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How to match shirts and ties

Written by: Eleanor Richards | August 2, 2016.

shirtWhen pairing up your shirts and ties, there are two simple tricks you need to master. Specifically, which colours complement each other, and what patterns work well together. You have four key components to work with: a patterned shirt, a patterned tie, a block colour shirt and a block colour tie.

These four styles can be put together in any combination, but there are certain rules. Know your colour wheel, and which colours work well together – this will make your look sharp rather than scary. And, figure out how to pair two different patterns together.

At Mainline Menswear, we’re no stranger to having to create a winning shirt and tie combination. So we’ve broken down the rules into a few subheadings, to help you dress to impress.

Colour on colour

Wearing a single colour shirt with a single colour tie is the easiest shirt and tie combination. If you wear a black or white shirt, then you have much more choice with regards to the colour of your tie. Black, white – and grey to an extent – are neutral colours so will look good with almost anything.

If you want to wear a coloured shirt, like pale blue for example, be aware of which colours will benefit this. Using opposites on the colour wheel, you could wear a blue shirt with a red, orange or pink tie. Another example would be a dark purple shirt with a subtle yellow tie. Although there are many colours which complement each other – like red and green – you still need to be clever about your choice. Some colours just aren’t suitable for work, so if you want to pair bold colours together, maybe wait for the weekend.

Shirt 2 Shirt 3

Pattern and colour

If you want to add a bit of pattern to either your shirt or tie, this is still very easy to pull off. The trick is to match one of the colours in the pattern on your tie to the block colour of your shirt – or vice versa.

A pale pink shirt with a blue and pink striped tie will be subtle enough to blend in but also create a more eye-catching look. The great thing about this trick is that, so long as the colours match slightly, you can go for any pattern you want.

However, you should still be aware of complementary colours, and have a bit of common sense about patterns. Know which patterns you can pull of in certain environments, and if in doubt, remember less is always more.

Shirt 5 Shirt 4

Pattern on pattern

Now onto wearing patterned shirt and a patterned tie. Undoubtedly the most difficult pairing of the three, but it’s still not rocket science. What most people are afraid of is ending up looking like a pair of 1950s curtains. Don’t worry – this is very easy to avoid.

Avoid really intense patterns, like crazy swirls or vivid diagrams. Vary the type of pattern, and the size. Don’t wear stripes on stripes or if you do pair skinny stripes on your shirt with much wider stripes on your tie. And try to match the dominant colour of the pattern in your tie to that on your shirt.

Some pattern combinations that really work are: checked shirt with a dotted tie, although opt for small checks and dots rather than larger ones. A vertically striped shirt with a diagonal plaid checked tie can also look impressive. Having lines going in different directions creates visual balance, and will draw people’s eyes to the patterns you’re wearing.

Shirt 6 Shirt 7

So there you have it, three remarkably easy ways to match your shirts and ties. Whether you choose to keep it simple with block colours, or experiment with patterns, there’s a shirt and tie combination to suit everyone.

The key points to remember are to focus on colours that complement each other, and not overpowering your outfit with too many eccentric patterns.

If you want to find a new shirt and tie combination, whether for work or for casual wear visit our website to browse. Mainline Menswear stocks a large selection of shirts and ties, in every variation imaginable. You’ll definitely find something to suit your own unique style.

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