The time has finally arrived. You’ve purchased that elusive bespoke shirt you had been craving for so long. You literally pour into your new suit. Like it was just made for you. Oh wait, it was! The measurements drape around your shoulders and torso just as you had expected. The fit is perfect. You feel like a million bucks. You even know what tie to wear with your suit and shirt. Multiple primers that you have read have suggested that mixing and matching ties to suits and shirts involves both an understanding of color theory and the ability to mix and match patterns based on difference in style and proportion. You have mastered both. Except for one glaring omission. Seasonal considerations. Yes, that perfect ensemble you have put together can be taken even a notch further by paying attention to the time of year it is and picking a tie accordingly.
As if educating ourselves about color and pattern theory wasn’t difficult enough, we now have to take it a step further? While it may appear as a lot of information to digest, the truth is, paying attention to seasons and choosing your colors and patterns accordingly can really make you stand out, and take you a large stride further as an aspiring dapper gentleman.
Spring / Summer Season
Spring and Summer are associated with pastel colors. Natural sunshine is often accompanied by colors such as blue, pink, light green and lilac. They also happen to be colors that exude happiness and summertime charm. Picking one of these colors will really allow your ensemble to pop.
Work / Formal Events
For work related or formal events, I would suggest pairing a lighter colored pastel tie with a darker colored suit. The darker colored charcoal grey or navy blue pinstripe suit will ensure that you continue to look formal, with the contrasting lighter colored tie providing an air of casualness typically associated with the summertime. While your suit can look formal at work, a lighter weight wool will ensure that your suit has an element of breathability, resulting in a comfortable feel and wearing experience.
Patterns that typically work well with lighter colored ties are solids, paisley patterns, and neat / abstracts with a sheen. Pastel colored abstract ties with a sheen are best when typically reserved for the summer months. As we will see below in this article, colors that appear more earthy and with less of a sheen are best suited for the fall / winter months.
Events that are more playful in nature, such as a spring / summertime beach wedding or a party at a country club are often best complemented by a lighter weight, summer based fabric suit such as linen, cotton or seersucker. A great way to balance a summer based fabric suit is to pair it with a pastel colored tie that is slightly brighter and darker than what you would find with the examples above. A summertime suit with a stronger blue, brighter pink, darker green (not olive!), cream or brown tie will provide a harmonious, balanced look that will have you looking dapper and standing out above the crowd.
Patterns that work well with ties for casual summer time events often involve neat / abstract patterns or animal print motif ties that are strong in color, but provide an element of fun and intrigue upon closer inspection! Examples include animal print ties with repeating motifs of fish, birds, beach chairs or other summer related items that exude and represent fun and relaxation.
Fall / Winter
The Fall and Winter months revive (ironically!) colors associated with earthly tones, such as olive green, burgundy and mustard yellow. While traditional suit colors of charcoal grey and navy blue look even better during the last third of the calendar year, pairing these suits with an appropriately colored tie will have you dressed elegant.
Work / Formal events
A strong mustard yellow, olive green, burgundy or darker blue tie will really accentuate your ensemble during the fall and winter months, especially at work / formal events. Solids, abstracts, dots and floral patterns tend to work really well with these colors. While a solid or striped tie can always fit the bill, I personally feel that abstracts, dots and floral patterns help to break away from convention and introduce both color and pattern variety into your wardrobe.
Just as is the case with the above, a darker colored suit with an earthy colored tone will set the stage well during a fall / winter season casual event. Patterns that work well for casual events are generally slightly more playful, and hence, I would go with a floral based tie that will provide an element of pop from a pattern standpoint.