Best men’s shirt and tie combinations

January 12th, 2016

Matching shirt and tie colours to create a striking look

Just because a suit and tie might dominate your wardrobe at work and at play, it doesn’t mean you can’t use these to express yourself. It’s easy to liven up your look and, with a bit of attention to detail, develop your own unique and interesting style, whatever the occasion. The easiest was to achieve this is to get creative with your shirt and tie combinations. There are a myriad of options available and once you know how to mix and match styles, patterns and colours your wardrobe will pop.

Choosing a tie

selection of ties

A great shirt and tie combination is the easiest way to inject a bit of fashion into a man’s business or dress suit. If you’re going to invest in high-quality shirts you should never scrimp on the tie. Never wear a tie exactly the same colour as your shirt, as a general rule your tie should always be a darker shade than your shirt.

The colour wheel

colour wheel

The colour wheel is a chart that shows how colours relate to each other and colours can be contrasting, complementary or similar. Colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel are complementary colours (for example red and green), ones that are next to each other are similar colours (such as red and orange or red and purple) and those separated by three colours are contrasting (yellow and blue).

Tone on tone

tone on tone shirt pattern

This is one of the easier shirt and tie combinations to pull off. Opt for ties and shirts that are of the same hue, but choose a tie in a darker shade than your shirt. A pale blue dress shirt looks perfect with a navy tie. For something more elegant, try a navy blue shirt with a slighter darker navy tie or a grey shirt with a darker shade grey tie. But you don’t have to limit yourself to cold colours; a pink shirt matched with a burgundy or mauve tie is a sophisticated combination with a bit more flare.

Contrasting and complementary tie colours

Contrasting shirt and tie pairings are an excellent option for weddings, business meetings and interviews. Match a blue shirt with a red or burgundy tie or if you choose to don a pale pink shirt you can’t go wrong with a navy tie. Complementary colours are a bit more adventurous, so by consulting the colour wheel, you can see a light blue shirt should be paired with a burnt orange tie and a light pink matched with green or tan.

Using and mixing patterns

mixing patterns

Matching a solid tie with a patterned shirt is easy – just match the colour of your tie with one of the colours on your patterned shirt. If you’re going to mix patterns, make sure you don’t have the same pattern on both your shirt and your tie. If your shirt has polka dots, don’t pair it with a dotted tie. The patterns on your tie should always be larger and bolder than the patterns on your shirt, otherwise the tie just gets lost and your outfit looks too busy. Match a thin-striped shirt with a thick-striped tie and choose opposing directions, so if your shirt has thin vertical pin stripes, find a tie with bulky diagonal stripes.

Getting the right balance between a shirt and tie can be pivotal in creating a striking yet complimentary look. At Shirts with buttons we know all about creating the right shirt, and the right tie is simply the next step.

Images courtest of digitalart, Simon Howden and Marin via