Matching your tie and shirt correctly is not that difficult, but essential. Try walking out the door in the morning with a paisley shirt and a Striped Tie, chances are you'll hear a lot of snickering and get some very pitying looks.
So what can you do to keep from looking like a sight impaired business professional without a kind wife? Follow along with this simple guide and we'll tell you how to master the pairing of the shirt and tie.
There are several guidelines to follow when picking out the right tie and shirt combination in the morning. We've broken it down by shirt type for ease of reference.
The white dress shirt is perhaps the easiest shirt to dress up. It goes with any Color Ties, or any Pattern Ties for that matter. The safest route to go when dressing in the morning is to wear a white dress shirt with your tie, it will match no matter what.
Of course, some people don't like to play it safe all the time!
For a man looking for a little bit of excitement in his wardrobe a solid colored dress shirt is an excellent idea. A colorful shirt can really add a depth to your appearance that a white shirt lacks.
The simple rule for matching a colored dress shirt to your tie is to match a contrasting color in the tie to the color of the shirt. So say you're wearing a Blue Tie with pink strips, your shirt should be pink. Also keep in mind that the colors of tie and shirt should match, but you can use similar shades of the same color to create a really striking effect.
Both of these patterned shirts can go really well with either solid or patterned ties. If you are going with a Solid Color Tie try matching the tie color to the color of the lines on the dress shirt. This creates a striking visual effect without being overly matching.
You can also wear a patterned tie with a striped or checked shirt, just be sure that the pattern on the tie is always larger than the pattern on the shirt. The pattern on the shirt should always be smaller and more subtle, because the tie is the decorative centerpiece of the outfit and that is where you want attention centered.
Also try to incorporate colors from the patterned shirt onto the patterned tie, for example, reversing the contrasting and main colors in the shirt on the tie. An example of this would be a light blue dress shirt with small yellow strips matched with a Dot Tie with blue dots.
All of these tie and shirt combos are popular among professional men, especially for the work day. The biggest concern for day wear is to keep your outfit conservative and understated. I like patterns for day wear because they create an interesting visual dynamic in a sometimes stale suit.
For nightwear try going bold with bright or jewel toned solid colors. This will create a dramatic look that may not be appropriate for work, but looks outstanding at a party or dinner. For a classic combination with a twist, try a black suit, white dress shirt, and vivid red Silk Tie. You will look classy, powerful, and ready to take on the world.
Matching your tie and shirt is not difficult, even in the hazy mental fog of the early morning. If you forget some of the rules, print out this article and keep it in your closet as a handy guide for putting together a successful outfit. After all, you've invested all this money in these beautiful clothes, why not wear them correctly?