On paper, the task of picking a shirt and tie looks easy. Dig a little deeper and you may find yourself in a spot of bother. For alongside choosing the right colour match, you also have to take into account the proportions, fit and tie knot. But with some tactical manoeuvring, you can pull off the winning combination. Simply follow our rules on how to pick a shirt and tie.
1. Get it into proportion
First things first, your tie width should be the same width as your suit lapels. To make things easy, we currently stock four different tie widths: the skinny tie goes with the skinny suit etc… Just match fits and you’ll be spot on every time. You also need to consider your shirt fit and knot. For example, a slim fit shirt with a neat collar loses all its character when worn with a bulky tie. Finally, remember to keep the knot small with a slim tie and large knot with a wide tie.
2. Think about your shirt fit
Your shirt fit should always complement your suit jacket fit, so once again try and match fits. If you’ve chosen a slim fit suit, don’t ruin the line of your jacket by having swathes of excess shirt fabric bunching underneath. You’ll need a slim fit shirt instead.
3. A simple rule about colour
It’s pretty simple when it comes to tie/shirt combinations – go for a darker tie than your shirt. If you’re not confident playing with colour, stick to this rule and you can’t go far wrong, and remember a white shirt is the easiest place to start because it works with every other colour.
4. The perfect colour combos
As we’ve established, a white shirt is a staple in your wardrobe, but light blue and faded pink shirts are also invaluable members of the formalwear family, and they all work well with most tie colours.
Autumn/winter is a great time to add some right shades to your wardrobe such as burgundy and navy. However, keep the burgundy shirts for your downtime and add a burgundy tie to the mix instead. A great combination to try is as light blue shirt with a contrasting burgundy tie. You can also wear your navy suit with a lighter tie.
More colour combinations include a forest green tie on a light blue shirt – sophisticated and tasteful, a khaki green tie complementing a faded pink shirt – brave yet brilliant, and a navy blue tie on faded pink shirt – a classic success.
5. Introduce a Pocket Square
Avoid being too matchy-matchy with your pocket square and tie (see 10 Rules To Look Good In A Suit). If you’re looking for a little guidance, a good tip is to match your pocket square with the colour of any small detail on your tie; a very simple idea that shows good attention to detail and won’t go unnoticed. Once you feel confident with conventional colours why not mix things up with different textures and patterns.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Why not try mixing things up a bit with different textures and patterns? Knitted ties look amazing on a gingham shirt. Or transform work suit with a contrast collar shirt worn with a dark tie and a metal tie clip for a refined finish. A look that will take you from the boardroom to your favourite bar.