How to Wear a Tie Clip

When and where to place this often overlooked menswear accessory.
Silver tie clip on plaid tie with light blue dress shirt
Photo: Tie Bar
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
by
Tres Dean
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
Associate Menswear Editor
  • Tres writes and edits articles for The Knot, with a specialty in menswear and suiting.
  • He brings over a decade of expertise in the field garnered as a writer, editor, copywriter, and trend specialist.
  • Before joining The Knot he covered menswear for publications including GQ, AskMen, Men’s Health, Sharp Magazine, Highsnobiety, and Spy.
Updated Feb 26, 2024

Suiting up for a wedding soon and wondering how to wear a tie clip? You've come to the right place. Tie clips are among the most popular menswear accessories, a timeless touch to a wedding fit that brings fashion and function alike to your look. Once you've locked in how to tie a tie (there's no shame in needing a refresher), read on for everything you need to know about how to wear a tie clip.

In this article:

Tie Clip Placement: Where Does a Tie Clip Go?

Your tie clip should be worn anywhere between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt (from the neck down). Anything higher isn't going to look quite right and anything lower is going to risk obscuring the clip underneath your jacket (if you're wearing one). The sweet spot is between buttons three and four. It's an easy rule to remember and remains consistent regardless of what kind of suit you're wearing.

How to Wear a Tie Clip or Tie Bar Correctly

Beyond its placement, there are another few key steps to take to ensure you're wearing your tie clip correctly. The first is making sure to fasten its clip beneath your shirt placket, not just across the tie. Tie clips aren't just a fashion statement, they're functional as well–meant to secure your tie in place so that it doesn't flop around freely. Your tie clip should also sit straight across your tie, not at an angle. You also don't want to push it in so far that it appears smooth.

You're also going to want to make sure you've got a tie clip that's proportionate to the width of your tie, though that will depend on the type of tie you're wearing. A tie clip should fit across roughly ⅔ of your tie, not all the way across, and not less than (the ⅔ rule is something you can eyeball but your clip definitely shouldn't be half the length of your tie or less). Your average tie clip, one designed to fit a standard-width tie, is going to be 2.1 inches long. For skinny ties, try a clip in the .9-inch range.

FAQs About Wearing a Tie Clip

What's the point of a tie clip?

The tie clip's origin is in function as much as fashion. In addition to its merits as an accessory, it originally served to stop ties from blowing around in the wind by securing them to the wearer's dress shirt. They can still serve that purpose, but they've become the sort of accessory that is often worn regardless of what your weather app's read on the wind speed is.

When should I wear a tie clip vs. a tie bar?

Tie clips and tie bars have become slightly interchangeable as terms, but there is technically a difference between the two. A tie clip is the version of the accessory with, you guessed it, a clip on the back to fasten it to a shirt and tie. This is by far the more common variation of the accessory, though it's also the slightly less formal version.

A tie bar, on the other hand, can be slid onto a tie and shirt. It doesn't do quite as good a job of staying in place as the tie clip does but it's an elegant touch to an outfit. Tie clips are better for more formal occasions.

Do people still wear tie clips?

Yes, people still wear tie clips. They're among the most popular menswear accessories at any event requiring a shirt and tie. If you're worried about your outfit looking dated or out of place with a tie clip, worry not–this is an accessory that will never go out of style.

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