There are so many ways to combine shirts and ties but very few hard and fast rules. To be honest, it’s more of an art than a science, but to help busy guys always look their best, I’ll break it down for you…
1. The easiest approach is to mix a solid tie with a solid shirt. Imagine a crisp white button-front shirt and a skinny black tie. Very Mad Men. It just doesn’t get more classic than that. However, solid ties and shirts have a tendency to look very conservative. For example, pair a dark gray suit with a white shirt and a solid red tie and you could end up looking like you’re running for Congress. So, this is when you’ll want to experiment with colorblocking. Remember that color wheel we spoke about a few weeks ago? Team shades that sit together on the same side of the spectrum and you’ll be good to go.
2. Just slightly more complicated is pairing a patterned tie with a solid shirt. Stick with a neutral shirt (for example, white or light blue), and pretty much any tie you choose will work well with it — even if the tie’s pattern combines green, gray and purple. That’s the beauty of neutrals… they go with everything! On the flip side, you can use the colors in the tie as the foundation for your look. Let’s imagine that tie I was talking about above. If it had and a green, gray and purple print, you could wear it with a light green shirt, a gray shirt or even a lavender one.
3. That brings us to mixing a patterned tie with a patterned shirt. The easiest way to do this is to stay within the same color palette and let one pattern be the dominant one. In essence, you could pair a checked shirt in a light blue color with a bold striped navy tie. Or take a shirt that has a very subtle green stripe running through it and add a tie that combines emerald green and yellow.
Once you get the hang of these three combos, you’ll be able to tell what works and what doesn’t. Because combining colors and patterns is subjective, there really is no wrong or right way to do it. Wear what makes you happy. That’s the best way to convey your style and personality to the rest of the world. Now, where to wear these new looks, well, that’s another question for #HelpMeClinton!