Matching A Tie With A Suit

Written by on October 15, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


Certain occasions call for a suit. Weddings, job interviews, upscale dinners-it’s usually a big event when the suit comes out.

Other times you may want to wear a suit simply because they look great and demand attention.

But, in the words of Spider-Man’s late Uncle Ben, with great power comes great responsibility.

Finding a tie that perfectly highlights your suit’s attributes and ties (no pun intended) your whole outfit together is one responsibility that comes with the territory. A suit can only do so much without the perfect sidekick. Here are a few tips that will help you live up to your end of the bargain.

The Basics Of Matching Ties To Suits

The path towards picking the perfect tie begins with this old adage: Match your tie to your clothes, not your clothes to your tie.

The colors in any outfit fall into two roles: the lead color and the supporting cast. The color of your suit, often black, charcoal or dark blue, should be in the leading role. Your tie should always be an accent color.

As you pick a tie that complements your core color be sure to keep in mind that your pants or dress shirt becomes the core color if you take your jacket off. Picking a tie color that is versatile is important. Take a look in the mirror with both your suit coat on and your suit coat off.

Picking Suit and Tie Colors

Besides choosing a color that works well with your suit, you also need to pick a color that conveys the image you wish to communicate. Bold, stylish, powerful, laid back-the color you choose has the potential to say a lot about your attitude. Cooler, more subdued colors suggest a more casual, easy going style. Warmer, brighter colors make a bolder statement. An aggressive color like red traditionally communicates power because it naturally draws the eye to it. Blue, on the other hand, is a more understated but always classic choice.

Your suit will most likely be a neutral color so the tie you choose is your opportunity to add a splash of color and élan to your outfit. Don’t choose a color too over the top though, unless that is what you’re going for and it’s event appropriate. At the same time, your tie should always contrast a bit with your shirt to keep it from appearing drab and ineffectual.

Matching Colors And Patterns in Men’s Fashion

For the beginner, solid color ties, shirts and suits are the easiest accessories to match. White shirts are particularly hard to mess up; they go with just about any color. However, they do give off a very formal vibe. Opt for an off white or cream color shirt for any easy to match option that doesn’t come off quite as stuffy. Also, keep in mind that a white shirt will create a strong contrast with any color tie you choose.

Black is another catch-all color. A black suit will go with just about any color tie. Avoid pairing black with black though, unless it’s Halloween and your going as Agent K. Black has the potential to look somber too. Punching up your suit with a brighter colored tie is a good way to avoid appearing too sullen.

Brighter colored or patterned shirts and coats present greater challenges. In instances where these come into play it’s best to consult a color wheel. With patterned clothing, avoid incorporating elements with patterns that are similar in size and shape.

Tie Size And Shape

Your body type should be the determining factor when choosing the width and length of your tie. If you’re a larger, wider man, choose a wider and longer tie. A skinnier tie will look out of place. By the same token, shorter men should avoid wide ties and make sure the tie they choose isn’t too long. Men with a more slender build can pull off a skinny tie.

This is a guest post.  Julie Besser blogs about men’s fashion, especially neckties.


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