Shirt – Tie – Suit and how to combine them

The Complete Guide to Shirt, Tie and Suit Combinations

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Whilst corporate wear tends to be traditionally defined, your clothing choices should be anything but boring. With this in mind we bring you a complete guide to men’s shirt, tie and suit colour combinations that will help you to stand out from the crowd in a good way.

The Colour Wheel – How to Match Colours

The colour wheel is useful when it comes to pairing your ties with shirts, allowing you to identify colours that are complementary, contrasting and similar. Whilst it can be used as a rough guide for pairing your shirts and ties, you should be aware that it is one thing to do something in theory and another in practice. The colour wheel is informative, but it shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Perfecting tie and shirt combinations will come from experience! Colours beside each other in the colour wheel are similar, meaning they possess similar tones. Colours opposite to one another are complementary, but the shades of these tones need to be well considered. Finally, colours that are three sections away from other colours are contrasting.

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The trick to perfecting similarly coloured shirts and ties is to vary your shades. Ties should be darker than your shirts, so opt for deeper, darker colours of your shirts for your tie choices. Similar colours can work well together, but ensure there is enough distinction between the shades of your shirts and ties. Take a powder blue shirt and a navy tie – the navy will pick up the lighter blue tones of your shirt, and will work well because they are distinctly different. Complementary colours need to be paired thoughtfully, as they can be more difficult to team together – don’t match these colours in bolder tones, the look will be a bit intimidating. Contrasting colours are typically easier to team together, given they juxtapose and create a bit more dimension. Blues and reds are the best example of contrasting tones that work phenomenally well together.

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Shirt and Tie Rules

You can never go wrong with traditional colours for your shirt choices. Ensure you have all the great staples, like white, powder blue and pale pink. This will afford you more freedom when you come to pair your shirts with ties. Patterned shirts should be welcomed for a distinctive change, but stick to traditionalist patterns and colours to keep your looks grounded, like simplistic checks and washed out ginghams. For your ties, opt for knitted and textured versions to really change up your sartorial corporate looks. Additionally, silk ties are recommended in classic prints with thicker stripes and solid tones for maximum versatility and timelessness.

Keep in mind that traditional coloured suits (blacks, grey, navy, etc.) are encouraged when you try out the following colour shirt/tie combinations, and should be matched accordingly.

outfit combination

White Shirt Outfit Combinations

White as a tone is preferred for versatility, given this shade works well with pretty much every colour. The quintessential tone is clean, crisp and classic. White shirts thus afford much freedom when it comes to pairing them with ties. No matter your tie choice (solid colours, classic stripes, traditional patterns, modern textures), white is the obvious choice for easy combos you can formulate without thinking twice about.

Pink Shirt Outfit Combinations

Powder pinks can be a refreshing change to the monotony of staple shirt colours. This tone can also bring a bit more colour to standard suits. You will need to ensure that the pink shirts you pick are not overwhelmingly pigmented, so opt for softer tones to complement accompanying navy, grey and tan blazers. The trick to pairing appropriate ties with pink is to work with both contrasting and similar colours. A deep purple or violet tie will pick up the tones of pink, and deeper navies will add depth to this pastel tone.

Blue Shirt Outfit Combinations

Blue is one of the best shades you should go for when choosing dress shirts. Firstly, it’s a change from classic white, but it is still conservative and formal. Blue is also great to give you a deeper tan complexion and warms up your clothing palettes subtly. Powder blue is your best bet for another corporate staple that works incredibly well with different tie colours and patterns. Pale blue also tends to complement a range of skin tones and hair colours, making it an alluring shirt staple. For powder blue work shirts, opt for ties in the same colour family like darker navies for a grounded look. Alternatively, go for dark patterned ties or mix things up with deep crimson silks or darker green variations for corporate looks with a twist.


White Shirt / Black Suit Combination

For white shirt and black suit combinations, interpret this combination classically for a timeless edge. Whilst most colours work really well with black and white (obviously, they are the base shades), monochromatic ties will sustain a refined approach to this colour combinations. Try out different textured ties for a more dimensional take on classic black and white.


white & black suit advice combination TMS

White Shirt / Grey Suit Combination

Given grey and white are more neutral, be sure to add dashes of colour to warm such a palette up. Grey suits with white shirts can be warmed up with redder tones, grounding your looks. So, opt for classic burgundies and rich oxbloods to add a dash of colour to grey.

grey suit

White Shirt / Tan Suit Combination

For tan suits and white shirts, blue tones are your best bet. Different shades of blue will complement the warmth of a tan suit, so keep an open mind with the types of tones you go for. Navy kitted ties in different patterns, like horizontal stripes will liven up your take on neutral suiting and powder blue tones will also pick up the warmth of tan and also brighten up a simple white shirt.

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White Shirt / Navy Suit Combination

White and navy have proven to be an alluring colour combination for the modern man, particularly for corporate looks. Play with different patterns like ginghams and tartans which feature similar blue tones for a nod to private school uniforms. Alternatively, go for knitted ties in solid colours like cherry reds and grass greens for a clean, classic way to interpret a navy suit with a white shirt.

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 Suit combination can cause you headache, so make sure you save this to your laptop. Who knows one day it will just help you out. Unless your old suit is so worn out or outdated, book with us here and our team will be more than happy to help.