Dress Code: Shirt and tie matching – Combining the right clothing colors

1.First the suit, then the shirt, and keep the tie for last

Start with the largest piece of clothing, the suit, and place in on the bed. Then choose a shirt and drape it under the jacket. After you’ve found a matching shirt, go on and choose a suitable tie. Always use this order: from large to small.

2. Pay attention to different patterns!

Striped suit, striped shirt, striped tie always deny! It won’t work. The same applies to checked patterns. A one-colour shirt would work here. On the other hand, too much the same would appear boring: blue suit, blue shirt, plain blue tie. Here at least the tie should add some color to it and a more lively color should be chosen. But how to find the right match when dealing with patterns? As a rule of thumb you should keep in mind:

  • Combine patterned fabrics with unpatterned.
  • Combine tiny patterns with large patterns

3. Little play of colors what are the matches?

Ties in almost every color go with a blue suit and light blue shirt, especially neckties in red or claret shades. Blue allows almost every possibility. If you wear a blue suit with a white shirt, then avoid flashy colors for the tie since there is already the contrast of blue and white. The ideal color combination for suit, shirt and tie is when the colors harmonize and the color contrast is well. -balanced. Contrasts emphasize the harmoniousness, and vice versa, well-balanced colors will buffer contrasts. Thus, not too much of the same color and no carnival-like dress.

4. Two different stripes

The interplay of suit, shirt and tie is relatively easy when there are two pieces with the same pattern. A striped shirt with a striped ties can go together quite nicely if the stripes are of different sizes. This also applies to a striped suit and shirt. Thus always combine narrow stripes with wide stripes and never two of the same or similar kind.

5. Two different checks

This is not quite as distinct as it is with two stripes. Here it is even more important that the checks are as different as possible in shape and size. Otherwise your business partner might get quite irritated.

6. Two different patterns

While with two patterns of the same kind the sizes should be completely opposite, it is the contrary with two different patterns. The size should possibly be the same as for larger and medium-sized patterns. For smaller designs one should avoid two different patterns at all. Thus, a wide-striped shirt and a tie with a large pattern will make a match, as well as a jacket with large checks combined with a necktie with wide stripes.

7.Three different patterns

Suit with herringbone design, checked shirt and striped tie? Does that work? Not that easily, but when the proportion of the patterns are similar it can work as well. But that would be quite daring and is not necessarily recommended.

8. Two of three of the same kind

Two pieces of clothing with checks and one with stripes or vice versa? Sure that will work – when obeying the rules. Here also the pieces of the same kind need to differ in size, and the third pattern has to adapt to the dominating piece, which is usually the suit. Thus, a Glen check suit with a small checked shirt and a tie with wide stripes make a nice match when the color contrasts are not too harsh.

9. Three of the same kind

The requirements are rather high to harmonize three different patterns. Now everything has to be 100%. First wide stripes or checks should be combined with middle-sized or small stripes or checks, and finally an ideal color combination has to be found. This is the choice for somebody who likes to take a chance and has a big closet.

10. The easiest rule at last

If you are unsure what clothes to choose, or how to combine them, and you do not have a large budget for your wardrobe, keep it simple. Be thrifty with patterns for suits and buy predominantly solid colored shirts – this way nothing can go wrong. You will get the contrast through colored and patterned ties.

More Resources with Tips on Matching Ties

For more information please choose one of the links below to be re-directed:
  • Mens Fashion Blog: Learn about newly arrived items, dress codes, how to match your clothing, different ways to tie your necktie, and seasonal trends in our fashion blog.
  • Match your Necktie Read about matching tips on shirt, suit, and tie. Besides combining patterns and colors, learn about matching your outfit to the occasion as well as to the season of the year.
  • Pictures of Matching Suit, Shirt, Tie View our picture gallery and learn how to better match your patterns, colors, and fabrics to create one well balanced outfit.
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