THE ART OF THE SHIRT AND TIE COMBO
7 TIPS ON HOW TO MIX AND MATCH SHIRTS AND TIES.
STYLING TIP #1:
PICK YOUR FOCAL GARMENT
This is the easiest way to start with picking a shirt and tie combo. Whether it’s your shirt, your shoes, a pocket square, or the tie itself, what do you want to stand out the most? It’s easier to build your outfit around the most striking article – we’d go for the most colourful or most refined bit of clothing you’re wearing. Think new suede shoes, a patterned blazer, or a colourful tie.
STYLING TIP #2:
UNDERSTANDING COLOUR COMBINATIONS
We could write a whole article on colour theory alone, but we’ll keep things simple here. In a nutshell, the outfit you wear can be monochrome (varying tones of the same colour, like sky blue, worn with royal and navy), complementary (tones opposite each other on the colour wheel, like orange and blue which make each other pop) or you can wear adjacent colours (shades next to each other on the colour wheel that harmonise well, like emerald green, lime green and yellow.). Really, you just need to decide whether you want to match, or mix colours for some contrast. Monochrome shirt and tie pairings are the easiest. You can wear any colourful or patterned tie with a white shirt and a simple dark suit. But for something a little more interesting, try pairing a pastel blue shirt with a navy tie and dark blue suit. Think John Wick in his black suit, shirt and tie, with a little more flavour.
STYLING TIP #3:
YOUR TIE SHOULD NEVER BE LIGHTER THAN YOUR SHIRT
Just think about a pastel tie on a dark shirt and you’ll get what we mean. It looks jarring and feels dated. It should always be the other way round.
STYLING TIP #4:
PICK OUT ONE SHADE FROM A COLOURFUL TIE AND MATCH IT TO YOUR SHIRT
A patterned ties adds instant character to your ensemble. Pair a bold floral, a classic geo print, a playful animal motif with a plain shirt, and you can’t really go wrong. Take a smart paisley print in purples in deep pinks - we’d pair ours with a lilac shirt for a fresh take on formal.
STYLING TIP #5:
GO FOR MONOCHROME PATTERNS
Amp things up by introducing a patterned shirt into the mix. Mixing patterns is easier if they’re monochrome - like a light blue striped shirt paired with blues in the tie. For a balanced look, your tie pattern should be bigger than your shirt one. Contrasts, like large spotted ties with fine striped shirts work well. Give a really detailed tie a relatively blank canvas, and vice versa.
STYLING TIP #6:
The textures of your shirt and tie are also important, as they add a visual dimension as well as a tactile one. Crisp, smooth poplin shirts partner happily with pure silk ties as they both feel lightweight and refined. If you up the weight with a dobby or Oxford weave shirt, make sure you consider the pattern of the weave if it’s visible, just as you would a printed stripe on the shirt – this avoids things getting too busy. Contrasts make everything pop, so wear a textured tie like a linen, knitted or wool one with a plain, flat poplin. However, if you keep colours simple, a textured twill weave shirt in white could still go with any tie and any fabric you throw at it. Really, with texture, you can pull most things off. Just take a step back and your mirror will show you when something looks a little fussy.
STYLING TIP #7:
HAVE SOME FAIL-SAFE COMBINATIONS IN THE BANK
Having some tried-and-tested shirt and tie combos means you’ll be ready for any occasion; from big meetings to big birthdays. As you get more confident with tie mixing and matching, you can start to experiment with new pairings that really express your style and personality. The main takeaway? You want to look sharp, put-together, but comfortable and effortless.