Unfortunately for a lot of men they find themselves confined to a corporate suit for the majority of the working week. Thus not allowing any of their personality to shine through. The corporate shackles have a quick way of removing fashion and trends from sight in the office, and as a result, men then find it hard to express themselves. Worse still they get stuck in a style rut, that ends with a wardrobe full of mismatching shirts and ties.
An introduction of colour or patterns has the average man quaking in his boots. How does one pair a patterned tie with a gingham shirt? What colour goes with purple? Understanding the basics of colour matching is going to help you no end on this sartorial journey.
Fortunately for you, A Gentleman’s Row is on hand to give you a guide to 10 of the best shirt and tie combinations to save you time and hassle. Investing in these are a sure-fire way to looking your best at work on a daily basis.
White Shirt + Anything
The white shirt is the perfect base for practically any tie. It has an expert ability to absorb colour and patterns so it really is a safe choice for any men a little sartorially challenged. Combine with spots, stripes or tartans and it will be any easy way to add something a little different in the office without stepping out of your comfort zone.
Blue Shirt + Green Tie
An outdated and forgettable style rule that men should not follow is “blue and green should never be seen”. Well it should and on a blue shirt foundation, this is a nice way for men to introduce some autumnal tie colours at work. To add more texture in the colder months opt for a wool or knitted version of the tie.
Blue Shirt + Blue Tie
This is a timeless classic, if a little on the safe side. Keep the shirt a lighter colour to the tie and venture into different textures or patterns to update. Don’t forget though, there is nothing wrong with timeless style. There is a reason gentleman still rely on this tried and tested combination.
Striped Shirt + Diagonal Striped Tie
This is going to be a little scary for some men but we assure you it can really take you up a style notch if you can pull it off. Just remember that the width of stripes on the tie should be wider/bigger than that of the shirt. Colour wise a navy base is a nice place start from, with an additional dash of colour in the diagonal stripe.
Striped Shirt + Spotted Tie
The key with this look is for it not to look too busy. You don’t want bold shirt stripes with a cacophony of colourful spots on the tie. The spots should nearly always be white but you can play around with navy, red or even green as the main tie colour. Remember that this guide is showing you what colours compliment each other. So stick to our guidelines as a rule of thumb for choosing your shirt colour.
Blue Shirt + Burgundy Tie
A fantastic combination that men should definitely experiment with is blue and burgundy. Wearing a navy blue or grey suit can become stale every day. So instead of sticking to the safe navy blue tie choice, burgundy will do wonders in giving your outfit a bit of a lift.
Pink Shirt + Red Tie
For those men looking to break out of conformity then this combination is one to try. Not for the faint-hearted, we would advise approaching with caution. If this is not colours you would normally embrace then probably best to move on. But for those comfortable with the looks of surprise and admiration in equal measure then this could just be the show-stopping combo you’ve been looking for.
Blue Shirt + Brown Tie
Again, similar to the blue and green combination, these tonal colours work well together during spring and autumn. Try a lighter colour tie to prolong wearing this arrangement into the warmer months. But much like the green tie, adding texture or a patterned pocket square will lift this outfit when outside the office windows is looking drab and dreary.
Gingham Shirt + Knitted Tie
A gingham shirt is a nice alternative to the base colours of shirts the majority of men wear on a day-to-day basis. Step away from a plain white or blue shirt and introduce some checks. Not only will it look different to those around you, but partner it with a plain knitted tie for an expert balance of colours and textures.
With a multitude of patterned ties for men to choose from, with it comes a sartorial minefield. If in doubt, the safest way to add a bit of bold pattern into your work wardrobe is by offsetting it against a neutral, unobtrusive colour. Lighter colours are ideal for this as they will absorb any strong patterns. So opt for pale pink, blue or grey and the old faithful white as your pattern partners for this summer.
Balancing ties and shirts can be a difficult thing for men to get right. Hopefully this guide has given you some insight into the colours, patterns and textures that work together to lift your office suit.
Practice makes perfect for men when combining their ties and shirts. Having doubts? Then ask for a second opinion from a loved one, friend or sales assistant to make sure you are hitting all the right style notes.
Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.