How to match shirts with ties

With so many different types of shirts and ties , it can be hard to know where to start when trying to combine them for an elegant look. There are a few simple rules that will make sure you get it right every time.

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Plain shirts

Plain shirts are the most versatile, making them the easiest to combine with a range of different ties. Try the following:

  • Tonal: A tie that exactly matches the shade of your shirt creates an modern look that still appears smart.
  • Pattern: With a plain shirt, you don't have to worry about creating a pattern clash. Just make sure the colours of the tie complement those of the shirt
  • Plain: For a minimalist look, opt for a plain tie. Select a colour that's different from both your shirt and suit.

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Striped shirts

Striped shirts provide a smart way to bring pattern into formal outfits. But some ties won't work with these shirts, particularly if they also feature stripes. Try one of these:

  • Structured: Some ties have a textured structure in their fabric. Since the scale of this pattern will be different to the stripes on the shirt, they make a good match.
  • Pattern: It is possible to wear a patterned tie with a striped shirt as long as the pattern contrasts well. For example, match wide stripes with small dots.
  • Plain: A plain tie is an effortless choice. Create contrast by choosing a colour that is different but still complementary to the stripes on the shirt.

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Checked shirts

Another favourite pattern, checks can appear more casual than stripes on business shirts. Smarten them up with one of these ties.

  • Stripes: These will work as long as the scale is different, for example a fine stripe with a large check.
  • Structure: A tie with a woven or knitted structure will provide a interesting textural contrast to the check design.
  • Plain: Opt for a solid-coloured tie to reduce the impact of the pattern on the shirt.

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Other patterns

There are a wide range of patterns to choose from for both shirts and ties. As a general rule, make sure that the designs are clearly distinct from each other. Here are just some of the ways:

  • Dots and texture : By bringing together these different elements in one look, this combination stands out for all the right reasons.
  • Pattern and colour: A solid-colour tie against a patterned shirt can help to enhance the hues in an outfit.
  • Micro check and large dots: The differing scale of the designs here ensures that the patterns don't clash.

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