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A tie bar is a menswear accessory. Tie bars are often shaped into narrow metal strips. Their purpose is to decoratively hold a necktie straight on the front of a shirt. The bar is also known as a slide since it has a back piece that slides onto the center of the tie and attaches to a fold of the shirt. Tie bars may be plain, detailed or novelty in style.
The classic type of tie bar is plain sterling silver. Sterling silver tie bars can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 or more US Dollars (USD). Some upscale designer versions in gold sell for as high as $1,000 USD. Dressy bar styles for ties often feature crystals or gemstones to add a touch of sparkle.
A white or yellow gold tie bar with a solitaire diamond is an expensive luxury menswear accessory. A sterling silver or gold bar with an engraved initial and a birthstone gem can make a personalized gift. Many sterling silver or gold tie bars are sold with gift boxes included.
However, some men don't care for the look of tie bars. They find them too conservative, outdated or old-fashioned. Tie bars were first made famous by British upper class men who dressed very formally. American dancer Fred Astaire is credited with starting a trend of wearing a tie bar in a less formal way by angling it rather than positioning it straight across his neckties. Tie bars are still often associated with fashion looks of the 1930s to 1950s, yet there are many novelty styles available today.
Novelty tie bar shapes such as a helicopter blade or golf club allow the wearer to show his personality and interests. In this way, tie bars are fashion accessories rather than just useful devices for keeping ties straight. Many professional dress uniforms such as those for fire fighting, policing and military occupations feature a tie bar. These often have an insignia, or logo, in the center with text such as Police Department included in a graphic design using enamel paint in the organization's key colors.
A tie bar is worn with the closed end slid to the edge of the necktie. Tie bars differ from clips or pins. Tie clips have a spring loaded type of clipping mechanism, while pins feature a pin that goes through the material of ties before being capped. Tie bars are often more appreciated than the pins since the necktie fabric doesn't have to be punctured.
@Markus - You don't necessarily need to wear a tie bar nowadays to job interviews but I doubt you'll be judged by it if you do.
On the other hand, a simple sterling tie bar can add a lot of class to your look and might even leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, especially if they happen to be a woman.
I have an important job interview coming up and I was wondering if anyone could tell me if it's necessary to wear a neck tie bar with my suit or should I go without it.
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