Today Slate takes on the important issue of tie clips and their apparent decline.
I agree with author Paul Devlin that the tie clip is a tremendously useful sartorial device for those of us who wear the useless sartorial flourish that is a silk necktie. A little bar of metal can be the difference between a tie that stays in the middle of my shirt, with its small end tucked behind, and a tie that flaps everywhere, particularly in a stiff breeze.
Devlin reports that the fancier haberdashers are no longer carrying much in the way of tie clips, and my visits to less fancy haberdashers don’t turn up much either (although Burlington does offer matching dollar-sign tie clips and cuff links that scream “I am poor people”).
My own tie clips, which come from the United Nations Gift Centre (love the spelling), are discreet bars of metal — one silver, the other gold — engraved with the words “UNITED NATIONS” and a small UN emblem.
Those are fine for now, but if I ever join the US Foreign Service, I’ll need to get new ones, and I sure hope someone out there still carries them.