How to Match a Tie & Shirt

Notice how the white in the tie is accented by the white shirt.
Notice how the white in the tie is accented by the white shirt. (Image: Lisa Stirling/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Some people believe you should pick your suit or jacket first and match your tie and shirt to the suit, while others--such as you should pick your tie first and then select the shirt and suit or jacket that best complement your neckware. The tie reflects your personality and becomes the jewel to your suit and shirt, as it accentuates the hues and color of both. Select your tie based on how you feel that day, who you will be seeing and the impression you want to make. Then select your dress shirt and, finally, your suit or sport jacket.

Decide on the tie you feel like wearing. Pull it from the rung. Inspect it to make sure it is clean and free of wrinkles.

Review the colors or patterns in the tie. Pick out the least dominant color in the pattern to bring it forward or decide on which color you would prefer to accent.

Place the tie next to your shirt. Pick a patterned shirt containing the color of the solid tie. Select a solid shirt for a patterned tie.

Place the tie and shirt next to your suits. Select a suit that has the same tonal hues as the shirt and tie or has pinstripes that has similar tones to the tie.

Designate a primary tone for two patterned garments. Add a tie with large stripes the same color as the pinstripe in a shirt or suit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Match your shirt to ties based on tonal values. Blend blue, black, gray, navy, charcoal clothing or pinstripes to red, blue, black, silver, pewter or white-hued clothing.
  • Mix yellow tones to brown, red, gold, and green clothes.
  • Match jewel accessories to the your color ones in your clothing. A yellow gold chain matched to a gray suit with a silver tie does not coordinate as well as a the gold chain with a brown suit with gold tie or a gray suit with a platinum watch.

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