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The Ultimate Guide to Shirt & Tie Combinations in 2023

Whenever you want to wear a classy bespoke suit, there’s a lot to think about—accessories, fit, and more.

You also have to think about how your outfit fits together from top to bottom. What colors are you wearing? What patterns do you prefer?

The same goes for your shirt and tie—just like matching dress shoes with your pants, you’ll want to ensure that your shirt and tie fit together seamlessly.

If that seems complicated, don’t worry—below, we’ll simplify it based on color and pattern along with some additional tips. 

Shirt and Tie Combinations Based on Color

Matching shirts and ties doesn’t need to be a difficult process. It can be as simple as matching them based on color! 

When you understand the fundamentals of color matching and coordination, you’ll make it much easier for yourself to create stylish outfits—whether it’s a shirt and tie or any other style.

Let’s look at some color-based matching tips for shirts and ties.

Contrast is Key

Contrast is the foundational principle when pairing ties with shirts.

It's as simple as this: if your shirt is light in color, opt for a tie that's darker, and if your shirt is dark, choose a lighter tie. Either way, you’ll create a balanced and visually appealing look. 

For instance, we love a crisp, light blue shirt paired with a navy tie—the dark-on-light combination is eye-popping. while a charcoal gray shirt compliments a light gray tie. The key is to ensure that the tie stands out against the shirt without clashing.

Take Advantage of Complementary Colors

Taking contrast a step further, if you really want to up your style game with ties and shirts, you’ll want to use complementary colors.

Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel and naturally enhance each other's appeal. Though a slightly more complex way to style your outfits, using complementary colors allows you to effortlessly pair ties and shirts. 

Let’s look at an example: if your shirt has warm undertones, like beige or light pink, consider a tie with cool undertones, such as navy or deep green. 

This also works in the opposite direction—a shirt with cool tones, such as light blue, pairs perfectly with a warm-colored tie, like burgundy or mustard. 

Master the color wheel, and you’ll be on your way to effortless style in no time! 

image of color wheel theories

When in Doubt, Embrace Neutral Colors

Neutral-colored shirts are the ideal versatile canvas. 

White, gray, black, and brown shirts can be matched with various tie colors—if trying to figure out color contrasting and complementary colors isn’t your thing, just opt for one of these shirts! 

This versatility makes neutral-colored shirts ideal for daily wear and occasions when you want a clean and timeless look. For example, a white shirt can be paired with a navy, red, or even a patterned tie, offering endless outfit possibilities. 

That’s why we recommend starting a new wardrobe with neutral colors first before diving into flashier colors—your dress shirts are no exception.

Monochrome Works (In Certain Situations!)

There’s nothing wrong with monochrome looks with your shirts and ties.

However, it needs to be done right.

It’s perfectly fine to match your shirt and tie within the same color family, but you’ll want to vary the color shades. 

Let’s say you’re wearing a light blue shirt—pair it with a slightly darker blue tie, and you’ll create a polished, unified appearance. 

This style choice exudes class and sophistication—just don’t match two exact shades! 

Leave the Black Tie For Formal Occasions

We certainly love a black tie—when you think of a stylish man in a suit, black is typically the tie color that you’ll picture.

However, it’s best to save black ties for formal events.

Formal weddings are a great example—to look your best, you’ll want to wear a crisp white shirt underneath.

Black ties will work for other occasions, too. Just remember that they always exude a more formal style than other colors.

Shirt and Tie Combinations Based on Pattern

Color isn’t the only way to match your shirt and tie—you’ll need to think of the patterns, too! 

Mixing Patterns with Solids

A simple rule to follow for shirt and tie patterns is to mix the two—hard to forget!

For example, a solid-colored shirt should be paired with patterned ties. This combination allows your tie to become the focal point of your outfit. You can go with a subtle pattern, such as pin dots or stripes. Or, if you prefer a bold look, opt for larger stripes or intricate geometric patterns.

Mixing solids and patterns helps create visual interest and a stylish outfit that will turn heads.

Mixing Patterns with Patterns

For those who want to be bold with their style choices, we have good news: you can mix patterns with other patterns.

The key is to be aware of a few different factors.

The first is the scale of your pattern—if you’re wearing a shirt with larger stripes and watch to mix it with a dotted tie, make sure the dot pattern is on the smaller side. 

Next, pay attention to the colors. There should be a consistent color theme throughout your outfit—even if you’re choosing to mix patterns.

Lastly, if you’re mixing patterns, it’s because you want the outfit to stand out. Opt for more subtle accessories in this case—simple pocket squares and cufflinks will work perfectly with mixed patterns. 

Additional Tips for Matching Ties and Shirts

Understanding colors and patterns for ties and shirts is the ideal step forward to create incredible outfits.

However, just to make sure you have everything you need to be the most stylish guy in the room, here are a few additional tips.

Don’t Forget About the Suit!

Normally, when you’re wearing a shirt and tie, it’s accompanied by a stylish suit.

So, don’t forget about your suit color and pattern!

Your shirt, tie, and suit jacket will all create one harmonious ensemble that will have you looking like the most suave guy in the room. 

When in doubt, a navy suit goes well with nearly everything in your wardrobe—use that to your advantage. 

Consider the Occasion

Every man should have some fun ties in their collection. It never hurts to show off a little personality!

However, make sure you understand the occasion when choosing your tie—regardless of the shirt you’re pairing it with.

For example, for formal occasions, silk is king. A silk tie in a solid color is a must for those looking to knock it out of the park in an important business meeting, at a formal wedding, or any other upscale occasion.

Fun ties have their place, though—casual outings and other semi-formal occasions, such as dinner parties, are great places for a fun tie! 

Trust Your Personal Style 

We always take the time now and again to remind men that there are no real style rules—only guidelines. 

No matter what the guidelines say, you should always feel comfortable with what you’re wearing. Take the guidelines into consideration, but wear the shirts, ties, and any other clothing that makes you feel happy and confident! 

Match Your Shirt and Ties With a Suit From Joseph Abboud

With a perfectly matched shirt and tie, you’ll need a suit to go with it. 

Joseph Abboud can get you started with a stylish suit today—no matter your preferences. 

Go with made-to-measure pieces, explore ready-to-wear styles, or begin your journey with a bespoke creation where we’ll take your exact measurements and get you the suit of your dreams. It’s all up to you.

Let’s get you suited up—learn more about how Joseph Abboud’s bespoke suit process takes your style game to the next level.

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