Different Types of Men’s Ties: Shirt Tie Combination Guide

Too many options isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can stress you out, make you unhappy, and generally direct you toward a path of bad decisions.

That sounds way more complicated than how to tie a skinny tie.

In no venture is this more evident than male wardrobe selection.

Picking up shirts and ties can be a nightmare for the generally less-fashion-inclined male species.

That said, there’s a wide array of patterns and colors that can be difficult to master individually, let alone when combined.

For this reason, we’ve put together a guide of the ideal shirt and tie pairings that will level up your fashion sense considerably.

The Color Wheel Rule

Even the most stylish men are baffled by the concept of color matching.

Still, this doesn’t mean you can overlook this part if you want to come up with an awesome fashion ensemble.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when matching or combining shades.

Similar Colors Should Be Next to Each Other

When colors of a similar shade are positioned next to each other, you can easily pick one color and add pieces of jewelry or accessories close to that color.

Colors That Compliment Each Other Should Be in Opposite Positions

In the case of complementary tones and shades, make sure they are positioned opposite each other.

Even though they are supposed to go well together, wearing them close together can sometimes be overkill.

Colors That Are Contrasting Should Have Three Shades Between Them

With colors on the opposite ends of the color wheel, make sure there are at least three colors positioned between them.

To create the ideal combination of colors, one of the hues has to be darker in tone than the rest.

Basic Shirt and Tie Color Pairing

Most men and women of fashion are familiar with this visual representation of contrasting, similar, and complementary colors.

Contrasting Colors

Where shirts and ties are concerned, it’s typically easier to match contrasting colors than complementary shades.

For instance, if you have a mid-tone blue dress shirt, you’ll want to pair that with a burgundy tie.

Wear this under a navy suit, and you should be able to pull off the “dapper” look with ease.

Complementary Colors

When trying to pair complementary hues, it’s best to find variation.

For example, you can match a light-tone blue dress shirt with a dark-tone orange tie.

This goes without saying, of course, since the rule of fashion dictates that ties should always be several shades darker than the shirt.

There’s even less work involved when you’re matching a plain, white shirt with a basic tie.

Granted, it may not be as fun a matching process, but it can still get you results.

If you really want to dress to impress, though, experimenting with patterns and colors goes a long way.

It helps you learn what works and what doesn’t, and lets you create some go-to ensembles for everyday scenarios.

how to tie a skinny tie

How To Select a Tie

Tie selection isn’t actually as complicated as one might think.

All you have to do is focus on the following factors:

Quality

In the tie-and-shirt fashion pairing, the tie is usually the one that pops out.

With that said, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality one with eye-catching features.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean the tie should be expensive, either.

It simply means choosing a tasteful tie that looks amazing individually.

Size

Another thing you’ll need to consider when selecting a tie is size.

The rule of thumb for tie selection is that the tie’s width should match the suit lapel’s width.

The suit chosen must also already complement the person’s body.

Also, tie tying should be done to fit both the user’s face shape and dress shirt’s collar type.

This is why one must know how to tie a skinny tie.

What if your tie doesn’t stay put? Do men still wear tie clips because they can certainly help?

A tie clip or bar is a tiny piece of metal meant to keep your tie in place by securing it to the placket of your dress shirt.

In some cases, this accessory can put some of your tie size problems to bed.

Speaking of tie size problems, how long should a men’s tie hang?

Generally, the right tie length should be level or just above the waistband of your trouser.

The pointed end should be hanging no further than the buckle’s center.

If your tie isn’t able to assume that position, no matter how many times you adjust, it must not be the right size.

Fabric

When selecting your tie’s fabric, consider the occasion you’ll be wearing it to.

If it’s a formal business meeting, go for the traditional silk tie.

If you’re heading to a business-casual event, a wool tie would be a good choice.

If you’re not the sort to participate in these events, a knitted tie should make you feel like the fashion industry is still considering you.

What’s great about these types of ties is that their looks can be upgraded depending on what you wear them with, whether it’s a tailored suit or a cardigan. 

Plain Shirt and Tie Pairings

Aside from a pair of quality shoes and denim pants, white cotton shirts are a staple in the male wardrobe.

The rules of fashion dictate that a man should own cotton shirts in sky blue, black, pink, and white.

White Shirts

White shirts are the most versatile of the bunch, matching up perfectly with almost any type of tie, whether it be a knitted, tartan check, or preppy stripe version.

This shirt gives men more freedom to experiment with tie selection without fear of looking ridiculous.

Blue Shirts

Like pink shirts, blue shirts are a little bit more difficult to match with the right tie. Being able to do so, effortlessly, is a testament to one’s color-matching prowess.

The key is sticking to the rules of size, color, and fabric, which dictate that light blue hues match up perfectly with tonal, textured, or patterned ties of the same type.

That said, it’s always a good idea to match an orange tie with a blue shirt.

Although, you’ll want to go for a more burnt orange shade to be on the safer side of fashion.

Both yellow and red are contrasting colors, so burgundy, mustard, or pink ties should look appealing when set against a blue dress shirt.

In the case of green, since it is a similar color, you’ll want to aim for a darker shade, like forest green, to create a more striking, effortless statement.

Pink Shirts

You’ve heard of the statement “real men wear pink”? Well, what even is a “real man”?

Fashion says that if you want to wear pink, then go for it! The color is all about having fun, after all.

Purple and mauve are considered similar colors, so if you want to opt for either, go for a deeper shade. In this way, you won’t put a foot wrong.

A green-colored tie would complement a pink shirt any day.

However, if you really want to impress people and stand out, choose khaki shades to pair with your shirt.

For the contrasting color blue, a mostly-navy tie would be the preferred pairing for a pink shirt.

This is regardless of whether the tie was solid or patterned.

Black Shirts

Black shirts have recently made a reappearance in the shirt and tie fashion ensemble.

These days, they aren’t just for mobsters and stagehands, but for the stylish and fashionable, as well.

Where the color wheel is concerned, though, black can’t be found anywhere.

That is because it’s not considered a color.

As such, there aren’t too many color varieties that match up well with black.

Realistically, only a tonal tie can work well with a black shirt.

Of course, there’s always the less formal option of ditching the tie and wearing the shirt buttoned all the way to the top under a black suit.

Wouldn’t that be some way to make a statement?

Patterned Shirt and Tie Pairings

If the “plain” combos just aren’t enough to make a statement, you can go for a patterned shirt and tie pairing to really turn heads.

After all, things start to get interesting when patterns are introduced.

Although the color, size, and fabric rule still apply in this fashion scenario, harmonizing rather than clashing becomes more of the goal.

This time around, it’s no longer about which piece stands out but about how both pieces shine.

Striped Shirts

With stripes, block-colored ties are ideal. Of course, if you’re thinking about mixing patterns, make sure the patterns on the tie are either larger or smaller than the shirt patterns.

For instance, stripes match well with other stripes for as long as their size varies.

You got a shirt with thin pencil stripes? Combine that with a tie with larger club stripes, and you can’t go wrong.

The orientation of stripes should have some variation, as well. You can pair a shirt with vertical stripes with either a horizontal or diagonal striped tie because of the contrast between each piece.

For pairings worthy of being featured on the pages of Vogue, you can either go for polkadot, geometric, or paisley ties.

Should everything fall into place with these designs, you’re guaranteed to be a fashion head-turner for sure.

Striped shirt and tie pairings aren’t the easiest to get right, which is why men who manage to pull them off are considered fashionable and very keen on details.

Checked Shirts

Logic dictates that checkered shirts and patterned tie combinations work, but they actually don’t.

While striped shirts may pair well with bigger or smaller patterns, checked shirts are limited to only larger patterns to avoid being washed out.

  • Windowpane

Windowpane check shirts tell a different story. These shirts offer better flexibility with their larger-scale and subtle patterns.

  • Gingham

The most traditional of the check shirts is the Gingham version.

It showcases a white base that’s layered with color.

When picking ties that are either contrasting, similar, or complementary to it, make sure to focus on the color of the check rather than the white base.

If you were to pick a navy-colored tie, for instance, that would look great paired with a sky blue Gingham check shirt.

  • Plaid or Tartan

For plaid or tartan shirts of the larger variety, you’ll want to focus on the subtler base tones when pairing it up with a tie.

In this case, a block-colored tie should match with the shirt perfectly.

You just need to make sure that the shade of the tie is darker than the actual shirt.

Check shirts and striped ties make a good pairing. However, you’ll need to select a larger tie with bold stripes so that it easily pops out against the shirt’s pattern.

You’ll find that paisleys and polka dots will stand out, too, provided that the same principle is applied.

how to tie a skinny tie

Textured Shirt and Tie Pairings

The smart- and business-casual looks are a hit in today’s corporate setting, adding another power player in the work dress code roaster.

It isn’t just about going for the “all-business” look, but also about aiming for a look that speaks of character.

After all, rarely anyone wants to collaborate with someone so serious all the time.

Tactile Shirts

While most textured shirt and tie pairings rely on contrast to look exceptional, the tactile shirt and tie combos focus on similarity.

In most cases, tactile shirts should be matched with ties that are equally tactile.

Guidelines concerning color usually remain in place in this scenario, but you’ll want to stay away from ties made of silk fabric or any fabric that shines.

For tactile shirts, traditional paired with modern is only going to spell disaster for the user.

Chambray Shirts

Navy knitted ties are the go-to option for chambray shirts.

These pieces create a combination that’s professional yet so relaxed.

You would almost think that the user could take on the world, let alone a job interview.

How To Tie a Skinny Tie

As a stylish person, you definitely aren’t going to pass up the chance to learn how to tie a skinny tie.

Do it easily using the four-in-hand knot method. It only involves six steps.

Step #1: Position the Tie Around the Neck Area

Before placing the tie around your neck, make sure your shirt is buttoned all the way to the top.

The tie’s large end should also be hanging a foot lower than its small end.

Step #2: Locate the Seam

Somewhere in the front of the tie’s thin end is a seam.

Once you locate it, cross the tie around this area.

Step #3: Cross Your Tie Around the Seam

Take hold of the large end and cross it over the narrow one around where the seam is located.

With the seam as your point of reference, you may cross slightly higher or lower around that area. Never go too low or too high.

Step #4: Wrap the Large End Around the Small End

Taking the wide end, bring it behind the narrow end.

Then, cross the wide end over to the left.

Step #5: Pull the Large End Through the Loop

Take the wide end up, then pull it down through the loop around your neck.

Step #6: Make the Necessary Adjustments

Once the wide end is through the loop, pull it down further to make the necessary adjustments.

While doing so, make sure to keep a loose hold on the narrow end and the knot’s front.

As you pull down on the large end, slide up the thin end to tighten the knot.

The knot shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.

Using this method, your tie should be fashionably crooked around the neck area.

What Shirt and Tie Combination Suits You?

There are shirt and tie combinations for almost every occasion, so your options are practically limitless.

While questions like “Do men still wear tie clips?” and “How long should a men’s tie hang?” also factor into making these fashion choices, you can’t let them distract you from the three most critical elements of this particular decision-making process.

For the most part, great pairings result from the proper observance of the “fabric, color, and size” rule.

If you select your pieces based on this rule, you should have no problem picking a tie that works well with a shirt, and vice versa.

Last Updated on September 27, 2020 by Comfy Soles

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