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There’s no better way to win the hearts and minds of the sartorial set than a vintage tie clip, bar or pin. But before you break into the world of meta-accessories, you’ll want a map of the territory.

To that end, we present to you the three cardinal rules of accessorizing your tie. Learn them well.

Choose the Right Tie
If it’s something expensive, a solid light color, or silk, we’d recommend staying away from a pin entirely—it will leave a noticeable hole. Save the pin for a wool tie that can withstand a little prodding (in fact, you might want to dedicate your heaviest tie to the cause and leave it at that). For something that will work with all of your ties, go for a clip or bar.

Size It Up
When it comes to finding the right tie clip (think, oversized paperclip) or tie bar (a hinged device that provides the strongest grip) you’ll want to pay particular attention to the size as compared to your slimmest and widest tie. A good rule of thumb is to keep your clip within the range of half to three-quarters’ width of any tie in your collection.

The Older the Better
Our favorite tie bar is probably this Tiffany’s model, but if you’re still warming up to the idea Etsy Vintage is a great place to start. You’ll find everything from a simple, shorter bar (suited for slim ties) to a clip in the shape of a tennis racquet. Naturally, eBay has a vast selection. And tie purveyor Pierrepont Hicks recently began stocking a small selection of vintage clips on their site—including one affixed with a miniature bulldozer.

Further affirming their status as a tie’s best friend.

—N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar