Should a Man Ever Wear a Clip-on Tie?
Clip-on ties: Not just a myth in men’s fashion, but an actual reality. Who wears them? From a sartorialist’s point of view, are they an acceptable fashion accessory? What are the benefits of these pre-tied neckties? In this brief article I am exploring the pros and cons of the pre-tied clip on neckties.
The Pros & Cons
Because I enjoy styling my neckties with different tie knots, I would never consider even wearing a clip-on tie. But there are some benefits to these pre-tied pieces. First of all, they may be considered to be more convenient since no tie a tie knowledge is needed. They always end at the same length, the knot always looks the same, and the clip-on tie attaches quickly and easily onto the collar. Another, and maybe even more important benefit is comfort and safety. Clip-on ties are not worn around the neck which reduces any risk of choking accidents when operating dangerous machinery for instance – just think about the picture of getting your necktie stuck in a paper shredder… =)
Speaking against using clip-on ties is their tacky reputation. In short, fashion and tie aficionados would never opt for a pre-tied necktie or bow tie. In fact, tying your own tie offers many benefits. First of all you can adjust the length of the tie to compliment your height and neck size. Second, tying your own tie is fun and it allows for personal styling. You can choose knots to match your shirt collar and tie design, and you can even dimple your tie knot to add more volume and a better drape. Last but not least, the selection of clip-on ties is very limited. Designer ties and brand name ties for instance are simply not available as a clip-on.
When Acceptable & When Considered a Faux Pas
Now that you have read the pros and cons of clip-on ties, you will most likely think that clip-on ties don’t have a place in a man’s wardrobe. Well, you may be surprised to hear me say that they still do! Some men are unable to tie a tie. Men that have suffered a severe stroke for instance often loose movement in their left arm, making it almost impossible to tie a necktie. Also, clip-on ties are popular in certain industries. Security companies for instance often outfit their staff with clip-on ties. They are perfect for a consistent “uniform look” (all the knots look to be tied the same), they are convenient, and most importantly they eliminate choking accidents.
Another popular event where clip-on bow ties are worn are school proms and (unfortunately so) also weddings. Although commonly worn, I suggest you don’t wear a pre-tied bow tie past the years of high school. Learn to tie your own bow tie. A self tied bow tie is instantly noticeable and a sign for a man’s good taste, sophistication, and undisputed elegance. Don’t know how to tie a bow tie? Then check out my tutorial on tying a bow tie.
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