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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Comeback of Dapper Tie Accessories

AMC’s award winning series, Mad Men, has definitely left its mark on the fashion world. Dresses with waistlines, full skirts and demur high heels are gracing runways and mall stores everywhere. Men’s jackets, lapels and trousers are narrowing and the fedora, once a sign of stodginess, is now the must have menswear accessory. And yes, the tie clip has even resurfaced. If you are under the age of forty, you may not have the slightest clue what this is. But for us older folks, the sight of a tie clip conjures up memories of our dads, Chevrolet Impalas and Lucky Strikes.

The tie clip or clasp consists of a slim bar attached by a hinge to a metal fastener with ridges. Quite simply, you slide the bar portion over the flat surface of a knotted tie and affix the ridged portion behind the shirt. This handy device was invented to keep ties straight and prevent them from flapping about or falling into ones food. There are tie clips to fit every budget and style sensibility. You can find them in metal, silver and gold and tie clip styles range from simple and streamlined to ornate and jewel embellished.

When worn properly, the clip rests  between the fourth and fifth shirt button or approximately 1/3 of the way down the tie. Ideally, you should be able to see the clip when the suit jacket is buttoned. Another important rule is that the clip should always be narrower than the tie. Although traditionally worn straight, you can also position the clasp at a jaunty angle. Dance and fashion icon, Fred Astaire, is credited with having popularized this trend ( An original dresser, he was also known for wearing his bold colored ties as belts!

So, if you are lacking in gift and stocking stuffer ideas for the men in your life, then think no further. The metal tie clip is the perfect gift for the fashion forward gentleman who enjoys wearing a suit and tie. I found some handsome and reasonably priced ones by Kenneth Cole on and J Crew carries a sterling silver clip for $60. If you love the vintage look, then check out eBay as well.

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