A smart suit and tie can make a man stand out from the crowd in any situation. If you're stuck for inspiration or can't crack the perfect colour combo, then we're here to provide you with a few killer tips for when you next suit up.
With so many different fits, styles and patterns, it can be challenging to choose the ideal suit and tie. However, when done correctly, there really is no finer sight. If you're stuck for inspiration, starting a new job, or have a big event on the horizon and are unsure of which suit to go for then fear not, The Idle Man is here to help with some top suit and tie ideas.
Suit and Tie Combinations
First things first, it's important to consider the various colours and which tones will fit together in an outfit. Suits are great as they allow a man to demonstrate his masculinity whilst also remaining stylish and suave. A great suit should generate confidence and authority, to look like you mean business regardless of the situation. So take the time to play around with fabrics, styles and shades of colour - it'll be worth it when you start turning heads on the street.
How to Match Your Suit to Your Tie
Stuck for colour combo ideas? This chart shows you which ones to embrace and which to avoid. Remember that less is often more with a suit, so there's no need to go all out with crazy colours, you can make just as big of a statement by layering and accessorising with the right tones. The aim is to harmonise and find the right balance between warm and cool colours. Matching suits and ties should be easy, so we're here to show you how.
Grey Suit and Tie Combinations
Grey is one of the wardrobe staples in the suit department, with a range of shades from charcoal to much lighter tones - this offers plenty of versatility, meaning several colours can compliment a grey suit effectively. Grey is ideal for a first interview, but wouldn't look out of place at a wedding either, it's a more relaxed alternative to black, but no less formal and remains popular amongst men of all ages.
Grey Suit and Black Tie
Black tie is always considered a very formal option, as the name suggests, however it can be a strong look when partnered with a contrasting grey jacket. This works better with a more pale grey as the tie may get lost if the suit is too dark. Always opt for a light coloured shirt underneath, white and sky blue are the best option here and will compliment the black tie perfectly.
Grey Suit and Blue Tie
If black doesn't quite fit into your plans then you can always spice up your grey suit by adding some vibrant colour to the tie. One of the most versatile colours is blue, as it leaves a plethora of options. If the grey suit is more towards the charcoal end of the spectrum then keep the tie a deeper navy blue. Alternatively a pale grey suit will work really well with a bold, bright tie - polka dots in particular are a great combo pattern here.
Grey Suit and Red Tie
Red ties will always stand out nicely against a white shirt, so keep this in mind when wearing one with a suit. Colour wise, aim for a softer shade of grey and if you're feeling brave enough, try to incorporate checked detail into the jacket or tie - this helps break up the blocks of colour and can work really well with the vibrant red.
Grey Suit Purple Tie
Purple ties may sound like an adventurous choice and you may struggle to imagine a place for them in your wardrobe, but they can indeed be an impressive fit with a grey suit. Due to the boldness of the purple, it may be beneficial to opt for a slightly darker tone of grey, as this will allow for greater contrast. Alternatively you can mix things up further by layering with a waist coast or checked blue gingham shirt. You can pull it off, it's just all about confidence.
Dark Grey Suit
As mentioned previously, the wide range of tonal greys will give you room for diversity within your formal clobber. The best way to pull of a dark grey suit is to keep things simple. Classic looks never go out of style, so don't feel like you need to change a timeless, proven, colour scheme by overcrowding it.
A dark base is crying out for a lighter shirt. White is always clean and will allow more flexibility with ties, although try to stick to navy blues, browns and darker reds. A gingham checked shirt can also be effective if done correctly, but consider your own body shape - if short and stocky this may not look as good and you'll want to streamline the look with a plainer option, drawing attention upwards.
Black Suit Combinations
The black suit is a versatile, classic look and while often considered a less adventurous, boring choice, it doesn't have to be this way. There's plenty of options available to liven up the palette and achieve a smart, striking effect. The great thing about black as a base is that it affords you the luxury of adding more bold splashes of colour with your accessories without the outfit becoming too busy or looking as if you're trying too hard.
Black Suit Red Tie
One of the most popular tie combinations with a black suit, a red tie will provide an emphatic, sharp contrast and really help to brighten your appearance. With the different shades of red available, there's room to experiment with deeper tones - polka dot detail is always a nice touch, and even better when teamed with a matching pocket square. For a more formal occasion, a bow tie can work just as well, and don't be afraid to add a waistcoat into the mix for a sophisticated ensemble
Light Blue Suits
Now, stepping out in a light blue suit in the moody British weather may seem like a terrible idea with the strong possibility that the suit may be ruined within minutes, although blue suits can be so beautiful that's its almost worth the risk. Obviously this is a look more targeted at the sunnier months (or weeks). It might be a challenging task and it's important to get it right, as there's a fine line between Nice and Miami Vice
Light Blue is such a bold choice that it can be tempting to crack open your top button, roll up your trousers and neglect a tie altogether, but come on - that wouldn't be very British now would it. Let's instead consider some options where the tie works a treat. Brown is ideal in such a scenario - blue and brown have always been a match made in heaven, so play to these strengths and add a golden brown tie and pocket square combo over a white shirt.
Wool Tie With a Suit
These days, it's not only suits which offer a variety of fabrics to choose from, you can also trade in your silk or cotton ties for a wonderful woollen number. Adding a bit of wool to the outfit can mix it up and provide a fun contrast for a more relaxed vibe, but still suitable for formal occasions. Due to the shape and texture of the ties, layering can be a good shout - try teaming a woollen tie under a waistcoat or even a cardigan, as it'll sit neatly behind the buttons. Aim for a tweed tie or more basic colours such as navy, grey or brown, giving more versatility.
Bow Tie and Suit
Bow ties are a quirky and stylish statement piece which can jazz up any outfit - adding them to a suit, may seem a tad formal but these days they have developed a hipster coolness which means they are viewed as a more casual accessory and no longer make you look like you're attending a high school prom or accepting a Grammy.
On That Note
With all that being said, suiting up should always be fun. This is your opportunity to show your stuff and embrace your own style. So follow this advice and you can't fail to impress. Matching a tie to a suit should be a fun process, rather than one that you dread so have some fun with it. Above we have outlined the combinations of suits and ties that we think work, so if you're at a loss, stick to these.