How To Match Your Tie with Your Suit and Shirt
When we tell you that matching your tie with the rest of your outfit is not rocket science, we are dead serious. Think of the last science fiction flick that you saw. Did any of the scientists have any fashion sense? That isn't to say that matching a tie needs to be overly difficult. In fact, the problem is usually just that matching a tie is so simple, most people simply overlook it. By the end of this article, you will be a fully qualified tie-and-suit connoisseur.
We want to start with two basic vocabulary words: match and coordinate. When you match two colors together, they will be duplicates. Red matches red. That said, red and burgundy will not always match; red and red will. When you coordinate two colors together, however, they will be complimentary. Shades of yellow coordinate with blue. This same principle holds true for styles, patterns, and materials. Matching and coordinating balance each other to make the perfect wardrobe.
With the vocabulary out of the way, let's talk practicality for a moment. Unless you are a tie matcher extraordinaire, chances are that you generally don't see the perfect tie and try to build your entire wardrobe around a ten, twenty, or forty-dollar strip of silk. For practical purposes in both finance and fashion, it makes sense to start with the largest piece and work backwards. For our purposes, that means starting with your suit, coordinating a shirt with your suit, and then finding a tie to fit them both. Once you have that method in mind, you are ready to start matching your ties to everything else.
Chances are that you're intelligent enough to tell when something doesn't match or coordinate. A deep purple shirt with a black suit and a metallic blue tie, for example, fail both of our important vocabulary words. Since you aren't likely to make that mistake, we'll warn you against the real danger: overcomplicating. You may start to get the hang of tie matching when you're done reading, but don't go to extremes. Decide what it is that requires you to wear a tie and determine how you want to be perceived there-classy? Elegant? Gentlemanly? Conservative? Edgy? Stylish? Keep your chosen words in mind and keep your eyes open as you start to shop. You're smart enough to know that hot pink is probably more stylish than conservative, and that straight black is more elegant than edgy. When it comes to patterns, don't overkill anything. In fact, let's talk about the different patterns at your disposal. The first is the solid pattern-that is, the no pattern (a solid color). Building off of that, you have pinstripes-thin, vertical stripes (these are usually only on suits), other stripes (fat, thin, thick, wide, skinny, however you want to describe them), checkered patterns, and plaid. Advanced tie matchers are able to take any of these and make something amazing. For you, we will boil things down to a few simple reminders.
The first is matching a solid shirt and a patterned tie. Generally, the tie ought to be darker (coordinate) than the shirt. With that said, the foreground should include the same color as the shirt (match) to help accent it. This is the conservative style. If you want to aim for something a little edgier in your style, try coordinating a lighter tie with a dark shirt. Remember, though: lime green and dark pink still don't coordinate, unless you want to look like a watermelon.
Next, try matching a solid tie with a patterned shirt. This is one of the easiest. Hold your shirt at a distance-whether striped, plaid, or checkered-and take note of one of the colors of the pattern. If you pick a less-noticeable color and find a solid tie that matches, you look fashion -conscious. If you pick a more-noticeable color and find a matching tie, that's still good. You'll pass inspection.
In your outfit, use a maximum of two of anything (except for plaid: your maximum there is one). If you have a striped suit and shirt, don't get a striped tie. You'll look like a candy cane. Same for checkered patterns. Be sure that there is enough contrast in each matching pattern, though, to emphasize your visual appeal. Pinstripes on a suit and on a shirt are no good; however, if the shirt is thickly striped, you're set to go! When in doubt, it's better to keep the patterns separated. A striped suit will coordinate with a striped tie. Keep the shirt simple. Keep this in mind: you don't want people to get dizzy. Big contrasts little. Match on the small details and coordinate on the big ones.
See? We told you it wouldn't be so bad. Matching your tie comes down to this: match, coordinate, and do not duplicate. If you are brave with your patterns and avoid ocular overkill, nobody even needs to know that you learned your fashion online. Carry yourself and your outfit well, and you will set the style for style.