Matching a solid coloured dress shirt with a tie is a no brainer, for anything goes in this case. But if you have picked up a few shirts from the latest collections of stripes, plaids or checks that have hit the market then finding the right match can leave you a bit dazed â€“ what with so many patterns and prints available in ties themselves. Maybe that is why a solid colour like white, pale blue, light grey and beige or tan has been a staple of any professionalâ€™s wardrobe.
They're accepted in just about any environment and for any dress code. Solid colours offer a crisp, classic look. They are so versatile that one can match them with any tie. But this also limits a person's choice of shirts to wear. Let's face it, men may not like to shop for hours to pick one shirt or that they do not mind wearing the same colour combination on most days. But with the metrosexual thing becoming a key word, trying something different, something that is not a basic blue or beige may not be a bad idea.
This is where enters the patterned shirt. This season both the designers and the readymade garments industry have flooded the market with patterned shirts, offering the men much more selection. So there are now checks of various sizes, and newer interpretation of the striped shirt. There are the regular straight stripes, diagonal stripes and stripes that are spaced out at irregular intervals. This season plaid and micro checked shirts have also become quite a rage.
While they may provide more fashion options to men, but patterned dress shirts can become a nightmare when it comes to accessorising them with a matching tie. For here you cannot just go ahead and wear any tie with any shirt. They are tougher to mix and match.
The perfect pair
There are few basic rules to matching a patterned shirt with a tie. First of all at least one colour in your tie should match either with your shirt, suit or even your belt. You can wear similar patterns in your tie and shirt but the patterns should not be identical.
Another basic fashion rule is that avoid wearing the three things namely your tie, shirt and suit with the same pattern. You can don two of the garments with same pattern but never all the three. That is the biggest fashion faux pas you can make. It means that you can wear a striped tie with a striped shirt or a pinstripe suit but never wear all the three together.
Now coming to matching the three popular patterns in shirt with their respective ties, let's take a look. If you have the regular shirt with stripes then you can wear it with a striped tie. But make sure that the stripes on the shirt and tie aren't identical.
For instance it is a great idea to wear a tie with diagonal stripes with your regular vertical striped shirt. You can also wear your sparsely striped shirt with abstract, square or jacquard pattern. However if you have a shirt with diagonal stripes, then wear it without a tie. But if you must, then pair it with a muted solid coloured, self-patterned tie matching the colour of the stripes.
If you have picked a micro-checked shirt that is so popular this season, then you can match it with a checked tie as long as the patterns are not identical in size. Choose a tie with windowpane checks or box window pattern with your micro check shirt. To add variety you can also look for jacquard check pattern with your regular checked shirt. You can pair this shirt with a solid coloured tie.
Your safest bet when matching plaid shirts is a solid tie that matches one of the colours in the plaid pattern. You can try a tie with small squares or patterns in self with your plaid shirt. But plaid shirts are more casual and can be worn without a tie.
Now if you are one of those who likes ties with various prints like paisley or little motifs, then your best option to pair it with a solid-coloured shirt. Remember to match at least one colour in your tie with that of your shirt. Other prints that look good include small dots in box or small squares or even logos.
Some fun ties to try
The key to keeping your professional look fresh without depleting your wallet is to invest in a selection of fine ties and rotate them on a regular basis with the shirts and basic suits you possess.
Ties in basic colour like red, navy and grey work best with any shirt. The other colours that are going hot this season are pink, purple and muted olive/ Khaki green. The diagonal regimental stripes remain a classic for all seasons. You can even look at the retro style and the classic jacquard and small box prints this season as well.
However what is out are Disney-print ties or ties with large motifs or patterns. If you like ties with motifs then look for the ones that are small and are placed at some distance from each other. The key to choosing your tie is to go for clean styles instead of busy patterns.
Ties for total facelift
Power Ties: Make a bold statement with a red tie with white, and navy blue or light blue diagonal stripes placed at various distance. Wear it with a white or blue shirt and a dark blue suit. Pick a classic muted red tie with subtle floral, paisley or square pattern to wear with your grey or pinstriped suit or plaid shirt in tan, grey or blue. Try a self-patterned red tie with a logo or a motif to combine with any suit or shirt for a dressy occasion. However avoid wearing a solid red tie as that can look too jarring to the eye.
Funky Retro: Add spunk to your outfit with a retro feel, choose a regimental striped tie in colours like red, white, brown to wear over a beige or tan shirt with a regular brown or navy blue suit. Pick a tie with retro-looking colour scheme of black and sienna, with light brown diagonal and white accent stripes. This kind of crisp striped tie will match perfectly with navy and grey suits, or even light tweed suits. Go funky with gold, navy and white regimental striped pattern tie. Don it whenever and wherever over a white, black or light blue shirt.
Fun Colours: Pink, purple and green can light up any basic shirt and suit. So look for a pink tie with midnight blue and grey stripes and subtle twill patterns in the background to spruce up your business suit. You can even pick a pink and grey shot pr pink and purple shot ties with twill patterns to a fashionable look. You can wear it with a blue plaid or light grey shirt and grey suit. Solid Khaki or olive green ties look great with checked or plaid shirt in similar colour schemes. Pick a green and brown or green and gold striped tie for a solid coloured or striped shirt. To pair with your green plaid shirt or brown suit, you can pick a muted green tie with little gold dots and twill pattern in the background.
Smart Classics: Navy, brown and light grey ties still remain the favourite classics for this season. Pick a solid navy tie with gold diagonal stripes and jacquard lining. You can wear this tie on any occasion and combine it with just about any suit. Add a sense of classic country club style with a textured wool or jacquard tie in shades of chocolate and sienna brown. You can match it with your favourite brown, grey, or earth tone suit and shirt. Create a classic illusion with a navy diagonal pinstripe tie over a dusty pink and grey background. It should be worn with a dark suit and a white or matching tone shirt. Pick a light grey tie with navy stripes or sparsely placed navy dots for making a subtle statement.