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How to match a tie with a shirt and suit

It’s morning. You’re late for work or a business meeting, standing in front of your wardrobe. You are pondering whether to choose a striped suit with a striped tie or a plain blue suit with a plaid shirt. Does this situation sound familiar? I’m sure every man has faced such a problem, and some have been puzzling over how to match a tie to a shirt and a suit every day.

First the suit, then the shirt, and finally the tie.

How to choose the right tie? Start with a classic suit. You need to put the suit or just the jacket on the bed and start picking out the rest of your wardrobe. Then pick out a shirt, matching it to the suit and choosing a colour combination you like. Finish by choosing a tie.

Do not use a single colour/pattern

A striped suit, a striped shirt and a striped tie look bad! Combining them is extremely difficult. At least one piece should be chosen with a different pattern. The same goes for identical colours and patterns on clothes.

The most universal option – a suit and a shirt should be chosen in contrasting colours. In turn, the tie should complement the colour of the suit. When dealing with patterns and/or designs, stick to the rules:

  • Combine patterned fabrics with plain fabrics;
  • A fabric with a large pattern, combined with a small pattern.

If you ask us which tie goes with a blue suit, the answer is: any. Almost any colour goes with a blue suit or light blue shirt. Blue or burgundy colours for a tie are universal. For example, if you chose a blue suit and a white shirt, the best choice for this combination would be a navy blue or burgundy tie. These shades of colours will harmonize perfectly and evoke positive emotions in those around you.

You can play with shades of the same colour, for example, combining a bright purple suit with a white shirt and a light purple tie. Or two dark shades and a light one. Even a combination of black and white is appropriate here. Try to develop a sensitivity to the combination of colours. It’s not as difficult as it may seem at first glance.

Striped suit and shirt

The main rule when combining striped clothes is that the stripes must be of different widths! Indeed, one way to form a slightly informal look for men is to wear a striped suit. However, a big mistake would be to wear a striped shirt or tie whose width is very close to the width of the suit’s stripes.

The thing is that people around you will see you from a distance and they will have a “blurry” look. Everything will blend together: the suit, the shirt, the tie. So I recommend using a maximum of 2 things with stripes, and necessarily of different widths. It would be good if the third thing would match the colour of the stripes that are present on the first two things. For example, a blue suit with thin white stripes, a white plain shirt and burgundy or blue tie with wide white stripes complete the “trio”.

Two different plaids


Use different plaid fabrics in your clothes. Your casual look can easily be supported by a plaid garment. Even better if the plaid is of different widths.

Two different patterns

Although the size of the stripes or plaid elements of two pieces should be different, this rule does not work with two different designs/patterns. It is better to avoid small patterns on different pieces of clothing.

A combination of patterns is possible but there is a limitation. A large pattern on one garment is combined with a large pattern on another garment. For example, a tie with large “cucumbers” combines with a shirt with wide stripes. A jacket in a large plaid pattern can be combined with a wide striped tie.

Two identical patterns combined with a third

If you’re brave about changing your look and like to experiment, you shouldn’t be intimidated by the combination of a plaid jacket, a plaid shirt and a patterned chest handkerchief. You can also use a monochrome tie.

The rule of thumb for combining patterns of different sizes works here. In my example, the dominant pattern is plaid, so the whole challenge is to match the chestkerchief or tie.

One last rule

If you’re brave about changing your look and like to experiment, you shouldn’t be intimidated by the combination of a plaid jacket, a plaid shirt and a patterned chest handkerchief. You can also use a monochrome tie.

The rule of thumb for combining patterns of different sizes works here. In my example, the dominant pattern is plaid, so the whole challenge is to match the chestkerchief or tie.

If you want to try out the tips above but don’t have the right item in your wardrobe, we recommend checking out the men’s ties at your favourite online shop, TiesPlanet.

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