Italian pinstripe designer suits, a button-down collar, and French cuffs do not a complete outfit make. They need something more, and this something is called a tie tack. A necktie without a tie tack is like potato chips without potatoes. The tie tack improves not only the outfit's form, but also its function.
Tale of the Tie Tack
Simply put, a tie tack is a short pin with an embellished head. Chains or snaps connect the tack to shirts. Three types of tie tacks exist. The tie bar clips a necktie to a shirt's fold. On the other hand, the tie pin connects a necktie directly to a shirt or chain, which slides through a shirt's buttonhole. Lastly, the tie chain includes a strong bar and a chain. The bar is connected to the shirt and the necktie covers it. The chain keeps the tie secure by lying across the necktie. All tie tacks keep neckties looking even, by keeping them stay straight and still. Men first wore these fashion accessories during the 1900s. Today, professionals wear tie tacks along with neckties.
The Tacks' Tact
Of all the components of today's formal outfits for men, the necktie has the least important function. Wacky "Moose," "Sponge Bob," and plaid neckties seem to highlight this truth. Shirts, pants, and suits protect gentlemen from the heat and the cold. Shoes and socks keep their feet from getting blisters. Neckties, on the other hand, are worn strictly for aesthetic value. When they're worn, however, they should be paired with tie tacks. On a windy day or when the gentleman runs, tie tack-less ties can flip-flop around like a kite on a windy day. Tie tacks, thus, help their wearers keep a professional appearance.
A Tiny Tool
Others may argue that the tie tack is too tiny to be worth wearing. In other words, if nobody notices it, why wear it? The truth, however, is that the tie tack gives your necktie body and helps it keep its form. In pulling big things together, it's often the little things that count, and the tie tack is no exemption.
No Laughing Matter
For some professionals, tie tacks could be life-saving. For example, the necktie is part of the uniform of uniformed police officers. An unsecured tie could negatively affect their vision while they are mobile, potentially putting their lives at risk during shoot-outs and such. Also, you have probably seen humorous scenes on TV shows and in movies wherein some huge contraption starts eating a man's necktie, inch by inch. Yes, it's funny when seen on TV. If this were to happen in real life, however, it would be no laughing matter.
Tie tacks complete formal outfits, keep neckties in line, and save lives. There is certainly nothing tacky about that!