Top Tips on Tie Bars, Lapel Pins, and Name Tags on Uniforms

The right accessories can complete your look, especially when you’re wearing a suit. The accessories you use can even be small and subtle and still make the biggest difference. That’s why for so many uniforms, accessories like the tie bar, lapel pin and name tag are often mandated and there are even rules on how to wear them.

The number one rule is to follow the guidelines provided by your organisation if you’re wearing these accessories as part of your uniform. While some organizational rules aren’t quite so strict, other groups tend to be a bit more exacting about adhering to the rules. If you’re using these accessories as part of a military or security uniform, then you really should comply!


Tie Bars

Also known as tie clips, tie bars are designed to neatly keep your tie in place against your shirt. Some look plain, but others may feature a design that’s unique to an organisation or business. Here are some general rules to follow when using one:

  • Don’t use tie bars if you’re already wearing a waistcoat or a cardigan that holds your tie in place. Using a tie bar just becomes redundant. It’s like wearing suspenders with belts.
  • Tie bars come in 2 different styles. There’s the slide clasp, which is best for lighter fabric and thinner ties. The pinch clasp is for thicker ties and heavier fabrics.
  • Just use them horizontally across your tie. Angled clips don’t look neat, and they can seem just a bit silly.
  • The length should be about ¾ the width of the tie.
  • Adjust your tie before you secure the tie with the tie bar. It looks better this way, and you also don’t feel too restrained.

Lapel Pins

These may be purely decorative, but then so are ties to begin with.

  • Lapel pins are usually worn on the left side of the jacket. That’s especially true if you’re wearing a flag pin for military, police, firemen, and other patriotic organisations.
  • It shouldn’t really be too big or overpowering, as it can be garish otherwise. The biggest lapel pin should be about half an inch in diameter.
  • Just make sure it is firmly set as you don’t want it to spin around. That’s especially true for flag lapel pins which can’t be worn upside down, unless you want people to think you’re against the country the flag is representing!
  • If you’re wearing a tie but not a blazer, the pin can be at the center of the tie. However, you can’t use it with a tie bar.
  • If you’re not wearing a jacket or a tie, just pin it on the left side of your shirt just above your heart.

Name Tags

Name tags are crucial for many organisations, but you should know the proper etiquette regarding its use:

  • The general rule is that you wear it on the right side of your shirt or blazer, right above the pocket.
  • You should check if your name tag flips over when you shake hands. If it does (and your organisation doesn’t insist on different or exact obedience rules), place it on the left side. The point of the name tag is for others to see your name, right?


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