How to Combine Ties, Suit, and Shirt Patterns

As a general rule, you can wear a striped shirt with a striped tie as long as the stripes aren't identical in size. Make sure at least one color in your tie matches your suit, shirt, or your belt and shoes. Avoid wearing a striped shirt with a striped tie and a pinstriped suit. So lets dive into this topic a little more in the following steps.

Step 1
Matching three similar patterns together is rarely a winning combination.

Step 2
Plain White Shirts
The easy choice and you can never go wrong with a tie combination. You only have to be concerned your suit.

Step 3
Solid Color Shirts
Solid or single color shirts such as pale blue, pale yellow, pale tan, and the rest of the color spectrum requires a little thought.

Step 4
First, you can match the same color shirt and tie, this has been done for decades and it is still a valuable option. However, what if you don't want to match, well the easiest thing to do is coordinate. Here are just a few examples of coordinating:

A pale blue shirt with a yellow, red, burgundy, gold or navy tie.
A pale pink shirt with a navy blue or burgundy tie
A pale tan shirt with a brown (or any shade of brown) tie
A French blue shirt with a yellow, bright red, deep burgundy or gold tie

Step 5
Striped Shirts
Is a striped shirt hard to match? Not at all

First, look at the shirt from a distance and decide on what color you primarily see. Based on this color, add a coordinating color tie. However, be careful, the best-coordinated look for a striped shirt needs to be in the pattern and color. For example, if you see mostly navy blue stripes, add a yellow tie with a box pattern or a pin dot or polka dot patter. Paisley patterns would also work.

If you want you can even use diagonal stripes, just make sure that the stripes of the shirt and the stripes of the tie are two different sizes. Generally by two different sizes we mean at least a 2:1 ratio. If the stripes on the shirt are 1/4 inch, go with a tie that has stripes at least 1/2 inch. This will help the tie stand out rather than become a blur with the shirt.

Step 6
Checkered Shirts
Coordinating a tie to a checkered shirt is the same as coordinating a tie to a striped shirt. The same rules apply, but in reverse. First, take a look at the shirt and decide on what the pronounced color is, then coordinate a matching color for the tie. Make sure the tie has in this case, diagonal stripes. This will make the checkered shirt look wonderful. Additionally, you can still use a pattern of boxes or dots on the tie, but again, make sure that the boxes or dots are larger than the check pattern.

Step 7
How to Match A Tie To Suit
Coordinating a tie to a suit is very much like coordinating a tie to a shirt. There are 2 elements to consider. You need to consider first coordinating a color that goes with the suit, and then once you have decided on the color, look at the pattern.

Again the same rules apply. If the suit is one solid color, the job is easy. Put any solid color tie, or any color that coordinates well with any pattern that you like. If the suit has chalk stripes - you know those faint thin stripes, then you can simply just follow the same rules as if the suit were a solid color. If the stripes are very pronounced, wear any color tie that coordinates well with any pattern tie - except for stripes.



  1. Match the striped shirt. There is a very simple rule when it comes to matching a tie with a striped shirt. The striped shirt can pair with a striped tie as long as the stripes are not the same size. One color in the tie, at least, should match the outer suit jacket, shoes or belt.

  2. Match the pattern. When matching a solid color shirt and tie the background of the tie does not necessarily have to match the shirt. But, the pattern colors need to match the shirt in order for the pairing to appear professional.

  3. Pick anything you like when wearing a white shirt. White goes with everything!

  4. Put a solid tie with a plaid shirt. Try picking out one of the colors in the plaid and matching that color with a solid color tie of the same shade

  5. When trying to step outside of this normal look, think outside of the box and go for a color shirt and a patterned tie

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