Tie Bar is one of the best places to order men's dress clothes—here's why I'm obsessed
From formal looks to casual clothing, Tie Bar has it all.
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When it comes to men’s dress clothes, figuring out your own exact style can be tough. Are you more of a navy or brown suit sort of guy? Do you like a super relaxed fit or something form fitting to show off your physique? And then, what about your tie, the place where you can really make a statement in your look, be it dressed up or dressed down?
Luckily for the folks trying to figure out all the above, Tie Bar, an online store that sells everything from statement ties to dress shirts, casual button-ups to pajamas, and everything in between, is here to help.
What is Tie Bar?
Founded in 2004 outside of Chicago, Tie Bar is a director-to-consumer retailer “bringing you premium quality menswear at wallet-friendly prices,” according to the company’s website. The company’s goal is to help men dress better without spending a fortune by creating well-crafted and stylish garments and accessories in house. Since its launch, Tie Bar has continuously expanded its product line and even teamed up with celebrities like Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Dwayne Wade for special collaborations.
Though primarily sold online, Tie Bar also has a handful of retail stores in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.
What's it like to shop at Tie Bar?
To test a brand like Tie Bar it made sense to try a handful of staple items — dress socks, a shirt, a tie, and a tie bar — and some other items like a polo shirt and, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, some facemasks.
To be honest, the sheer number of options in each category, especially shirts and ties, is a little overwhelming because there’s a seemingly endless number of color and pattern combinations. Overwhelming, yes, but also good because it means you're almost certain to find something that fits your style. Advanced search features also help narrow down selections, so instead of scrolling through 100 different shirt options, you can select that you only want to see blue shirts in plaid or gingham options.
For some reason, I’ve always gravitated towards brown clothing, so I decided to go with the Pencil Penstripe Brown Shirt. For fit, many shirts come in two different styles: Standard, with more breathing room, and Trim, for a more snug fit. I’m a slightly smaller guy with a pretty slim build so I went with the Trim fit. Dress shirts also come in different neck sizes and sleeve lengths. Tie Bar has created a handy Fit Guide with measuring instructions and videos to make sure you know exactly what size to buy. And if you still aren’t sure, stylists are available via chat to help you along the way.
One great tool that Tie Bar offers is the ability to see different tie options against any shirt by clicking the “Match Shirt and Ties” button hovering above the picture of a shirt. Clicking that allowed me to see ties that were curated for the brown striped shirt I picked until I found one that I absolutely loved — the Mini Dots Chocolate Brown Tie — and knew I would wear with other shirts I already own. Like the dress shirts, many of Tie Bars ties come in different sizes and lengths, but another handy guide gives advice on picking the right size, from super skinny to traditional.
I rounded off my dress look with a pair of Ribbed Black Dress Socks at $10 a pop, and a Matte Color Black Tie Bar that I figured would tie together the look and be a good addition to my wardrobe. For a more casual look I also got the Tipped Cotton Sweater Brown Polo and a pack of five face masks to match my outfits.
Everything arrived quickly and in a nice branded box that was more fun to open than your average plastic envelope that most clothes arrive in. After taking everything out and making sure it was everything I ordered — it was! — I started trying things on to test for fit and comfort.
What I liked
Out the gate, I have to say my favorite item was the adorable brown polo, which I ordered in a small. Made with 100% mercerized cotton, it was extremely comfortable and fit well. With the white trim it looks modern and can easily be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the occasion. I put it on tucked into some black shorts for a warm-day adventure, but have also dressed it up with slacks and loafers for an important business zoom call.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I haven’t had much reason to dress up, so putting on my new dress shirt and tie was a fun excuse to pretend to be fancy for a night in. I’m glad I went with the Trim Fit in the dress shirt because it seemed to fit my chest and shoulders exactly right, though I did think the arms were slightly baggy in the bicep area (which could also be due to the fact that my biceps could use some work). The length was just right and tucked into my pants for a clean and polished look. At $55, I’d argue that the fit and comfort make this shirt a steal — and even better, you can get three different shirts for $140. The tie looked great with the shirt and seemed very well constructed, and at only $25, makes a good investment in your wardrobe.
What I didn't like
Some might argue that you can’t really go wrong with socks, but I don’t always find that to be the case. As someone with a slightly smaller foot, one-size only options don’t tend to work well for me. The dress socks claim to fit size 7 to 12, but if you’re on the smaller side of that like me you end up with something that just doesn’t look or feel right. The socks were comfortable at least and at $10 a pair, why not decide for yourself?
And as for the masks, I have to say it’s a love/hate relationship for me. Having taken mask wearing very seriously from the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve done plenty of research to find masks that I really enjoy and feel safe and comfortable in. The Tie Bar masks are very soft and feel nice sitting on your skin, but the wiring in the upper hem felt a little present as if there was always something sitting across my nose and cheekbones. That said, I certainly felt like nothing could get through the masks and that it was secure on my face. Made with 100% two-ply cotton, I didn’t find the masks to be as breathable as I’d hoped, but wearing them wasn’t unbearable. They’re great masks to have by the door to run a quick errand versus potentially spending an entire day wearing out in the city.
Is Tie Bar clothing worth buying?
Ultimately, I really enjoyed my experience with Tie Bar and would recommend to friends and family looking for affordable and stylish options for dress clothes. The online shopping experience is really great for people who need help understanding different sizing options for men’s dress clothes, and their flexible return policy makes it easy to swap items out to make sure you get exactly what you need.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.