“Clothes make the man”, goes the paraphrased maxim originally uttered by courtier Polonius in Hamlet. But – once again – the bumbling character was only half-right. As any style-savvy man worth his sartorial salt knows, clothes are only half the equation. When completing an outfit, it’s the little things that matter, a point affirmed by findings on the growth of men’s accessories. In a recent study, global market-research company NPD Group found that the sales of men’s accessories had grown by 9 per cent in the 12 months preceding May last year, reaching US$13.6 billion (S$18.2 billion).

Aside from flamboyant items like jewellery, more traditional accoutrements have also become increasingly ubiquitous. One of our favourite classics, indeed, is the humble tie bar, that little clip that keeps neckwear in place, and prevents it from flapping wildly on a windy day. Stylish but not over the top, it’s a subtle accent that separates the well-dressed man from regular guys in ties. But don’t let its unassuming form fool you – the tie bar comes with its own set of owner’s rules. Read on.