A tie clip? That’s something your dad, uncle or grandpa wears, right? But did you ever stop to wonder if tie clips could actually be...well...cool? They can! Tie clips are making a comeback and there’s no better place to find out how to wear a tie clip and look stylish than right here. We’re going to share some great ideas for how to wear a tie bar and ensure you look great, whatever style you’re rocking. Keep reading and you’re sure to find some style inspiration for that tie pin that’s been gathering dust in your closet.
What is a tie clip and what’s its purpose?
You’ve probably seen them gathering dust in your dad’s drawer or in antique stores in town - those little brass, gold or silver clips that don’t seem to have a purpose. While it’s true that tie clips weren’t fashionable for a while, it’s true that ‘what’s old is new’ - they’re about to come back into fashion. Most men aren’t sure what they are, what they’re for, or how to wear them, but all that’s about to change!
The purpose of a tie clip is to hold your tie in place, not to hold the two pieces of the tie together. It’s all about choosing the right style, size, and color of tie clip and ensuring you’re wearing it the right way!
Choosing a tie clip - 5 things to consider
When choosing a tie clip there are a few things it’s worth bearing in mind so that you don’t make a fashion faux-pas.
- You can pick up vintage tie pins from antique stores or on eBay, but many menswear stores sell new tie pins too.
- Think about the occasion - a more formal, understated style is best for work or a job interview, while for a casual setting you can have more fun with a playful style.
- Think about the colors you’ll be wearing with your tie clip (more on this later). Generally speaking, a silver tie clip is the most versatile and will go with any outfit.
- Think about the width of your tie. As we mentioned in point 1, your tie clip should never be wider than your tie, so if you’re a fan of skinny ties, choose a skinny tie clip to match.
Bear these 5 things in mind when shopping for your next tie clip and you can’t go wrong!
How to wear a tie clip
If there’s one thing that’s really important when it comes to how to wear a tie clip, it’s placement. Wear your tie clip too low or too high and you spoil the look you’re trying to achieve completely. The ideal placement of a tie clip is between the 3rd and 4th button of your shirt, around the middle of your sternum. Because the tie clip is designed to keep your tie in place, you should slide it into the opening between your shirt buttons (or placket) to ensure it holds firm throughout the day!
Three different styles of tie clip and how to wear them
If you thought there was only one type of tie clip out there; think again! There are actually three popular styles, and we’re about to introduce you to all of them:
- Tie tack
Let’s take a look at each style in more detail, and a few tips on how to wear a tie bar.
Non-hinged tie clips
Non-hinged tie clips tend to be the most popular style and they’re sometimes also known as side clasps. They operate a bit like a money clip and are easy to slide on and off. If you’re choosing this type of tie clip, you’ll need to wear a fairly thick tie as the material of the tie is what holds the clip in place. They may not be the best choice for a skinny tie or anything made of delicate material such as silk.
Hinged tie clips
Think of hinged tie clips a bit like a clothes peg - they’re two bars of metal with a spring at one end. You squeeze one end to open the clip and slide it onto your shirt - simple! These are the best type of tie clips to choose if you’re worried about your tie clip staying in place. They’re also ideal for thinner materials or skinny ties, as they apply more pressure to stay on. You’ll often find hinged tie clips available in a wide range of styles as the top bar can be made of a different material to the bottom.
There’s a reason we’ve left tie tacks til last. These days they’re considered fairly old-fashioned and are the most formal of the three styles. A tie tack is small and round, a bit like a button, and uses a pin to pierce the tie fabric, with a short chain and T-bar attached. The T-bar fits into your button hole to keep your tie in place. If you’re wearing a coarse tie like tweed or wool, a tie tack is great as it won’t leave a mark in the material, but they may not be the best choice for more delicate fabrics.
Choosing the right color tie clip for your outfit
So now you’ve got the style of tie clip down to a tee, how do you ensure you’re rocking the right color tie clip? It’s actually not as difficult as you might think and this handy table will help you pair the right colors:
Color tie clip
Benefits and colors to wear with
Silver tie clip
A silver tie clip is understated and versatile, great for daily wear. Although it goes with most colors, it looks especially good with cool colors like blue or green
Gold tie clip
A gold tie clip is the one to choose for more formal events or special occasions. Pairing your gold tie clip with a bright red or burgundy tie will give a rich look. Gold can also look great with a light grey suit and brown shoes.
Rose gold tie clip
Rose gold is the perfect blend of cool and warm and is a more modern option than gold or silver. This is a versatile color and really stands out against darker ties in black, grey or burgundy
Black tie clip
This is the most modern of all tie clips and gives a sleek, bold look. Black is incredibly versatile and ideal if you’re not a fan of shiny tie clips as black tie bars often come in a brushed finish. This is a great option to tone down colorful or patterned ties, or pair with black pants, brown shoes, a black tie, and a white shirt for a classic look
As a general rule, a silver tie clip is the most versatile color and can be worn with almost anything in your wardrobe, whether you’re dressed up or wearing a more casual outfit. In recent years, rose gold and black tie clips have seen a surge in popularity thanks to their more modern style.
How to wear a tie bar and get the width and pattern right
The final things you’ll need to consider when shopping for a tie clip are the width and patterns. You’ve got the color and style down, but choose the wrong width or pattern and it could all be over! This table will help you:
Width of tie
Width of tie clip or pattern
Skinny tie clip
Thicker tie clip
Plain tie clip
Plain or patterned tie clip
The skinny tie and skinny tie clip combo
If you’re the type of guy who loves to rock a skinny tie - a little bit indie, perhaps a bit alternative - then the skinny tie clip is for you! Skinny ties tend to be popular with the young, hip crowd, so if that’s you, and you want to go for something a little less traditional, pair a skinny tie clip with your skinny tie. Black or brushed silver are both good options here.
The thick tie and thicker tie clip combo
There are some who say a thicker tie is a more masculine look, and who are we to argue? If you want to make a statement with your tie, choose a thicker style and fabric such as tweed or wool and opt for a chunkier tie clip. As an added bonus, thicker styles will hold the tie clip in place more effectively.
The patterned tie and plain tie clip combo
If you’re wearing a patterned tie, whether it’s a Harry Potter-style diagonally striped tie or any other pattern, it should be the focal point of your outfit. This means everything else, including your tie pin, should be kept pretty simple. Opt for a plain silver tie clip for everyday wear or gold for more formal occasions - and keep the shape a simple rectangle.
The plain tie and patterned or plain tie clip combo
Rocking a plain, dark-colored tie? Then you can - if you like - have some real fun choosing a tie clip. If you’re going for a job interview or attending a formal event, keep it classic with a plain tie clip. For anything else, use your imagination! You’ll find loads of different shapes and styles of tie clips whether modern or traditional is your thing, and you can make your tie bar the centre of attention.
How to wear a tie clip to a wedding
If you’re planning on wearing a tie clip to a wedding, there are some things you’ll need to think about:
- Are you more of a modern or traditional guy?
- Who’s getting married - could you get away with a fun tie clip or should you keep it understated and classy?
- What color suit will you be wearing?
For most weddings, we’d recommend keeping your tie clip classy and simple - so a solid silver or gold rectangular clip. If you’re wearing a colorful suit you could add a small jeweled tie clip or one with a monogram.
It’s important to think about the location of the wedding too. When you find yourself wondering what to wear to a wedding, the general rule is this: if it’s taking place in a formal setting such as a church, you’ll want to ensure that you’re formally attired, and that means no quirky tie clips stealing attention away from the bride!
How to wear a tie bar to the office
When it comes to wearing a tie bar to the office, you’ll want to think about how formal the dress code is on a daily basis. Your office might be a place where everyone wears a suit without fail, every day, or it may be more casual, where you’re wearing jeans with a shirt, tie and suspenders (how to wear suspenders is a whole different question!)
You can make a fun style statement with your tie bar if you work in a less formal setting - we love some of the tie clips out there styled like weapons. Or you could choose a modern rose gold or black tie clip for a sophisticated look.
For formal workplaces, we recommend opting for a simple gold or silver tie bar that won’t detract from your professionalism - after all, you want to land that client deal, not have a conversation start up about your quirky tie clip!
How to rock a tie pin on a date
If you’re wearing a tie clip on a date, it’s a great time to show off your personality. But bear the setting of the date in mind to ensure you don’t make any unforgivable style errors that could see you friend-zoned before your date is even over!
Fun, statement tie clips shaped like a skull and crossbones, weapons, animals or even a mustache are really interesting and could even become the topic of conversation on your date! If you’re heading for a classy restaurant or taking your date to the theatre, you can wear a classic style with a twist, such as a tie clip with a small jewel or a pearl.
What socks to wear with your tie clip
It’s not the suit that maketh the man, it’s the socks! Socks are actually pretty important, and they help keep your feet comfortable too, whether you’re going on a date or heading for the office. Soxy socks are designed to keep your feet feeling great while also staying up all day (or night) thanks to their superior elasticity. You can choose to make a style statement with cool patterned socks or keep it simple and understated with dark or neutral shades. Here are some of our favorites:
These navy diagonal striped socks would be the perfect fun socks to wear to a formal event like a wedding or job interview. They’d complement a smart suit, dark-colored tie, and gold or rose gold tie clip perfectly!
For a date or a fun evening out with your friends (particularly if it’s close to Halloween), these Halloween socks are perfect. We’d wear them to a scary movie or haunted house tour, but they’re equally fun to wear everyday. Pair them with a cool skull and crossbones tie clip!
This holiday season there’s no better pair of novelty socks to wear than these Christmas presents socks! With their bright red and green festive color and fun present print, we think you could pair them with any casual outfit, and perhaps a Christmas-themed candy cane tie pin? Depending on where you work, you could probably even wear these to the office in the last week before the holidays!
Silver tie clips look great with cool colors like blue and green. So what better pair of dress socks to wear with your silver tie bar than these light blue small polka dot socks? Style them with a dark suit, pale blue shirt, navy blue tie and silver tie clip.
Matching shoes to your tie bar
Shoes are the final finishing touch to your outfit that are surprisingly important. We often see men wearing totally the wrong style or color of shoes, but it doesn’t have to be hard to choose the right ones for whatever you’re wearing!
Here are a few things to think about when choosing shoes to complement your outfit and tie bar:
- What occasion are the shoes for: formal, casual or both?
- Are these for summer or winter, or both
- What color is your outfit?
- Are these shoes for indoor or outdoor wear - for example, will you be wearing them in the countryside and doing a lot of walking outdoors, or are they for mostly indoor wear at a conference?
- Do you want your shoes to blend with your outfit or make a style statement?
Whether you’re looking for shoes to impress your date or the perfect pair for a work meeting, Bold Society Shoes have a huge range of styles to choose from, from classic to more eclectic.
These black and blue leather double monk strap shoes have a bright blue sole - pretty cool! If you’re wondering what color pants to wear with black shoes, we’d pair these with a black, dark blue or charcoal grey suit, blue shirt and tie, and a silver tie clip for a smart, classic look with a bit of a twist.
There are men who like to blend in, and then there are those who love to be center of attention. If standing out in a crowd is the name of the game, we recommend these navy blue and red suede driving loafers! Paired with a charcoal grey suit, light-colored shirt, bright red tie, and ostentatious gold tie clip, all eyes are going to be on you, no matter the occasion.
While you can get away with almost any style of shoes depending on the occasion, tie clips tend to be worn with dressy or smart-casual outfits. Try some of these styles on for size:
- Chelsea boots (great for a fall or winter date)
- Wingtip shoes
Need more tie clip style inspiration?
We’ve all got instagram accounts we check out now and again for style inspo, but there are some you most definitely should be following. For inspo and ideas for how to wear a tie pin, check out these accounts!
This is one of our favorite insta accounts to follow for tie, shirt, jacket and tie clip combos. This account belongs to Jonn Rainier, who claims to be ‘always overdressed’ but we think he just always looks super-stylish! Some of the tie pins on here are really cool and quirky, and there’s enough inspo for an outfit for almost any occasion. Check it out!
Jonn Rainier (thedressedchest) posts a lot of tie bars from these guys - we particularly love the nautical-inspired Octobar tie bar, a cool vintage nickel plated tentacle. But there are heaps of quirky styles to choose from and ideas for styling on their insta, as well as some great rugged outdoorsy footwear for fall and winter and some stylish wallets and belts.
This has to be one of the best places on insta to get inspiration for how to wear a tie bar. These guys have So. Many. Ties. You’ll find everything from Hawaiian print, tropical ties to ties for weddings and everyday work tied, all paired with stylish tie clips.
These guys create bespoke silver jewelry and accessories, and some of the tie bars and pins they have on their insta are pretty inspiring! We love their fleur de lis tie clip (pictured above) and some of their engraved styles, most of which can be customized to suit your needs.