A tie-clip of today comes in many shapes, and serves one simple yet necessary function: to secure the folds of a necktie. Tie clips of today really started off as stickpins of yesterday that then developed to tie pins, and ultimately today’s tie-clips; stickpins were mainly a tool for the English upper middle classes of 1850s and 1860s to keep their cravats [the predecessors of modern neckties and bowties] in place. Cravats were made of expensive fabrics like silk or satin, and stickpins were a necessary tool to keep these fabrics steady and safe. Stickpins transformed into tiepins in 1870s with their arrival to the United States, and their decoration with pearls, precious stones, and figures like horse heads. In 1800s, women started using them as well in outfits used for sports like golf, tennis, or cycling. During 1920s there was a revival movement to once again use neckties that were made out of silk, and the tie-clip was invented to replace the tie pins to ensure that no harm to the fabric is caused by the item.
Today the tie clip is not a status symbol, but rather a symbol of care. It remains to be one of the few accessories that women are allowed to wear in the United States army, and is still sporadically used mostly by men in North America, Europe, and certain parts of the Middle East for special occasions. The clip is usually made of material that is intended to not harm the fabric of the tie, and not leave any marks of usage upon removal of the clip.