The clip-on tie is a bow tie or four-in-hand tie which is permanently tied, with a dimple just below the knot, and which is fixed to the front of the shirt collar by a metal clip. Alternately, the tie may have a band around the neck fastened with a hook and eye.
Reasons for use
- Tightly tied standard neckties may be a source of irritation and discomfort.
- Some people either do not know how to tie, or do not feel comfortable tying, a standard necktie, and some with disabilities may not be able to.
- Police officers and security guards often wear clip-ons as a precaution against being strangled by a pulled necktie. (With uniform, a tie clip may be used to keep the tie from "flying" in the wind.) A clip-on tie is part of the uniform of the JCB Academy for industrial safety reasons.
- Some schools require clip-on ties as part of their uniform instead of regular ties as this keeps students from loosening them in hot weather.
- A clip-on tie can be put on more quickly than a conventional necktie.
People in white collar occupations are often mocked for wearing a clip-on tie in lieu of a standard necktie, the implication being that refusal to learn how to tie a "proper" tie reflects a wider lack of sophistication. Pre-tied bow ties are especially disliked in formal circles; according to one writer, "The quirky irregularities of a self-tied bow give it personality and flair... while the cookie-cutter precision of a pre-tied model diminishes it to an assembly-line commodity." Because child-sized ties are often clip-ons, some consider clip-ons juvenile. Finally, clip-on ties are generally available in limited styles, sizes, and prints relative to their conventional counterparts.