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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Unusual Tie Clips: the Terrain of Men’s Accessories

Sunday, 20 February 2011

tie clipsEven fashion-clueless men cannot resist the allure of jewelry; they still have a touching weakness for the shimmering precious metals and sparkling gemstones, though probably hidden deep within. Sometimes they inadvertently reveal their passion with the flashy watch, diamond studs, or some really unusual tie clips. Tie clips or bars, however, are inherently male accessories. They clip horizontally across a man's tie and hold it to his shirt, stabilizing it while also assuring that the skinny part will not emerge from behind the wide part. Luckily, modern designers do not neglect tie clips when working on the look of the present-day gentleman, and make them into a functional and sophisticated accessory.

Tie Clips in History

Tie-wearing has been popular since the late 17th century (when the «cravat» was in vogue), but it was not until about 1850 that the four-in-hand tie, or typical long tie of today, became prevalent. By 1870, men were using tie pins to affix the tie directly to the shirt. But these required puncture-action and thus damaged anything made of silk, as many ties were by 1920 or so. Tie clips rose to prominence in the 1920s, when pioneering tailor Jesse Langsdorf developed a procedure for cutting ties that discouraged wrinkles and, more important, allowed the tie to fall straight down and more or less stay there, as ties are expected to do today. The simultaneous advent of silk ties and predictable tie behavior helped the gentler tie clip outpace its pokey counterpart.

However, as the 20th century wore on, fashions became increasingly casual. Men discontinued the practice of wearing suits and stopped wearing fedoras almost entirely. Perhaps, the tie clip, too, became a sort of symbol of the «organization man,» a badge of corporate servility and piety. As white-collar workers became less tied to one company and more like free agents, the tie clip was left in the junk drawer.

Innovative Designer Solutions

Modern tie clips can be quite innovative in their design and functions, for instance, a tie clip in the shape of a miniature Parker pen with cap, made of yellow and white gold, which is quite capable of performing the tasks of its prototype, like taking notes, or a white gold tie bar with a large logo of one of the most famous automakers, for example, Mitsubishi. Prices for these items can range from $20 to $1500.

For those who appreciate art and love sophisticated jewelry for men, Austrian brand Frey Wille included several tie clips into its collections Hommage a Hundertwasser, Joie de Vivre and the Sphinx. The accessories (or rather exquisite jewelry pieces) are made of yellow and white gold using a special color enameling technique. Each tie clip in the Hommage a Hundertwasser collection features a miniaturized fragment of the painting by Hundertwasser in the signature Frey Wille style. Prices for these tie clips range from $400 to $1500.

If you're into geeky stuff but have to stick to formal wear most of the time, you can rebel with the tie clip doubling as a standard MP3-player. This accessory is equipped with a miniature flash drive and a miniature button to start playback. The face side features an LCD which can be set up to display your company's name or any message of your choosing, like "My heart is free» or «Hello! How are you».

The next item on our list is an absolute must-have for any James Bond' wannabee. The Tie Clip Mini Spy Camera can do oh so many things. Inside of the tie clip is a hidden camera, capable of recording video images and audio without alerting people around you. Additionally, the tie clip is easily removed and placed just about anywhere, allowing you to discretely plant the camera wherever you need it for maximum effectiveness even after you leave the room,.

The tiny 3.7mm pinhole lens can record video in MPEG4, and contains an audio pickup as well. Your video and sound can be played back on the receiver unit with the 2.4-inch TFT LCD display, which records all of the received video on its 2GB of storage space. You can add even more memory with a Mini SD memory card for those longer spy missions, allowing you to greatly increase your video capacity.

The next item will definitely appeal to all nerds and geeks out there. Known as the Photoshop Toolbar tie, it is definitely the best accessory to flaunt your love for this application. Designed by Toni Castillo, this tie clip features a pattern of the entire tool bar and promises to make a style statement like no other.

Definitely created for a more Westernized workaholic society, the Stick Pin Iron for Ties allows any man (or woman) to look pressed and put-together no matter where they are or how long they have been working. Designed by Goal Orientation, the Stick Pin Iron for Ties actually resembles a hair dressers hair clip. Yet this handy tool doesn't keep hair pulled back. Using ceramic heating plates, it powers up either by USB or an outlet.

In recent years, decorative tie clips have become popular gift ideas for shoppers on a budget. There is usually a wide variety of styles available and one size does indeed fit all ties. Owners of several neckties should also invest in functional tie clips for everyday occasions and several higher-end clips for formal events. Many times, tie clips are bundled with matching cufflinks

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