It's a Match: How to Pair Shirts with Ties

Matching solid-colored ties to solid-colored shirts? Piece of cake. But throw in stripes, paisley patterns, and checks, and you’re suddenly lost. Don’t panic. This simple guide will teach you the ropes of shirt and tie pairings.


1. Repeat colors in each pattern.
Choose your shirt first. Then pick a tie with accents in the same color as the shirt. In this case, a white shirt will work with almost any tie to begin with. But go one step further and match a white-patterned tie to the shirt. Boom.

2. Graduate checks outward.
This one’s a toughy. Skillfully matching a checked shirt and a differently checked tie seems daunting, but it can be done. The first rule of thumb? Always wear smaller checks on your body and bigger checks around your neck. Then choose a shirt and tie with a similar color palette. That wasn’t so bad.

3. Vary weights between patterns.
If you choose two patterns of the same size, your look will be a bit too busy. Go for a cleaner option and pair a subtly striped shirt with a bold paisley tie. The large pattern around your neck will complement the thin stripes on the shirt – and neither will be competing for attention.

4. Match smaller patterns with larger ones.
A shirt and tie with completely different patterns? Yes, it can work. Just make sure the proportions are big vs. small, then pair away. A neutral shirt (like the one above) will match with basically any tie even if it’s not in the same color family. This blue striped version complements, rather than overwhelms, the delicate check pattern on the shirt. Now you’re a pro.

Our Like a Boss: Men’s Take-Charge Suits, Ties, & More Boutique opens Sunday, August 11, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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