Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dress Code: Class Act's Favorite Accessory

tie bar collection, need more
-Some time during my senior year of high school, 05-06, I bought a super rad vintage sterling silver tie bar at Ray's Ragtime in Portland. It had no adornments or ornamentation. It was just a clean, slightly worn rectangle of silver, and I loved it. Sometime during my freshman year of college, 06-07, I lost said tie bar during a night that involved some combination of a snow, alcohol and police. Since then I have mourned, and longed for a replacement.
-A couple months ago I walked into a new antique store in Bellingham called Etta's Attic. Upon inquiring with the owner (presumably Etta) about tie bars, she told me the only one she had at the moment was the goldish piece above. I bought a jar and she gave me the goldish (I'm not sure of the metal) one for free. She also took my name and number and told me she'd call me if any silver tie bars came her way. About a week ago I got the call and returned to Etta's Attic. She hooked me up with the two silver tie clips (apparently if it clips, it's a clip and if it slides, it's a bar. Doesn't make any difference to how they look when in use) shown in the picture for a great price.

-Although I originally thought I could only get down with an unscathed surface, I'm really digging the etched clip I got. But I'm still not satisfied because, although both those pick-ups were great, I want one like my first: A plain silver bar, not clip.
-A few times I've debated just biting the bullet and buying a new bar rather than hunting for a vintage piece. J.Crew and Tiffany (left, and right below) both have a sterling silver tie bar for $75 (so on principle I'd have to get the Tiffany right?) But I think I'm going to just wait it out until I find the perfect one (again.) I told Etta what I'm looking for so hopefully something comes her way before I'm outta here next spring.

-I realized that I've just gone on about how I want more tie bars, but I didn't say anything about why. It's a bit hard to articulate why the bar has become my favorite accessory (even though the accessory itself is dependent on another accessory, the tie.) Maybe it's because I've never been too big on jewelry that the idea of working some metal into a look, but not right on my skin, is appealing. Whatever the logic, I like how a very simple bar can set focus a crazy patterned tie, or a patterned bar can make a very plain tie pop a bit.
-Oh and if you don't know the rule on tie bar placement, it should be as low as it can be while still remaining visible when the highest button of your jacket is fastened.
-For more interesting tie bar analysis check out Momentum of Failure. Also, I apologize for this wack image, shooting tie bars was hard because they're so damn reflective!


Thomas Willbergh said...

I believe a localjewler by me has a couple silver ones under 30 I'll check it out and drop you a line.

Angelo said...

That would be much appreciated, thanks!

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

I can relate to your interest in tie bars - I like to scour antique stores personally. I found one shaped like an old water pump recently.

It's great to see such a youthful perspective on fashion and one that is so insightful and natural. I really enjoy reading your stuff.


Lee said...

Speak of the devil, I just recently (within the last couple days) picked up one of these:

around $4 with shipping.