A Beginner’s Guide to Unconventional Ties and Accessories – Everything You Need to Know


When you’re just starting to branch out from the classic tie, it might be hard to know what you’re doing. The first time I wore a tie clip, I felt like I was wearing a huge sign on my forehead that said “look at me!” But with practice, it gets easier. Here are some tips to make tie accessories work for you – from tie bar, tie pins to bolo ties.

What are the differences between the Tie Bars, Tie Clips, and Tie Pins

tie clip tie bar tie pin tie accessories comparison image

Tie Clip

Tie clips opens like a jaw on a spring. The jaws of tie clip are meant to close around the tie and the shirt to secure them together. Tie clip serves a practical purpose, but it can also be decorative. Basic tie clip is flat and rectangular, but it also come in a variety of decorated styles. You can find tie clip shaped like car, your country’s flag, or any other design imaginable. Tie clip is probably your best choice if you’re a beginner when it comes to styling your tie.

Tie Bar

Tie bar, also called tie slides, slide over the tie and shirt to help secure the tie to the shirt. This keeps it from slipping. Basically tie bar serves the same purposes as tie clip.

Tie Pin

It’s a common question on how to wear a tie pin. Similar to tie clip and bar, tie pin is made of a t-bar, chain, and fastener. A lot of men prefer wearing tie pins because they’re usually more discreet, so they serve as a subtle accent.

How to Choose and Wear Your First Tie Accessory - How to wear a tie clip & tie bar

I recommend you tie clip or tie bar as your first accessory for tie. Essentially they are the same. Simple, suitable for beginner, the tie clip is a great way for you to showcase your unique taste without taking any risk. So, read through now, and you can learn how to wear a tie clip & tie bar as a true gentleman.
  1. Color of your Tie Clip & Tie Bar
Gold Tie clip silver tie clip and black tie clip how to wear a tie clip mens accessories

The first lesson on how to wear a tie bar and how to wear a tie clip is, playing with color. I recommend starting with the basics before you branch out too far. Start with silver and gold tie accessories first; Silver & gold tie bar and tie clip are the easiest to match with other clothes. After you have the basics, you can branch out into light and dark colors to add dimension to your look. But your neutral-color and metallic tie clip will probably get the most use, since they’ll go with most outfits.
   2. Material of your Tie Clip & Tie Bar

different material of tie clip for mens accessories

When you have the basic, you can start playing with the material of your tie clip and tie bar. Most tie accessories are made of metal, but you’ll also be able to find more elaborate selections made of wood, fabric, gemstones, pearls, enamel, plastic, resin, and even glass.

 3. The correct size of your Tie Clip & Tie Bar

how to wear a tie clip the correct size to wear it

Your tie clip & bar should never be wider than your tie. If you wear a skinny tie, you’ll need a smaller tie clip. They’re not one-size-fits-all. Always wear your tie clip perpendicular to the tie, between the third and fourth buttons on your dress shirt.

How should I style my tie pin?

Not a lot of people have learned how to wear a tie pin. A pin can look good, especially because the suit already highlights the upper portion of the tie. A tie pin is very easy to wear. You just have to be aware of not squeezing the tie and create weird curved shape.

We would recommend you not to wear a tie pin on a fine made silk tie, otherwise the hole might be very obvious. Instead, a woven tie will be more suitable to pin a tie pin.

Other Tie Accessories 

  • Bolo Ties

4 types of bolo ties how to wear a bolo tie guide
What’s a bolo tie?

Bolo tie are strongly associated with the country-Western style. They’re a piece of cord or braided leather, metal-tipped on the ends, with a decorative slide or clasp holding it together at the throat.

Are bolo ties formalwear?

Wearing a bolo tie to a formal event will make you stand out from the crowd. Bolo tie is actually quite popular, but doesn’t often show up in formalwear. If you’re looking for a more unique way to show your aesthetics, a bolo tie is definitely something you should try it out.

Reasons to incorporate bolo tie in your formalwear

If you’re a fan of the classic American Western look, a classic bolo tie is a no-brainer. But bolo tie can add variety and an eye-catching detail to a boho or alternative outfit. Because bolo tie isn’t classic formalwear, you have a lot of freedom to experiment. They’re also more laidback and offbeat than traditional ties.

How to wear a bolo tie

how to wear a bolo tie step by step

So, how to wear a bolo tie exactly? Bolo tie can be easy to wear, which is another one of it’s assets. Wrap the cord of bolo tie around your neck and tuck it under your collar, just like you would with a traditional tie. Then tighten the clasp to a comfortable fit at your throat. If you’re going for a more relaxed look, you can keep you’re bolo tie a little loose.

Types of Bolo Ties

After learning how to wear a bolo tie, you should also learn the varieties of bolo tie. Classic bolo ties are generally simple, with a reserved color palette and minimal decoration on the clasp. They’re intrinsically a casual accessory, so they can be used to dress up a casual outfit or dress down a more formal one.

tie accessories 4 different types of bolo ties designs

There are plenty of alternative bolo ties out there. Some have huge statement clasps, others have braided and elaborate cords. They’re a great way to play with classic styles and make a splash with your outfit. If you’re a fan of the offbeat, an out-there bolo tie can be the perfect thing to finish an outfit.

Bow Ties

bolo ties for mens tie accessories different colors and design of bolo ties

When should you wear a bow tie?

Bow ties are a perfect alternative to classic ties because you can dress them up or down. I probably wouldn’t wear a bow tie to a Board meeting, but in most other situations that call for a tie, you can easily swap out a regular one for a bow tie. They add a bit of playfulness and style to a look. Just make sure you tie yours immaculately and symmetrically. A bow tie will always stand out, so you want your look to be spotless.

Different styles of bow tie

james bond style bow tie

The most obvious way to wear a bow tie is the classic James Bond style – narrow, black, and simple. This gives a sleek, timeless look. If you’re not dressing for a black-tie affair (but still a formal one), you can branch out into different colors for a classic look that’s a little bit more relaxed, but still fits the occasion.

casual style outfit with bolo tie as mens accessory

But bow ties are also a perfect option for more casual occasions like an outdoor wedding. In that kind of setting, you can play with print, color, and tie your tie a little wider to make a bit more of a statement.

 

Different colors of bow tie
multiple color of bow ties for mens tie accessories

Of course, there are as many colors of bow tie as there are fabrics in the world, but as with any accessory, I recommend starting with three basics: black, white, and the staple color of your wardrobe. Having all three options will let you stay ready for any kind of occasion at a moment’s notice.

 

basic color of bow ties black white and dark blue bow tie for mens tie accessories

 

Ties get a bad rap for being boring and stuffy. But if you accessorize right and plan your wardrobe with enough variety, you can dress for any occasion without falling into the monotonous “tie and suit jacket” combo. It all comes down to finding options that work well with your personality, your wardrobe, and the types of occasions you usually find yourself at.

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