How to Match Your Tie with Your Suit
Written 18 January 2022
Knowing how to select a suit that looks sharp is one thing, as is selecting the perfect shirt and shoe, but knowing how to accessorize and do it well is what really sets off your suit – adding those all-important finishing touches to your suit.
We understand that the highly stacked number of combinations of suits, shirts and ties make these choices extremely difficult to navigate, and it’s nigh on impossible to nail down a specific list of rules that are to be followed universally – however, there are a few guidelines for you to take note of to make sure your ties are looking killer every single time.
Colour Coding and Clashing
An extremely simple place to start is with colours. A general, base level, rule of thumb when it comes to tie matching is that your tie should be a darker colour than your shirt, as if your shirt is acting like a canvas, allowing the colour of your tie to stand out and draw attention to itself – after all, what’s the point in wearing a tie if the intention isn’t for it to be noticed?
Where it becomes slightly trickier is matching your tie with your suit colour. Something to bear in mind is that, generally, if your suit is a darker colour you should aim for your tie to lie in a similar range of tone as your jacket, trousers and waistcoat (if you’re wearing one). Alternatively, a lighter suit would pair better with a darker tie. It’s always best to take each case as it comes but keep within a similar colour story - they should complement each other, which can still be achieved even if the colour of the tie could be viewed as a “clashing colour”. For example, a burnt orange tie would pair great with a navy suit or green 3-piece.
Playing with Patterns
Patterns and colours are 2 completely different kettles of fish. It’s fairly easy to clash colours together and have it work out, patterns are not so simple to work with as it introduces multiple colours in a single accessory which can make matching them to your suit more difficult – but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from them!
When it comes to playing with patterns, it’s worth keeping it simple at first & trying not to work too many into your look at once. For example, having a shirt, suit and tie which all sport contrasting patterns can end up with your look being far too busy. Instead, focus on having one or two (maximum) patterns working together at a time, such as your suit and tie sporting patterns but keeping your shirt plain. If you’re looking to mix patterns make sure they’re definitely going to work together, consider having one pattern that is mildly muted whilst the other stands out more.
Making the Most of Materials
It may come as no surprise that there is a plethora of different materials used to make ties, gone are the days where you only had 5 different colours of the same plain nylon or silk tie to choose from – which, although makes our possibilities for achieving different sartorial styles much stronger, opens a whole new realm of choice to navigate. So, whilst again there is no set specific rules when it comes to deciding which material your tie should be there are some things to think about that should help narrow down your choices.
If you’re dressing for an event or meeting that requires you to be dressed in the height of formality, then a woven silk tie or something similar would be a better choice than a chunky, knitted or woollen alternative – which would better pair with a thicker tweed or wool winter suit. However, if it’s a lighter, summer suit you want a tie pairing for then a linen or knitted silk tie would be the go to selection.
The Width Matters
Not like that, get your mind out of the gutter! Something that is seldom focused on is matching the size of your tie to the style of your suit. But unlike colour coordination and material matching, sizing up your tie is a much simpler process. Plainly, the bigger your suit, the bigger your tie should be - so if you’re going for a double-breasted waistcoat, a wide lapelled blazer or both, opt for a wider tie, alternatively, you’re airing more to the tightly-tailored and slim fit side of suits a thinner tie would be a more appropriate option.