How to Match a Tie With a Blue Shirt

How to Match a Tie With a Blue Shirt

Shirts and ties are two important pieces of any menswear wardrobe, and pairing them correctly is vital in creating a clean and stylish look. We guide you through pairing the versatile blue shirt with any tie of your choice. 

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The shirt and tie is a classic combination, and one that's been around since the tie was first created back in the 17th century. You've probably forgotten how many times you've paired one with a shirt, but we're betting that over 80% of the time it's been with a white shirt.

Now, there's nothing wrong with a good white shirt, but there are so many ways you can create a smart, formal or smart casual look with something a little different. In comes the blue shirt, and, like the white one, there are so many tie combinations that can be styled with it. Read on, and find out how to perfectly match a tie with a crisp blue shirt. 

How to Match Your Shirts and Ties

When it comes to the shirt and tie, there are many options of colours, patterns and fabrics to choose. The final decision depends on several factors:

  • Different occasions and times of the day
  • Your taste
  • The rules of combination of colours and patterns

As for the colours, the colour wheel can help you decide which are the correct matchings.

How the Colour Wheel Can Help Your Colour Matching Skills 

We're back in art class with an honorary mention of the colour wheel, but this time we're using it to help us with our look. The wheel is a circle based on the three primary colours: red, yellow and blue. These colours are primary because they cannot be formed by any combination of the other colours. On the opposite, the secondary colours (green, orange and purple) come from the union of the primary colours. Then, there are some tertiary colours. These are the result of mixing the primary and the secondary colours.

Sounds a little confusing, but you don't need to know the ins and outs of the colour wheel in order to benefit from it. The main thing you need to know is that colour combinations that work best, are the ones that are directly opposite one another on the colour wheel.

So for example red and green are opposite each other, and so combining them creates a kind of balance. Now, unless you want to look like a christmas tree, we wouldn't necessarily recommend this certain combination, but the idea remains the same, and checking out the colour wheel from time to time can help you find complimentary colours to work with.

How to Match a Tie with a Blue Shirt

The blue shirt is quite a versatile piece, with different shades of blue to suit any style and complexion. There are also various kinds of shirts: plain, patterned and with different collars and fabrics. To choose what colour tie goes with a blue shirt, you must consider different elements, including the shades and tones. A sky blue shirt would match well with a darker tie, where as a dark blue shirt could easily be complimented with a lighter toned tie. 

tie inside your shirt men style streetstyle menswear
A man wearing green chinos with a blue shirt


Here is some advice that can help you to match a tie with a blue shirt:

  • The simplest choice is to match a plain blue shirt with a solid tie. The colour of the tie, should be darker than the shirt.
  • To remain classic, the best tie to choose when you wear a solid light blue shirt, is a dark blue one. Actually, navy blue is perfect to match with a pale blue shirt.   
  • If you want to consider a different colour tie with a blue shirt, you can choose a red or burgundy tie.
  • An orange tie can create contrast with your blue shirt. It is a good combination but it is best suited for a less formal affair.
  • A solid mustard tie also contrasts the blue shirt and works well with it.
  • A blue shirt looks nice with a green tie. In fact, green and blue are similar colours.
  • Pale blue shirts are really stylish with a navy polka dot tie.
  • You can also decide to experiment with the texture (for example, match a pale blue shirt with a textured tie in the blue tones).
  • A plain blue shirt can also be combined with a patterned tie, such as polka dot, checks, stripes or paisley.
  • The striped tie, for example, is an excellent combination for a blue shirt. The trick is to choose a striped pattern, where one of the stripes has a similar (or the same colour) of the shirt.

Regardless, if you are in doubt and you wonder what colour tie to wear with a light blue shirt, a darker blue one is always the safest option.

man wearing green chinos and a navy shirt
A man wearing green chinos and a navy shirt
PHOTO CREDIT: B. D. Baggies 

Furthermore, a study revealed that men wanting a promotion should go to work wearing a light blue shirt with a dark blue tie. Light and dark blue are elegant tones and people who wear those colours at work make a better impression than others wearing different colours.

How to Combine Two Different Patterns

Of course, you don't always have to match solid shirt colours with solid tie tones. You can also have more fun and try combining different patterns. Designer Tommy Hilfiger said that “Mixing and matching patterns can be a fun twist”, and if you do it right it really can be. Matching patterns, creating contrasts and finding ways to excel an outfit can help you stand out from the crowd, as well as look stylish and creative. 

Matching two different patterns means creating a contrast, but it's important that the colours that are combined create a harmony together. 

blue patterned shirts with patterned ties
Match a striped blue shirt with a contrasting tie


In order to match two different patterns, you can follow this two simple rules:

  • If the patterns are of the same type, the size of the two must be different.
  • If the patterns are distinct from each other, the size of the two must be quite similar

Some prints go better together than others, and if you're dealing with a print that's a little confusing on the eyes, like polka dot, then try not to pair it with another polka dot print. Similar prints can work together, but it's important that you work on this on a piece by piece basis. If something doesn't look right, trust your gut and change it. 

Blue Checkered Shirt

The blue checkered shirt - a classic design that's been styled in numerous ways over the years and has become a slightly controversial shirt because of it. Depending on the scale of the checks and of course how you dress it up, you can create different looks that can suit a variety of events. Smaller, more concise checks are best for formal affairs, whereas larger, more open checks are good for more casual looks. A blue checkered shirt and tie can be made to fit a variety of looks, so it's all about how you combine the two. 

The simplest pairing is to match a blue checked shirt with a solid tie. This creates an even, balanced look that allows the shirt to do the talking and doesn't create too much contrast. Saying that however, a small checkered shirt can still be used for more interesting combinations. 

If you prefer to try something different, you can match a small checked blue shirt with a thick striped tie. The two patterns are different enough not to clash too much, and will compliment one another instead. Remember to pay attention to the dimension of the two patterns, and if you can mix a small pattern with a large one to keep things even. 

blue checkered shirt and tie combination
Blue shirt and tie combinations for men


We've mentioned that small checked shirts are more formal and larger checks are generally more casual. This doesn't necessarily mean you can't match a tie with a more casual shirt though, and pairing something like a skinny tie with your checked shirt will create a sporty, alternative look.

Blue Striped Shirt

Striped blue shirts are perfect at giving a hint of interest to an outfit, while still maintaining a formal edge. Choosing a blue shirt with white stripes can help add some versatility to your look, ensuring it can be paired with casual and formal outfits due to it's clean pattern but light colours. 

A man wearing a navy shirt and beige chinos
A man wearing a navy shirt and beige chinos


For a distinctive look, try matching a striped shirt with a tie in a more intense, bright colour. Going back to the colour wheel we know that red and orange match with blue, so a tie in one of these colours could help add some vibrancy to your outfit, without clashing horribly with the blue.

You can also try choosing a patterned tie and making sure that the predominant colour of it matches with the shirt. For example an orange tie with a blue polka dot pattern will still give an intense look, but the blue will keep the outfit grounded and balanced. 

striped blue shirts with orange ties
Chris Pine wears a navy suit with a blue shirt and yellow tie


How to choose a tie

The tie is a fashion accessory that represents style, personality and elegance, and can add different vibes and looks to an outfit. A good tie can make an outfit; a bad one can destroy it.

There are different types of ties on the market, for every taste, style and occasion:

  • Monochrome ties
  • Striped ties
  • Patterned ties, on which several patterns can be printed<
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