A shirt and tie is the classic and timeless professional look that most of us don’t ever really have to wear day-to-day. But with the conundrum of which shirt matches which tie, along with endless possibilities and choices can be a daunting task. Mismatch and you’re the laughing stock of the office whilst if you nail the choice perfectly, you’ll not only feel professional but look professional.
'So with all of this in mind, we’re here to give you a few hints and tips on how to do just that'
Things to keep in mind
All of the tips here are independent of your suit colour and style and with that comes the ever growing issue of knowing what to do in terms of that. As a rule of thumb make sure you create balance in the colours you use and don’t go matching patterns with patterns without careful planning. Your suit should complement your tie with the shirt being the piece that acts as a canvas for your tie to break everything up.
Even if you’re scared out of your skin of using colourful ties, or an off-colour shirt, the sophistication it exudes outweigh any fears. With this in mind a white shirt is the most versatile of the formal shirts and this plain canvas lets you go wild with your tie choices. Since almost any tie will go with a white shirt, the more prominent question is what your suit jacket will look like over this tie, but that’s a whole new article altogether.
Don’t be afraid of pink or blue shirts, and think about complementing them with shades of the same colour or specifically for blue, using a deep red or maroon of any design. The colours are refreshing and give a sense of class and confidence especially when the colour matching is perfect.
Utilising a striped shirt in work life is where you start to show your attention to detail. There are three main ways to go with a striped shirt in terms of ties and they are block colour, alternate strips and polka dots. All striped shirts have a dominant colour that should be kept in mind when choosing but here’s what you can do with each of these set styles. Be it a red or blue, you will have to ensure that the colours don’t clash with the colours of your tie. Similarly you don't want them to blend in too much so that it’s hard to differentiate between the two colours.
Block colour – Block colour ties are used in almost the same way as you would with a plain shirt using the shirt’s dominant colour. It works just as well as any other tie on a plain shirt but get the colour wrong and it’s going to look wrong.
Opposing Stripes - Using a vertical stripe tie against a horizontal striped shirt and vice versa is the best way to show the intricacy of your style. By switching the stripes it breaks up the shirt and differentiates the pieces. Make sure that the weight and thickness of the stripes aren’t too alike to avoid the tie becoming lost.
Polka Dots – If you’re wearing a predominantly dark coloured shirt, using a light background on your tie with a polka dot style gives the dots a bit of an oomph. This trick will work the other way around when wearing a light coloured shirt too. Patterns with patterns can sometimes make you look a bit of a clown, so using a more condensed dotted or striped design can fix this.
Check shirts, whilst just as fashionable as a striped shirt, doesn’t follow the same rules. You will always require a thicker design or solid colour tie with checks as they are a very intricate. Applying a dense polka dot design to a checked shirt is poised for disaster for example. Any patterned tie needs a solid base background to stand out from the hubbub of your shirt so make sure to use dark ties against lighter checked shirts and vice versa for darker shade shirts.
Now you may think that stripes won’t go with checks without some careful planning and you’d honestly be right but a sure fire way to make the tie compliment the style is to use thick stripes. Just as patterns will get lost on a checked shirt if they’re not thick enough, it’s the same for striped ties. The stripes being slanted will also give the tie an extra push to stand out and break up your look.
Article by Menswear Style