Tie selection is something I fret over very frequently. I’ve never been quite sure which I should be wearing with a certain type of dress shirt. For example, what kind of tie can I wear with gingham patterned dress shirts, striped shirts, check dress shirts or any other patterns for that matter? And what about solids? What goes with a solid colored shirt? Is there a color combination I can adhere to?
Well, turns out, the first rule to picking a tie is knowing your dress shirt. What type of dress shirt is it – solid or patterned? What type of color is it? Dark or light? Once you’ve determined your shirt, there are some simple guidelines to picking right to go with your dress shirt.
Right Tie For A Solid Dress Shirt
When wearing a solid colored dress shirt, you can choose to wear either a patterned or a solid tie.
If you go with a solid colored tie, you can choose to either use complementary colors (explained in our article on summer color combinations ) or analogous colors. For example, if you wear a light colored shirt, choose a complementary bold dark color to stand out. You can also choose a tie from the same group of colors as your shirt but a much darker shade. Likewise, if you’re wearing a dark shirt, you can choose a light colored complementary or analogous colored tie.
If you wish to don a patterned tie with your solid colored shirt, the easiest way to not run afoul of fashion is to ensure one of the colors in your patterned tie match the solid shirt or at the very least, is from the same color family.
Right Tie For A Patterned Dress Shirt
A patterned dress shirt is a little harder to match. If you’re going for a solid tie with your patterned shirt, the inverse of what we wrote earlier applies. You need to match the solid color of your tie to one of the colors in your patterned shirt (or at least be in the same color family).
It gets really tricky however, if you want to match with a patterned shirt. The first rule is to ensure that your tie is darker than your shirt. This helps it to not pop too much. Another rule is to make sure the proportions of the patterns on your shirt are different from those on your tie. For example, if your shirt has small check patterns for example, use one with larger checks or thicker stripes.
There is a great infographic on Lifehacker visualizing tie with shirt pattern matching that you can check out.
So there you have it! You can now breathe easy the next time you need to put on a tie with your dress shirt. Tie selection will be a cinch!