Have you ever had difficulty finding a good tie to go with a patterned shirt? Although it can be tricky, we have got all the best tips for finding the best patterned shirt and tie combos.
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Shirt and tie combinations are a principle part of any professional working mans wardrobe. Whether it be for a suit combination or as part of a more casual ensemble, it is a part of mens fashion that is unavoidable.
Sadly, many men opt for dull and unadventurous block colours for the sake of ease. By choosing unexciting colours and patterns you are doing yourself a disservice. If you're looking for a professional, stylish look, in both a relaxed and formal setting, you owe it to yourself to wear the best combinations. Well, with just a little effort you will soon look like the don of the office.
Shirt Tie Combinations
The most important thing to take into account when choosing any shirt and tie combination is the colours of each item of clothing. If you dread even the thought of having to try and decide which colours match with each other, let alone which patterns, then never fear, it's a lot easier than you think. Fortunately, someone has actually done the work for you by working out what colours typically compliment each other the best and put it into a helpful chart.
The colour wheel chart is pretty self-explanatory. The colours directly next to each other are similar shades, the colours that are opposite each other are complimentary, whereas the colours that are three away from each other are contrasting. There are a couple of useful ways that you can combine the colours of the wheel for an outfit, working in slightly different, but equally stylish ways.
You can decide to play it relatively safe with a monochromatic colour scheme. This would mean wearing a shirt and tie that may be different shades of the same colour. You may, for instance, find a pink shirt with a burgundy tie works well.
The alternative to this is to do the exact opposite and combine colours that actually contrast one another. Although this may seem counter intuitive, when it comes to shirt and tie combinations, opposing colours can create a balance between a darker 'hot' colour and a lighter 'cool' colour. For example, try wearing a pink shirt with a navy blue tie. The contrast between the two colours will highlight both your shirt and tie, creating an all together more exciting and impressive outfit.
Colours that go with Navy Blue
As you probably already know, navy blue is a colour that can be used in hundreds of different ways. Whether you have a blue suit, shirt, tie, or all three, there is a way that you can combine them with different colours to create a great look.
Blue Shirt Red Tie
Although you may be thinking you should just wear shirt and tie combinations in similar colours or shades, it is not always the case. When it comes to shirts, it's often better to wear contrasting colours. For instance, if you're wondering what colour tie you should wear with a blue shirt, why not try out a red tie, it looks a lot better than you think. As the two colours contrast against each other, it allows the tie to stand out whilst highlighting the background of the shirt.
Much like a black suit red tie combination, the blue shirt and red tie combination is certainly one of the most classic shirt and tie combos around. It allows you to look simultaneously professional and stylish. The blue and red combo doesn't only work in block colours either. Don't be scared to combine a checkered dress shirt with a red tie or vice versa.
Navy Blue Tie
On the other hand, you may have a blue tie that you want to match with the perfect shirt or suit. If the tie is simply just a block colour of navy blue then it can go with pretty much any pattern shirt as it won't clash. However, make sure you refer to the colour guide to be certain the shirt colour works well with the tie. For example, a navy blue tie with a checkered pink shirt and a light blue suit would be a great little ensemble.
Now that we have dealt with the (not so) horrifying issue of choosing colours that match, it's time to think about how to incorporate patterns into the equation. When it comes to patterns the same colour rules still apply but there are several other guidelines you should stick to.
First of all, if you're wearing a suit as well, don't combine more than two different patterns together. Having multiple different patterns can clutter your outfit and become too complicated and unpleasing to the eye.
There is also a common misconception that you must have different patterns. Although having different patterns, such as a checkered shirt with a striped tie, is a good way to contrast and balance your clothes there is nothing wrong with having a tie and shirt with the same pattern. However, it may be a good idea to make sure the patterns are in different proportions. So if you're wearing a shirt with small stripes, make sure the tie has thicker ones.
If you want to play it safe it is best to have either the tie or shirt as a solid colour whilst having the other patterned. Whether they're similar or contrasting colours having a block colour with a pattern is always a winner. A checkered shirt is therefore a good place to start if you're trying to incorporate more patterns into your outfit.
A striped tie is an excellent addition to any shirt or suit combination. Be wary of the thickness of the tie though as a striped tie that is too fat or too skinny can be a recipe for disaster. A medium sized tied with a checkered or plain shirt will create a nice contrasting balance of lines. When you're putting it on, depending on the material of the tie, a half or full windsor knot is probably going to be the best option for producing a nice overlap of stripes at the knot. If you're opting for a skinnier tie it is a good idea to make sure the stripes are thinner and more closely spaced to compliment the size of the tie.
If you're thinking of wearing a solid colour shirt with a striped tie then try and find a tie with a background that is the same as your shirt. Most striped ties will have a more dominant stripe in a different colour to the less dominate stripe. If the less dominant stripe is the same colour as your shirt it will emphasise the dominant stripe on your tie without clashing with your shirt.
Plaid ties are where things get a bit more complicated and are very much for a master of pattern and colour matching. However, don't be too put off by this as the right combination is a perfect way to make your outfit stand out in a stylish way.
Think of a plaid tie as just a striped tie but lots more stripes going in different directions. For this reason it may be best to avoid wearing a plaid tie with a heavily checkered shirt as the number of lines can create a jarring combination. A block colour or striped shirt is probably your best bet when combining with a plaid tie. Be careful to note the scale of the plaid pattern however as you will want to contrast this with your shirt. So, if you have a small scale detailed plaid tie, try wearing it with a shirt that has larger scale stripes.
Polka Dot Dress Shirt
Although wearing a polka dot shirt with a large scale pattern means you risk looking like Austin Powers, if you get the pattern size right it can be a great item to combine with a tie and jacket.
As with all patterned shirts, if your tie is a block colour you're more or less set when combining it. Just be sure to check that it doesn't clash with the colours of your shirt. A good way to do this is to wear a tie that matches the dominant colour of your shirt, allowing the polka dot pattern to come out. Dependent on the size of the polka dots you will want to make sure your ties pattern is appropriate. For instance, a skinny striped tie often looks good with a polka dot shirt.
Suit Colour Combinations
Although a patterned shirt and tie combination is a great way to bring a bit more pop to your outfit, a man would be nothing without a suit to go with them. Although adding another level to your outfit can be a great way to stand out, it is one more thing to think about when it comes to colours and patterns. Picking the right suit colour combinations is therefore very important.
Grey Suit Combinations
Grey Suit Blue Shirt
A classic suit and shirt colour combination is the grey suit with a blue shirt. A lighter grey suit with a light blue shirt is a good summery outfit that still maintains the professional and stylish overtones that you want to get from a formal suit.
Grey Suit Pink Shirt
If you want something a little bit more exciting why not try a pink shirt with a grey suit. The good thing about a grey suit is that if you have matching shirts in different colours, it will more or less go with anything. A pink shirt with a grey suit is also a good combination for an event such as a wedding. The bright contrast from the pink will compliment the grey and give a relaxed yet formal feel. Combine this with a similarly shaded patterned tie and you'll be all set.
Your Quick Guide to Shirt and Tie Combinations with a Patterned Shirt
If you want a quick list of our top tips for combining shirt, tie and suit combinations with a patterned shirt then here is short roundup of our advice.
- Make sure the colours compliment each other. Whether you're trying to be monochrome or contrasting in your style, make sure the colours balance.
- Don't overdo the patterns. Stick to a minimum of two different patterns per outfit to avoid cluttering.
- If you're wearing items with the same pattern, make sure they're different scales or colour.
- If you're wearing a suit with your shirt and tie remember that this adds another level to your outfit and must also compliment its overall colour and pattern.
To end this article, the shirt and tie combination is, and always will be, an integral part of formal and professional mens fashion. Although the idea of matching colours and patterns may initially seem daunting, if you follow our style guide, and put in a little bit of time, you'll be wearing the stylish and exciting outfit you want in no time.