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A Simple Guide to Shirt and Tie Combinations

A Simple Guide to Shirt and Tie Combinations

Matching your tie and shirt should not be a daunting task, but unfortunately, many people are struggling with it. If you equip yourself with the right knowledge about tie and shirt combination, it will become a game.

In this guide, I'm going to show you a simple plug and play formula for matching shirt and tie. You will look sharp and professional once you know the tricks of the trade.

Ready? Let's jump in.

Shirt and tie combinations

Shirt and Tie Combinations

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How to match your shirt and tie?

The most important rule of matching shirt and tie is to vary the shade.

If you've just started out building your business wardrobe, I would recommend you to start with a light shirt with a darker tie.

All the shirt and tie combinations below work well with black or grey suit.

Plain shirt and tie combinations

The most common colors of shirts are white, blue and pink, with white being the easiest to match.

White shirt and tie

White shirt goes well with almost all ties in any color or texture. I would suggest pairing a white shirt with a patterned tie to make the outfit less boring, although a solid color tie works just as well.

See more shirt and tie combos at Turnbull & Asset, Hawes & Curtis, T.M.Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt

Light blue shirt and tie

Pairing a light blue shirt with a navy patterned tie is a classic combination which adds a touch of poise and elegance to your outfit.

If you're looking for something more vibrant, a red or burgundy patterned tie is a perfect choice to wear with a light blue shirt.

See more shirt and tie combos at Turnbull & Asset, Hawes & Curtis, T.M.Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt

Pink shirt and tie

Pink shirts are a bit trickier than white and light blue shirts. I would recommend wearing a navy patterned tie with a pink shirt.

See more shirt and tie combos at Turnbull & Asset, Hawes & Curtis, T.M.Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt

Patterned shirt and tie combination

Patterns add an additional level of complexity to the shirt and tie pairings but at the same time make it more interesting.

For patterned shirts, the rule for color and shade is the same as plain shirts. However, there's now one more rule to follow:

You should never have the same pattern on your shirt and tie.

For example, don't combine a vertically striped shirt with a vertically striped tie. However, it's perfectly fine to match a polka dotted or a diagonally striped tie with a vertically striped shirt.

Striped shirt and tie

If you want to wear a striped tie with a striped shirt, always remember to vary the thickness and orientations of the stripes. That way it makes your tie stand out from your shirt.

A navy tie with wide diagonal stripes would be a perfect match with a light blue shirt with thin vertical stripes.

See more shirt and tie combos at Turnbull & Asset, Hawes & Curtis, T.M.Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt

Checked shirt and tie

A checked shirt is the most difficult shirt to match with a tie among all the other shirts because of the wide range of variations in the checkered pattern.

A foolproof way is to match a checked shirt with a knitted tie. The contrast between the texture of the shirt and tie creates a young, stylish look.

See more shirt and tie combos at Turnbull & Asset, Hawes & Curtis, T.M.Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt

How to select a tie


When you enter a room in a suit, your tie is the first thing people will notice.

A tie tells people about your personality - whether you're conservative or adventurous, creative or analytical.

You've probably invested in a bespoke suit and a nice pair of leather shoes, and you should by all means invest in quality ties as well.

Without a carefully selected tie of good quality, your outfit may look out-of-place even you've got an expensive tailor-made suit.

Here're the parts that make up a quality tie:


The shell is the outside of the tie. It's made of either natural or synthetic fabric.

The primary synthetic fabrics are polyester and microfibers. They're generally more strain and wrinkle resistant than natural materials.

The most common natural materials include silk, wool, cotton, and linen. They're tend to give an elegant touch and feel, but they're more expensive than their synthetic counterparts.

Ties of different fabrics are worn depending on the occasion and what they are worn with. Silk ties with sheen are best for business events, while knitted ties look great with suits or cardigans, make it suitable for both business and casual functions.


A quality tie should be cut on the bias. That means that it is cut at a 45-degree angle. Cutting on the bias makes the tie stay flat and wrinkle-free.

Some manufacturers may cut straight across the fabric instead in order to save material, which results in ties that wrinkle and lost their shape after years of wear.


Interlining is hidden beneath the ties outer shell. It helps a tie to drape and maintain its shape.

The interlining is often made up of wool and polyester blend. A poor quality interlining with a high percentage of polyester will give you a tie as rigid as a cardboard.

As you can see, the options for shirt and tie combinations are many and varied. With this guide (and a little practice) you're sure to impress even the toughest fashion critic!