How to Match a Tie with a Dress Shirt and Suit

by Antonio on April 26, 2011 · 42 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style


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When it comes to dressing for more upscale events, women have far more style decisions to make than men; we know we’ll be donning some version of a dress shirt and suit. But when it comes to adding the finishing touch–the tie–some men feel confused as to how to choose a tie that will complement the other elements in their ensemble.

The biggest mistake I see men make when trying to match their neckwear to their clothing is that they have bought the wrong tie for the clothing in their wardrobe.

Like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, they will either frantically try to match garments together at the last moment or not care at all and reinforce the stereotype that men can’t dress themselves.  In order to easily match your ties with your shirts and suits, you need to own neckwear that complements the more expensive clothing already in your closet.

Match your tie to your clothing, not your clothing to your tie.

The point is don’t buy a tie just because it looks great–buy neckwear that is of the right proportion for your body and is of a color and pattern that works well with your shirts and suits. You want your ties to match your clothing–not look good by themselves.

Coordinating your tie, dress shirt, and suit isn’t rocket science.  All it requires is a basic understanding of proportion, pattern, and color which can be used to build an interchangeable wardrobe.  Start with easy to match shirts and suits–then add a range of flexible neckties that accent and enhance the outfits you put together.  Do this and you’ll find yourself wanting to wear a necktie more often as it adds color to your complexion and makes you look better overall.

Principles of Matching

The Necktie

Necktie Proportion

Necktie proportion relates to the necktie’s width and length in regards to a man’s body build and clothing style.  A large man with large suits and a wide front is going to look best when he balances it with a wider than average tie that is long enough to reach his belt buckle.  A petite gentleman has the opposite problem and should look for smaller neckties that are not only skinnier width-wise but also shorter in length.  These special size ties can be found at many online retailers

For those of us who are close to average in size, proportion can become a problem when we purchase from high-end fashion designers or pick-up vintage pieces from thrift shops.  Average-sized men should try to wear ties ranging in width from 3 to 3.75 inches.  Anything wider or thinner is best reserved for a man whose size calls for it–otherwise you are drifting into the realm of fashion, not style. Here is an example of a skinny tie worn right.

If you find yourself shopping for ties and need a quick way to measure the width, pull out a dollar bill.  If the tie is close to Washington’s nose, you’re safe.  If it extends out past the portrait frame or is behind his head–consider passing on the necktie.

dollar bill tie width

Here we can see this necktie is well within the range of acceptability.

 

Necktie Color

There is not a perfect answer to which color goes best with any given outfit.  Two factors that determine the right color for a man include the message he is trying to signal and the color combination that works best with the natural colors of his complexion.

For a muted but sophisticated look, consider pairing semi-solid and lightly patterned blue and green ties with cool blue colored clothing. If you’re looking to draw attention to yourself, opt for the stark contrast of a bold red colored tie on a light colored shirt. The red tie is called the “power tie” for a reason; this combination works well for presenters as it captures wandering eyes and points them right to the speaker’s face.

As far as what colors work well with a man’s particular features, you’ll want to mimic your natural contrast levels.  Men with light colored hair and fair skin have low contrast and should stick with pastel and monochromatic color combinations.  Men with dark hair and light skin are high contrast and will look best selecting color combinations which have clearly defined lines between them.  If you have dark hair and medium to dark colored skin, you can pull off both low and high contrast tie and shirt/suit combinations.  Your difficulty in this case will be separating acceptable suit/shirt/tie combinations from great looking suit/shirt/tie combinations.  It’s a small distinction, and one best made by taking the clothing in your wardrobe and experimenting with various shades.

What about how the colors within a necktie work with one another?  Multicolored neckties fall into two categories–ties whose colors complement one another and ties whose colors do not, because the tie designer/manufacturer did not create the tie with a discerning eye. The colors on the computer screen are not always true to real life, so I purposely choose to buy my ties through businesses whose judgment I trust. I can rest assured that 99% of the time my ties’ color combinations will be solid and complementary, even if the colors aren’t quite the same as what I saw online.  Cheap ties and novelty neckwear often violate basic color combination rules and should be avoided.

Finally, it should be noted that 8% of men are colorblind and have great difficulty matching clothing.  If you fall into this category, the best advice I can give is to ensure your wardrobe is interchangeable and to consider working with a trusted clothier, friend, or image consultant who can ensure you’re not wearing color combinations that clash.

Necktie Pattern

Matching neckties with strong patterns is the hardest neckwear issue for most men.  This difficulty is directly reflected in neckwear sales–strongly patterned ties sell infrequently when compared to solid or semisolid ties.  I rarely see them worn, and even then they are almost never worn to full effect.   However when worn correctly, these rarely used neckwear gems can breathe life into an otherwise dull outfit.

The key to wearing patterned neckwear is to first ensure that the tie’s own colors do not clash (see above as to how to avoid this) and second, that the tie’s patterns do not conflict with any patterns in your shirt or suit.

When combining a patterned tie with a shirt and suit ensemble, ensure the pattern is not already present in the clothing.  A thin-striped shirt should not be combined with a thin-striped tie; however, that same thin-striped shirt will work well with a polka dot, solid, or even thick regimental striped tie as the patterns are not similar.  The reasoning behind all this is that similar patterns placed close to each other can create distorted visual effects such as the illusion of movement.

If you’re new to combining necktie patterns, the easiest way to add neckwear with complex patterns is to ensure your suit and shirt are pattern-less.  If this isn’t possible, start with ties which utilize small repeating patterns such as dots, foulard, or small images (club or sport ties).  Stripes are the next step, keeping in mind the rule of pairing them with shirt and suit combinations that either have no stripes or have ones that are of a different width and size than the tie’s stripes.  Paisley and plaid ties are solid options as well; I don’t usually push them though as they are sometimes too eccentric for many men.  Their larger patterns, however, make them even easier to match to a shirt and suit than striped ties.

necktie patterns

Starting at the top: solid twill, semi-solid repeating pattern, dotted, repeating multi-pattern floral, paisley, thin stripe, thick regimental stripe, and plaid.

 

The Dress Shirt

The dress shirt is the first garment you should ensure matches your tie; next to the jacket, it is the most important clothing accessory in determining what tie color and pattern you can wear.  However, unlike the jacket which you may peel off by lunchtime–your shirt stays on all day.  Without a jacket, the dress shirt is the only surface upon which the tie sits, and if there is a color clash it will be impossible to hide.  So get it right!

Starting off, the easiest shirts to match are solids.  Whites offer a neutral base and match anything.  Light blues are very close, as the few colors that would clash with them are seldom found in neckwear.  Off-white and pastel colored shirts are easy to match as well, although you always want there to be a clear distinction between shirt and tie fabrics.

As for striped shirts, again you’ll want to avoid matching similarly sized stripes.  If there is any doubt that the shirt stripes are too close in size or width to the tie’s pattern, move on and select another tie.

With check fabrics, look to match the casualness of the pattern with a tie that is more playful in tone.  Club, foulard, and paisley ties all work, as do solid wool knitted ties with square ends.  More advanced pattern matchers can combine various sized checks, but leave this to those with practice as the look can come off as too busy and distract attention from your face.

Finally, you should always avoid color combinations that are either too jarring for your lack of contrast or too monotone as to washout your complexion.

 

 

Navy Suit Herringbone Dress Shirt

A solid navy blue suit fabric paired with a blue contrast miniature herringbone shirt fabric. The top tie matches OK, but the second tie matches better and the final yellow & navy striped necktie creates a very regal and bold combination.

The Suit

Dark solid colored suits, especially grey and navy blue, go well with most tie color combinations by default.  They are the easiest to match as most tie makers assume their wares will be worn with one; if you have already matched the tie to the shirt, either a grey or navy suit will more often then not complement your ensemble.

The exception to this is when you take dark ties with blue tints and try to wear them with dark grey or black suits.  Although it can be done, blue tinted ties rarely complement these dark suits, and they should instead be reserved for navy blue, blue, or lighter colored suits where the color combination is more natural.  If you’re looking to combine a dark tie with a grey or black suit, look to deep purple or a dark tinted red.

If you’re looking to draw attention to yourself while wearing a dark suit, select a bold and rich colored necktie with a small repeating pattern.  A solid tie is an option as well, but when it’s woven from a bright hue it can be too bright and come off as informal.  Instead, choose a deeper and darker solid color tinted with black–this will still work with the dark suit while drawing the attention you seek.

Light colored suits invite darker colored ties for contrast yet can be worn with pastels successfully if the man wearing them has light hair and skin with little contrast.  Bright and warm hues such as yellow, red, orange, and pink should be avoided.

Striped suits fall under the same rule mentioned previously–do not mix clothing with the same size patterns.  Thus if you’re wearing a pin-stripe suit with a thick butcher stripe shirt, I would advise you to pair it with a dot or foulard tie.  Trying to fit in a regimental stripe or even a solid colored necktie is pushing the boundaries of looking sharp vs. looking like a clown.

Navy-Suit-White-Shirt-Tie-Matching

Navy blue suit and a white dress shirt. At the top we have a very subdued combination that signals formality yet allows a man to blend in. In the middle a classic stripe, with a hint of color for individuality. The bottom is a bright attention grabbing piece of neckwear that would be used to call attention to the wearer.

Sport Jackets and Blazers

Similar to a suit, blazers call for more formal ties and are traditionally paired with stripe or club ties.  Sport jackets, on the other hand, are often more informal, and depending on the tone of the fabric can call for a wool patterned necktie or silk foulard or paisley.  Consider matching smooth silk ties with rough weave jackets, while reserving the knitted neckwear for sport jackets that need a more casual feel.  In both situations, the wearer should create balance by paying attention to the aforementioned rules of matching.

Sport Jacket Tie Matching

A tweed jacket worn with a small blue check dress shirt - 3 tie combinations. Notice how the navy tie darkens the whole look while the light blue paisley brightens it.

Other Factors to Consider When Matching a Tie

  • Tie Knot Style and Relation to Collar Style – Closely related to proportion, tie knot style is important when you are wearing a dress shirt with a spread collar or a narrow point collar.  Each of these extreme angles calls for a tie knot that fits into the space afforded by the collar.  Remember that bigger tie knots require more tie, while smaller knots require less.  This sounds intuitive, but problems arise when a large man with a spread collar tries to use a regular size tie when tying a full Windsor knot.  His options end up being wearing a tie knot that is dwarfed by the space in his collar or having a proportional knot on a tie that is 2 inches too short.
  • Necktie Length – Most ties targeting Americans are 53 to 58 inches long.  On an average-sized man this is long enough to accommodate any tie knot and with a little practice ensure the tie ends at the belt buckle.   Larger men should look for ties that are 60 plus inches in length and shorter men should consider having their necktie less than 54 inches in length. Click here to see an offering of extra long neckties. For shorter ties, visit Josh Rogers over at ShortShrifted as he has assembled a great short tie guide.
  • Wearing a Vest – A vest can conceal 75% of a tie, which isn’t necessarily a negative.   Wearing a vest may enable a conservative gentlemen the opportunity to wear a more brightly colored tie without overwhelming his outfit.  A dark three-piece navy suit and white dress shirt instantly appears more lively when paired with a pink and blue paisley tie.
  • Some neckties are more formal than others. For a complete rundown of necktie and formality levels, read this great guide to neck tie formality from Hendrik Pohl at Tie-Necktie.com.
  • Wool & Woven Ties – Non-silk ties such as wools and wovens are casual pieces of neckwear.  Often solid, they do come in a wide range of weaves, fabrics, and styles.  These uncommon ties also have a unique matching factor: texture.  Typically you want to match rough weaves with smooth fabric jackets.
  • Pocket squares are the final touch; add them after the tie.  Never match pocket squares exactly with your neckwear; instead, try to make it so the pocket square complements the whole outfit.

Conclusion

Remember that mixing color and patterns is both an art and science.  Although I’ve laid out a nice set of guidelines, they are by no means unbreakable laws.  Instead, use this tie matching guide to build confidence, and then experiment on your own.  You will find that occasionally a tie and shirt just go well together despite violating the “rules of style.”

Now your turn – what tips on matching can you offer?

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 William April 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Any advice regarding bow-ties?

2 K-milo April 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Thanks a lot for this, Antonio. Great article!

3 Antonio Centeno April 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

@William – I didn’t cover bow ties as their rare appearance and playful manner requires a bit more sartorial knowledge to pull off. Here is a classic AOM article on them – http://artofmanliness.com/2009/08/10/a-man-and-the-bow-tie-the-beau-tie-ltd-of-vermont-giveaway/

@K-milo – Thank you sir!

4 Hugo Aguilar April 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Suggestion, if you can”t decide on what looks good, watch the national news and look at what the anchors wear and the tie/shirt combinations they use. I get really good ideas on color combinations.

5 K-milo April 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Actually i’ve been thinking about something: What are the guidelines for wearing a tie clip?

6 Glenn April 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Nice article. Not long ago, full of inspiration from AoM, I went to purchase some suits at 3 Day Suit Broker (which is a great place to get some decent suits at great prices). When I was picking out some ties, I came across one that at first glance seemed a bit gaudy. I went ahead and got it for the comedic value, or so I thought. Turns out that this tie garners more compliments than most of the ties I have ever worn. Point of that story is that sometimes men can be a bit too conservative when it comes to patterns or colors. I stepped out of my comfort zone and bought some ties that I normally would not have (in addition to the one mentioned above, I got a couple of pink regimental striped ties) and I have received nothing but good comments. Don’t be afraid of colors!

7 Jeff! April 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Another great article, Antonio! I was wondering if you could offer some advice/resources for interview dress? I find the typical power tie centered outfit too common- you want to be memorable, in a good way, at an interview. Or is it just a matter of having a comfortable outfit to put your focus on the job side of things?

8 Joe April 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Some of the old rules that I learned (these may no longer apply):
- The pocket square should match the shirt, not the tie.
- Don’t wear stripes with stripes – if you wear a striped shirt, wear a solid-colored suit and a solid or patterned tie.
- Socks should be the same color as the shoes and should reach to the knee (nothing looks worse than a man in a suit with socks bagging at the ankles showing his hairy legs).
- Unless you are wearing a brown suit, or slacks and a sport coat, always wear black shoes.
- Accessories (belt, wristwatch, cuff links, etc.) should be understated.
- When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a white shirt.

9 George April 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Many years ago I decided to no longer be just another white shirt and tie around the office and to take my style cues from New York’s greatest, and largest, fictional detective, Nero Wolfe. For me, a pale yellow shirt works well with my skin and hair color and yellow compliments almost any suit color: brown, blue, black, camel. The advantages of always wearing yellow shirts of varying shades (but never bright yellow) include: one less choice to make when dressing in the morning; I only have ties that work with yellow (which is almost anything except yellow); I’m easily spotted in crowds; office visitors can easily find me by just asking for the “man in the yellow shirt” (which seems to have worked well for Curious George’s owner, the “Man in the Yellow Hat”), and it’s certainly better than being “that (old) guy over there.” Sometimes developing a style of your own only requires a change that’s subtle, but consistent.

10 André April 27, 2011 at 12:31 am

Great article! I’m still playing with getting all this to work together for me, but this article is a huge help.

@K-milo, GQ has some good guidelines on the tie clip (basically attach it to both parts of the tie and your shirt, and wear it at about the sternum)

@Jeff!, I wonder the same! Hopefully Antonio enlightens us, but I usually try to do something that looks very classic

@Joe, thanks for the the “old” rules. I especially like the pocket square one. But the brown shoes rule is all wrong! Brown shoes look incredible with a navy suit as well as pretty much anything but black.

11 Mark April 27, 2011 at 7:10 am

Nice article.

I included a link to it in this month’s district newsletter.

12 Jeremy April 27, 2011 at 9:04 am

Great article! Very informative, and of course this can go farther.

A few years ago I began getting bored with just a Windsor, so decided to learn more knots. My favorite tie site is: http://www.2tieatie.com/index.html.

Also, I’ve found that vests not only help disguise the color, but also allow you to wear a shorter tie, such as a vintage or if you want to wear a larger knot.

13 Steve M April 27, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hey Capt. Awesome,
What can I say? You did it again Antonio: another great article.
Thanks.

14 Samuel Warren April 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

Great Article. I really appreciate the information that you have here.

15 Bryan April 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

The next time I see a guy wearing the “Regis Philbin” look (a solid color shirt with an identical tie) I’m going to direct them to this article. It’s not that the look is awful (though it’s now a little dated) but it seems like some guys are afraid to stray from it. I guess there’s comfort in knowing your shirt and tie can’t clash if they’re the same color.

16 Steve Singer April 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm

@ Glenn – I agree. A pop of color is almost always a good thing with the benefit that you can change the overall look of a suit just by changing your tie. Not a huge investment for a potentially big change.

I’m a hat retailer, so am aware of the impact of accessories on wardrobe and always encourage taking that one step outside the “comfort zone” — too much and you risk not wearing the new tie or stylish Panama hat (whereas too little, and you might very well end up being disappointed at your still-too-conservative look. . .)

17 Eddie Guanajuato April 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

How about one for Bow Ties?
Here is where I buy all my Bow ties

Eddie in INDY

18 Gus April 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

William, one thing about bowties,at first people want to know why you are wearing one. After a while they wonder when they see you in a necktie instead. I wear bowties except for wakes and funerals, bowties being a more upbeat look.I think neckties are probably better for job interveiws as well. Other than that, anytime a tie should be worn a bowtie is appropriate.

19 Maru April 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I spoke to an oldtimer who worked at Men’s Wearhouse who also, at a much younger age, fitted suits for Senator Henry M. Jackson. His general advice as far as ties go is that you match ties to the rest of your outfit based on the rest of what your wearing, particularly your jacket. For example, if you are wearing a dark green jacket, then it’d be a good idea for the tie to have at least some dark green in it. It doesn’t have to be all dark green; contrasts are good too. But generally speaking, you want a tie with at least one color that matches what else you’re wearing.

Granted, I do not always follow this rule. I sometimes wear a white collared short-sleeved shirt with gray or black pants and black shoes and a blue tie. However, in those cases I’m usually also not wearing a jacket, and even when I am, it is typically a dark jacket, either a dark gray, a black, or an indigo.

20 Michael April 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I hate to be argumentative but some of Joe’s rules are way off the mark.

-Pocket square should compliment (not match) the tie.
-You must be careful wearing matching patterns but it can be done. The key is to vary the scale enough.
-Socks should most often match of compliment the trousers. This effectively extends the trousers when the socks show.
-Brown shoes go with everything as long as the tone matches. Black is easy but boring.

21 Cam April 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Great article and quite timely for me. I’m trying to go back and learn the basics before experimenting with with more adventurous styles, a handy guide like this (with visual aids) is much appreciated.

22 omraj rajan April 28, 2011 at 2:00 am

Very Informative ! just what i was looking for ! thanks ! keep posting :)

23 Mathias April 28, 2011 at 2:39 am

Regarding avoiding patterns of similar size – does this only apply to similar patterns (stripes with stripes)? Ie, would a thin-striped shirt with a small polka-dot pattern tie be okay because the patterns aren’t the same (stripes versus dots) or unacceptable because the patterns are of similar size (thin stripes and small dots)?

24 ted April 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

that was a really good article but striped suits could use a bit more delving into since they are the hardest to get right(but kill when you do esp on the more corpulent but not fat/obese ) and what looks good on a some bolder stripping may not be suited for a more discrete pattern

25 John Washburn April 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

2 words : Tie buddy
https://www.tiebuddy.com/

Slips behind the tie through the loop on the back side of the the neck tie and connects shirt button to shirt button.

The tie stays on the center line from throat to buckle and does not move in the wind or into your soup.

For those of us who are cheap/thrifty make a tie buddy from a shirt.
1) Take a shirt that has yellowed arm pits, ink stain in the pocket, or coffee/tea stain on the front. (Hint: such shirts are not to be worn in public except by small children as painting smocks)
2) Cut off the strip of the shirt with the 7-8 button holes
3) Cut the full strip down into smaller strips so that the small strips have only two button holes and the fabric does not extend much past the button holes
4) Hem the ends of the short strips to prevent fraying.

You now have a DIY tie buddy with manufactured button holes

A. Button the tie buddy to the button above the tie loop.
B. Snake the fabric DIY tie buddy through the tie loop
C. Button the tie buddy to the button below the tie loop.

26 Seth April 30, 2011 at 2:02 am

A great article and comments. A good tip that a tailor gave me is that with brown suits, particularly, an off-white shirt works well. It evens out the contrast with the suit and tie.

27 Nick May 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Nice article. Most tips are already given, I agree that matching similar patterns (stripes with stripes or dots with dots) is not something advisable, but that you should try and mix the patterns a bit.
Forget about the ‘Mickey Mouse’ ties, these really don’t work anymore! And don’t forget to match your socks, either with your trousers if you want to emphasize on your top part, or with shirt/tie if you want to be more daring!

28 Mike May 4, 2011 at 3:11 am

Excellent article, Antonio. I will likely look to it again for advice next time I go shopping. I have been guilty of buying a tie that I thought looked good, only to have it not match anything in my wardrobe.

29 Daeyel May 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

I refuse to wear ties. When occaision demand, I set my own style with ties from my ‘Ugly Tie Collection’

And I do mean ugly! Brown and purple paisley, 3 shade of classic 70′s green in diagonals of differing thickness, etc. It establishes my own style, and creates a talking point to introduce myself. It also creates anticipation amongst my peers and friends as to what I will stun them with next.

30 Barry May 10, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hey, great article. I’ve got a question. My girlfriend’s prom is in a month or so, and she’s decided she wants to wear a dark blue dress. I have a black two-button suit with subtle pinstripes and matching shoes, and I’m East Asian (black hair, slightly darker skin, 6′ tall and a fairly big guy (180 lbs). I would like to get a tie, French cuff shirt with silk knots, and possibly a pocket square. People say that dark blue doesn’t go well with black – any advice on what to look for? Thanks.

31 Tyler December 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

My favorite look is my black suit with a black shirt and a white tie/pocket square. It creates a great contrast, and it sets me apart from everyone with a light shirt/dark tie.

One of the problems I have is with finding clothes that will match most other things in my closet. My only suit is black, but a lot of what I own is focused around blues and browns. As a result, everything I find matches either my suit or my less-formal clothing, but not both. I usually end up with a divided closet: things that go with the suit versus things that go with the blues/browns.

32 Peterborough Design January 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Some great tips here… I am looking to expand my suit/tie/shirt wardrobe and am mainly going to be purchasing items online. I was wondering if anyone knew of some kind of website that lets you see different style/color suits matched up with different color shirts and different color ties?

You’d select a style/color for each and it would show you what it would look like so you have an idea of whether or not the color combinations go well together.

I Googled it just now and haven’t been able to find anything like this.

33 Neo January 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm

One of the most exciting things I’ve found is Goodwill. In the NorthEast, Goodwill is filled with Armani, Brooks Brothers, Jos A Banks, Chaps, Lands End, Tommy Hilfiger etc. etc. It is literally the only location in the known universe where all brands are co-located under one roof. Although many items are second hand, some appear to be never worn. The concept is that for the first time ever, you are not hindered by cost, in order to experiment with styles you would never dare to pay full dollar for. I’ve bought Stafford, Nautica, and Chaps Blazers for $8 each. I’ve then paid a seamstress to repair any minor problems. You can create / experiment with a full GQ look for around $25 total. I’m now rapidly running out of closet space, and am seriously contemplating “Clothes Horse” therapy, lol. It is so much fun and educational, I’m addicted. I even return / donate items back that just don’t work with my coloring because they are that inexpensive. If you really want to learn how to change your total outlook on life, then go buy that $1.99 Faberge tie like I did, and tell them Neo sent you.

34 Mariano February 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm

A rule i use, is that the width of your tie should match the width of your jacket lapel.

35 dare March 5, 2013 at 1:50 am

My friend is getting married, and am saddled with the responsibility to choose the right suit/shirt/tie that match.so I need help,choosing between either a gray suit with white shirt and what tie do I combine with this…or a dark blue striped suit,light blue shirt and a red tie,does this match?.I need your help.we have chosing to wear either a dark blue striped suit or a gray suit. Shirt color and tie that’ll match is our problem now.pls help.

36 manoj March 21, 2013 at 9:28 am

Is it possible to wear a tie with a black dress shirt? And what about a black dress shirt with pinstripes? If so, what color/pattern would you wear?

37 Robert May 13, 2013 at 1:45 am

@John: or you could just do the stylish, manly thing and buy a tie clip/bar.

38 anthony September 30, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Hi, i had a very awful day at work today when my boss shouted in the presence of about 10 co.workers about my colour combination.
i was in black trousers and a checked shirt with predominantly black, baby pink and mauve colours. i also had on a pink complex patterned necktie but the shade of pink was deeper than in the shirt.
After embarrasing me, he came up to me and said busy shirts and busy neckties do not match. i have tried to understand him and yet cant make any meaning of it.
please help me

39 Jerimy Wallace October 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

You said that one should, “Never match pocket squares exactly with your neckwear”. Could you elaborate more on this? Why did you give this advise? As I write this the NFL Gameday crew of Rich Eisen, Micheal Irvin, and Kurt Warner are all wearing pocket squares with the same fabric as their ties. It would seem to me that having a suit of one pattern and or color, a shirt of another, a tie of another, and then a pocket square of another still would create too much visual discord. I believe that matching the pocket square to the tie cleans up the look a bit and underscores the statement that you’re trying to make with your tie.

40 Wave December 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm

More visual example should have been given,

41 Alonzo Riddle December 30, 2013 at 11:08 pm

trying to learn about hookups lasers shirts and ties and suits

42 Manuel April 8, 2014 at 10:32 am

Hi, nice and helpful article. but i have a black shirt and a grey tie black shoes black belt and black suit pants with grey stripes, i just don’t have the jacket, i have a grey one with very thin black stripes, would that match? i want it to go out at night to a dinner and maybee to a lounge

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