The Perfect Tie, Bar None

For many men, a tie is something that is thrown on as a last thought, and the only thing that matters is that the colour doesn't clash with the shirt. But when it comes to men's fashion, the humble tie becomes a statement. It defines your look and is the last word in men's tailoring - especially when you jazz things up with a tie bar.

As with all things fashionable, however, it is all too easy to get it wrong - and a wrongly positioned or badly worn tie bar can destroy your tie style in one fell swoop. For a modern look, your tie bar should extend over no more than three quarters of the width of your tie. If you are after a retro look, however, then it can go all the way, but under no circumstances should a tie bar be wider than your tie - ever!

Where you position your tie bar matters too. Too high, and it becomes ineffectual; too low and it will look ridiculous. The perfect place for this stylish accessory is between the middle to the bottom of your sternum. Within this area, placing your tie bar higher can be slimming, although having it lower gives a more classic look.

A gold or silver tie bar is always a safe bet, but try and match the polish with any other metal you may be wearing, such as a belt buckle, cuff-links, buttons or a watch. If you want to cut more of a dash, don't be afraid of tie bars that are patterned or are coloured, as these can often brighten up a sober suit. Depending upon the occasion, there are also novelty tie bars for you to choose from.

So, when is the right time to splash the panache and don a tie bar? The answer is whenever you wear a tie; not only do they complete your look and make you stand out from the crowd, they also are functional.