Today’s tie is a descendent of the European cravat which was a long strip of cloth worn about the neck. A starched, white ruff was then attached to keep the jacket or doublet from becoming marred or stained as well as functioning as a napkin or bib as the need arose. Ties are used now as a fashion statement or as part of a uniform.
We’ve all seen comical situations occur with men and their ties. For instance, when the news camera catches a man walking across the street during a storm and his tie is blowing frantically around his head. Without a doubt, there are also dangers lurking with tie-wearers which need to be taken into consideration, such as when the tie gets caught in machinery. To avoid such circumstances, several smart devices have been invented that enables the tie to be attached to the dress shirt underneath, thereby holding it in place.
The following list gives the names and descriptions of each of these devices:
TIE BAR: Much like the shape and function of a paperclip, this is an elongated strip of metal used to slide across the tie, attaching it to the shirt. Tie bars, also known as tie slides can be found in plain or decorative patterns.
TIE CHAIN: Usually made from gold or silver, and resembling a hanger with a loop to attach to a button with a chain hanging down from either end. The tie is slipped through the loop, hiding the bar and revealing the chain in front.
TIE CLIP: Two or three strips of material joined together by a spring-loaded mechanism which is clipped across the tie and shirt, holding them together. Also known as a tie clasp, they come in a variety of materials, lengths and shapes. Many have decorative engravings, logos or gemstones attached.
TIE STRAP: A relatively new accessory which is slipped through the back of the tie through the label loop then buttoning it above and below. They are usually made of cloth or plastic.
TIE TACK: Also known as a tie pin, this utensil resembles a studded earring with a chain attached to a long, cylindrical piece of metal or weight. The pin is detached from its base and placed through the material of the tie and then reattached to the base. The weight is then slid through a buttonhole, which keeps the tie in place.
It’s a matter of preference which instrument each person uses but one thing to remember with tie pins is that they tend to damage the silk tie cloth when piercing them. When shopping for tie clips, be sure to choose the correct widths and materials to complement your tie collection.