The way in which you pair up your shirt and tie can often make or break your look. Getting it right isn’t necessarily the hardest thing, which means in the unfortunate event of a complete mismatch, you’ll really show yourself up as a formal fashion novice.

That’s why we’ve looked at how you can pair the two up using a number of different approaches below.


Going for a combination where there is neither a pattern on the shirt or tie can make for a safe choice, however don’t be led to believe that this is boring. Solid combinations can create classy yet minimalistic looks. The main consideration with this combination is how you’ll team the 2 pieces up in terms of their colours. Now there are 2 ways you can go about it.

Firstly, you can team up complimentary colours. So, take for instance a light blue shirt and a dark blue tie, or a pink shirt and red/burgundy tie. The fact that both are from the same colour family will mean that they’ll instantly work well as a pairing, just make sure your tie is darker than your shirt.

Alternatively, you can create a more eye-catching look by going for contrasting colours. Take a white, pink or light blue shirt and you have the freedom of pairing it up with virtually any coloured tie you please.


Having one of the 2 pieces solid and the other patterned can help to add a little character to your look. A solid shirt and patterned tie, or a patterned shirt and solid tie can be put together with relative ease if you know what to look for.

The trick here to match a colour from the tie with a colour from the shirt. This will help it to sit seamlessly on top of the shirt and avoid your shirt and tie combination looking disjointed. Don’t worry if the colour isn’t exactly the same, opting for something within the same colour family is just as effective.


Now there are few opinions when it comes to pairing up a patterned tie with a patterned shirt which is what makes this by far the boldest of the options and leaves the most scope for “getting it wrong”. The first thing to keep in mind is to avoid choosing a bold design and colour for both your shirt and tie, in many cases the 2 will simply clash and create an eyesore.

Instead, when deciding on the colour, follow the formula from above and look to match a colour or two from your tie with your shirt.

Now it can get tricky when deciding on the pattern of the two items. You might have heard people claim that you should never wear a shirt and tie of the same pattern, however this isn’t entirely true. Wearing a shirt and tie which are very similar in pattern and colour are likely to clash so be sure to steer clear of this. The right way to go about it is to ensure the 2 items vary in terms of the scale of the design e.g. wearing a shirt with thin stripes and a tie that has thicker stripes. The contrast in pattern will often complement one another. If you plan on going for different patterns then there are a few common combinations that tend to work well.
  • Striped shirt plaid tie
  • Checked shirt and a striped tie
  • Striped shirt and spotted tie


Before you go away and start pairing up your shirts and ties however, it should be noted that if you’re wearing a full suit then you’ll have to also bare your pocket square in mind. Ensuring your pocket square compliments your tie is pretty straight forward and will help to really complete your look.

Taking time to consider every aspect of your outfit in this manner is what will help you stand out in a crowd and show yourself as a man who looks after his appearance.

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