beyond the tie clip’s utility, it can also spice up otherwise mundane attire. As Alan Flusser noted in his definitive work on men’s style, Dressing The Man, tie-clip enthusiasts will angle the clip downward for a more casual look (remember, the more angled the clasp, the less formal it will appear to be). For the shorter man, the tie-clip helps to divert attention from the fact that he may have to tuck the tie into his pants. As narrower ties have come into fashion, it makes perfect sense to find the tie-clip enjoying a resurgence. Its decline as a well-regarded accessory in the 1960s was largely due to the popularity of the wider tie during that era – the tie-bar was no longer centered once it was clipped to the shirt. With straighter, narrower ties now coming to the fore, the tie-clip makes more sense than ever as a stylish accessory that will be the finishing touch on your sartorial statement.
As with most accessories there are a number of variations, but can basically be broken down into two categories.
The distinguishing feature is you guessed it, the clasp which clips a tie to the dress shirt, ensuring the tie hangs straight and keeps it secured through most situations. The tie-clip should be placed approximately two-thirds of the way down the front of a necktie.