A lot of times I see men doing it wrong. When it comes to matching a shirt and tie you should keep in mind 4 things: fabric (if it’s winter match a tweed/wool suit with your wool tie, if it’s summer match a cotton tie with your cotton or seersucker or linen suit), colour, body type and print.
When buying a tie always remember it’s easier to match it to the rest of your outfit than to build an outfit around the tie, so first shop for shirts and clothes then go buy a tie. I guess I don’t need to tell you to avoid synthetic material ties, you should already know that, especially if you shop for ties in charity shops or second hand shops where they are already cheap, only search for 100% cotton(cotton+linen), 100% silk or 100% wool ties. Same for bow ties.
THE TIE AND YOUR BODY TYPE
The larger men with big upper bodies and sportsmen with wide shoulders and arms can wear wider ties with no problem and also narrow ties, while the slimmer men are more advantaged by slim ties and would not look good with a wide one because it would be out of proportion with their slim body.
REMEMBER: when it comes to proportion the width of your lapel should be the same as the width of your tie. If you look at the picture below A should equal B:
THE TIE AND THE COLOUR
The tie (or pocket square) should always be the cherry on top of the cake, in this case the cake being your outfit. You should always build up your outfit and then choose a tie to impress, and the way to impress is through colour (if the occasion is offering you the chance to impress, maybe you’re at a business meeting and have to be serious in which case you will wear a plain black,grey, navy,red tie). The internet is full of information about colour psychology according to the message you subliminally want to get out there, the marketing departments of the huge corporations use this colour psychology all the time to make you buy a certain product, I’m not going to get into that you can research this on your own.
Men with bright hair and skin – it is recommended you use pastel colours.
Men with dark hair and bright skin – it is recommended you use tie and shirt combinations with a powerful contrast (for example blue shirt and red tie)
Men with dark hair and skin – you can try using both pastel colors and strong contrast combinations of shirt and tie.
Remember! There are 2 ways to combine a shirt with a tie:
(1) The combination where a colour of the shirt is found on the tie:
(2) The combination where the tie is in contrast with the shirt:
THE TIE AND THE PATTERN
A lot of men avoid patterned ties for the fear of failing to match them with the rest of the outfit but it should not be like this. Here is one important thing to remember: besides the classic combinations of plain shirts+patterned ties and patterned shirts+plain ties you can also match patterned shirt with patterned ties providing the fact that the patterns are of different sizes. Let’s say you have a striped shirt and a striped tie, it’s ok to match them as long as the stripes on one of them are larger or smaller than the stripes on the other one:
Stripes + Patterns:
Stripes + Polka dots:
Checks + Stripes:
Checks + Patterns:
Remember! Plain shirts go with any patterned ties and plain ties go with any patterned shirts:
And there is always the classic option on plain shirt + a plain tie:
As I said at the beginning of the article try matching summer fabric shirts with summer fabric ties and winter fabric suits with winter fabric ties:
Sometimes there are exceptions, for example cotton shirt + silk ties: