MEN'S Fashion: Shirts & Ties, The tricks to combining


When it comes to picking and matching shirts and ties, not all men are blessed with the divine skill and some would probably settle (in frustration) with a white and black look, just to play it safe. Safe is good, but safe isn't fun and isn't quite stylish enough!

I've put together a few tips and pictures to help you (hopefully) unleash your inner style...So let's begin!

This combo is what is usually seen, the most common is the white shirt combo. But let's look at how we can combine two different solid colors that don't include white.

  • Use contrasting colors. For example a light shirt with a dark tie. The easiest to style in this category is a white shirt, any and I mean ANY tie goes with a white shirt, but how about we be adventurous and try maybe a pink shirt with a red tie, a yellow shirt with a purple tie. 
  • The trick in wearing contrasting colors, in order not to assault peoples eyes with a colorful outfit, is to make one piece some shades lighter. From my examples above, instead of a sharp pink, a pale pink shirt will go better with a red tie.
  • Wear colors from the same family (analogous to each other) Wearing a pink shirt with a purple or maroon tie, dark blue tie with a light blue shirt.
Solid on solid (Image Source)

Ever heard of the color wheel? It will help you better coordinate your colors when putting your outfits together. The combinations you need to take note of...
  1. Complementary colors: They are colors directly opposite each other on the wheel
  2. Analogous colors: Colors from the same family, they are usually found directly beside each other. They are basically different shades of a primary color.

Patterns could either be floral, striped, plaid, checkered etc. The trick to pairing these with solid colors is to pick the dominant color on the patterned piece to match with. This works both ways; patterned shirt to solid tie and solid shirt to patterned tie.

Anything goes for a white shirt! (Image Source)

Solid shirts and patterned ties

This could prove to be tricky for some guys, I think this is where the real fashion brain work needs to be applied. So with the color combining tips in mind, remember these...

  • Large patterns should be paired with smaller ones, pattern sizes should always complement each other
  • In pairing a shirt and tie with similar patterns, make sure the patterns are of varying sizes e.g. Shirt with big check pattern and a tie with small check pattern.
  • In the case of stripe on stripe, apart from making sure the stripes are of different sizes, go far stripes with different orientation, e.g vertical striped shirt with diagonal striped tie.
  • In the case of different patterns. stick to the same pattern size e.g. narrow striped ties with small checks shirts, large check tie with broad striped shirt.

Pattern on pattern. Focus: Checked shirts

Different size and direction of stripes (Image Source)
Pattern on pattern. Focus:Striped shirts

EXTRA TIPS...for the road:

  • The size of your collar should match the width of your tie and the width of your tie should match the width of your lapel
  • Your tie should reach (and not go below or above) the belt buckle or the waistband of your pants
  • Your ties should always be darker than your shirt (unless your shirt is already very dark).
  • Combining takes practice, but the tips above will sure give you a head start. Start combining and let's get heads turning to take a second look!

Yours, in fashionable inspiration!

Images sourced from

photo credit: mathowie via photopin cc

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3 thoughts

  1. I likey. Can't wait to change boo's wardrobe. I love when a man looks formal and classy. Nothing turns me on more than that.nice one

  2. Link bookmarked for later use...winkzinkz. Great job


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