Do you struggle to understand the art of matching a shirt and tie? From identifying which colours that go well together, to acknowledging the prints that compliment each other, all in all it can be quite challenging. That’s why CT shirts, retailers of men’s shirts and experts in male fashion, we bring you this comprehensive shirt and tie guide.
When complementing the colours of your shirt and tie, bear in mind the following advice:
A safe option for choosing the right shirt of tie, is sticking to a ‘theme’. Are you creating a cool or warm colour palette? Cool colours are blues, purples and greens and warm hues include reds, oranges and yellows.
Not matter what shirt colour you go for, the tie needs to darker. So, to match a cool-coloured shirt and tie, you would pair a navy coloured tie with a light-blue shirt. Similarly, a burgundy tie would match well with a pink shirt.
For riskier moves, you could mix up the themes. Try a warm colour such as red against a cool blue background — this is a simple way of making your look standout.
If you think of the colour wheel, all the colours that are opposite one another create the most striking look. If you’re going for a bold look, this can be a good move. Think orange ties against blue shirts and hues of purple against green.
If you decide to go for a white shirt, this can act as the blank canvas for most ties. Go monochrome with a classic black tie or mix it up with bright purple.
If you seek to add an edge to your shirt and tie combination, introduce prints into your look. But, how can you avoid a print faux pas?
The general rule is for the pattern of the tie to be larger than that on the shirt. Although, if the tie is bright and bold anyways, this rule could be broken to an extent.
When using a striped shirt, the best way to match a tie is with more stripes. Avoid choosing the same size stripes and instead choose complementing hues as mentioned above. Interestingly, polka dots contrast well with a striped shirt too.
If you choose to wear a small patterned tie with a check shirt, the tie can appear lost against its background. Therefore, choose a tie with a bold print when wearing a gingham shirt — think paisley, for example.
A great tip for dressing prints is to take the tie’s minor colour and pair this with the major colour in your shirt. If your tie has light blue pinstripes for example, opt for a light blue shirt.
You might have a favourite shirt with a classic collar, but is it suitable to wear with a bow tie to a formal event?
A classic collar is a traditional collar shape. This matches well with a four-in-hand knot (the classic tie).
A cutaway collar is one that has wider collar points that are angled outwards instead of pointing down. These should be worn with a full or half Windsor tie knot.
The semi-cutaway collar is halfway between a classic collar and a cutaway collar. To complement this shape, a larger knot such as a half or full Windsor is a good choice.
Some shirts have an extreme cutaway collar. This is a very widespread collar, with tips cut away and facing towards the shoulders. Slim ties and small tie knots match well with these shirts.
What about a button-down collar? This is where each side of the collar is fastened to the shirt with a button. This can be worn without a tie and still look smart.
When it comes to formal wear, it’s often a wing collar that you’ll be wearing. This is designed for an evening shirt and should be worn with bow tie and tuxedo.
There you have it: the complete guide to a shirt and tie. Think warm and cool hues for a safe look or opt for bold prints in contrasting colours for something more out-there.