Nothing will make you look better in a suit than good tailoring, but finishing touches can go a long way. One of our favorite instant upgrades? A tie bar—the small clip that fastens your tie to your shirt.
A tie bar is functional—it keeps your tie from moving—but also adds a stylish underrated detail to your standard shirt-and-tie setup, says Allyson Lewis, Vice President of Merchandising and Design at The Tie Bar.
But you need to make sure you’re wearing it the right way—unlike Adam Levine who missed rules 1, 2, and 3 on The Voice this week (pictured above). Keep reading for the five rules of wearing a tie bar.
Rule 1: Fasten a Tie Bar To More Than Just Your Tie
We’ve seen guys wearing tie bars just across the tie, forgetting to fasten it to their shirt, too. Although it’s a stylistic detail, a tie bar is really meant to keep your tie from sliding around—it won’t look right unless it’s clipped to both. (In fact, it may slide up or down.)
Rule 2: Place a Tie Bar In the Right Location
It’s all about location, location, location, says Lewis. “The biggest mistakes we see are in tie bar placement and length relative to the tie.”
A tie bar should always fall between the third and fourth buttons of your shirt, says Lewis. Any higher or lower, and it kills the stylistic vibe you’re going for.
Rule 3: A Tie Bar’s Size Matters
Another thing guys get wrong: The width of the tie compared with the length of the tie bar.
Lewis recommends the bar be about one-half to two-thirds the length of the tie—and it should never be wider than the tie itself. We like this 1.5-inch bar from The Tie Bar ($15, thetiebar.com) paired with any color 2-inch tie from The Tie Bar.
Rule 4: Pick the Perfect Tie Bar Clasp
There are two main types of tie bars: slide clasps and pinch clasps. It comes down to a matter of preference.
Pinch clasps, like this one ($30, oxandbull.com), are easier to wear because they tend to hold their position more precisely, says Lewis.
A slide clasp allows the bar to be more flush with your shirt, but it can be trickier to attach and manipulate once fastened, making it more prone to losing its shape than a pinch clasp.
Rule 5: Choose Your Color
You can’t go wrong with a brushed-silver or black bar; they’ll look good with any tie.
If you’re looking for more of a pop, pick out a solid-color tie and pair it with a complementary bar: Pair purple with green and blue; blue also goes with red, orange, and yellow, Lewis says.
Still not sure if it goes? Wear a navy tie and pair it with any color bar. You don’t need to be flashy for this understated accessory to elevate your look.