When it comes to fashion, most men are creatures of ease and routine. We all know of the 5-shirt rotation for the work week, dropped off to the dry cleaners on Friday and picked up on Monday, and then paired with a tie chosen from a drawerful selection from one’s desk.
It’s an efficient approach that takes the guesswork out of dressing, except when it comes to finding the right tie to match with your shirt. Finding a complementary shirt and tie match is one that leaves most men stumped, and a wrong pairing will elicit unwanted attention, even from your most sartorially challenged workmates.
But there are some easy tips to follow to help ease this workwear conundrum. Read on for our foolproof guide to shirt and tie pairings.
Pictured above: Geoffrey Beene shirts and ties
Solid shirt and solid tie
The most basic pairing, but play with textures to add a bit of interest, like a knitted tie. Formal looks can get away with solid block pairings (think the classic white shirt with a black tie) but invest in a high quality shirt and tie as plainer fabrics show poor fabrication and manufacturing more so than print.
Small pattern shirt and solid tie, and vice versa
You can’t go wrong with matching a solid and a print but as a general rule, make sure your ties are darker than your shirts, and stick with similar or contrasting colours in different shades and tones.
Small pattern shirt and large pattern tie
Mixing patterns can be tricky but it adds an interesting detail to your look. If you’re unsure, opt for a thin-striped shirt which can be as easily paired as a solid one.
Large pattern shirt and small pattern tie
If you’re a bit of an adventurous dresser, consider teaming a wide-check shirt with a micro-print tie for a visually interesting pairing, but keep your suit plain. Very few men can pull off three patterns in one look.
Shop the SS16 Careerwear catalogue.