How To: Mix and Match Shirts and Ties

July 18th, 2005

While Mondays can be dreary, your work wardrobe doesn’t have to be. Say goodbye to plain shirts and plain ties, and say hello to the world of pattern!

Easier said than done.

But Style Intelligence Report is here to walk you through the basics of mixing and matching patterns. Let’s look at the shirt and tie combos case by case:

Case I: Patterned shirt + Plain Tie
Best Bet: Repeat in the tie one of the colors in the patterned shirt. Alternatively, choose a tie in a color complementary to the dominant color of the shirt.

Two-Color Stripe Premium Barrel Cuff Shirt
Two-Color Stripe Premium Barrel Cuff Shirt | $78 at Banana Republic

Solid Repp Tie
Solid Repp Tie | $39.50 at JCrew

Case II: Plain Shirt + Patterned Tie
Best Bet: Have one of the pattern colors in the tie echo the color of the shirt. Alternatively, choose a shirt in a color complementary to the dominant color of the tie.

End-on-End Shirt
End-on-End Shirt | $59.50 at JCrew

Tonal Paisley Tie
Tonal Paisley Tie | $59.50 at Banana Republic

Case III: Patterned Shirt + Patterned Tie: Same Pattern
If you’re mixing two of the same pattern, say, two stripes, vary the size of the pattern. Choosing patterns of the same size and type can look too matchy-matchy. Show that you’re in the know by choosing one large and one small stripe.

Classic Stripe Shirt
Classic Stripe Shirt | $65 at JCrew

Regimental Striped Tie
Regimental Striped Tie | $59.50 at Banana Republic

Case IV: Patterned Shirt + Patterned Tie: Different Pattern
If you’re mixing two different patterns, say, a dot and a check, keep the size of the patterns on the same level. If you mix two patterns of two different sizes, the results will be overwhelming to the eye. Unless you’re going for a super eclectic look, choose two patterns on the same scale.

Green Check Shirt
Green Check Shirt | $69.50 at JCrew

Multi-Dot Tie
Multi-Dot Tie | $59.50 at Banana Republic

Entry Filed under: How To, Men, Men's

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Edward Mills  |  June 6th, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    When match a patterned shirt and Tie….What is the rule on wearing on color? Example…Do the tie need to have the same color as the shirt?

  • 2. Trisha  |  June 6th, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    The idea is to look pulled together, but not too matchy matchy. That said, your best bet is to wear a tie that includes one of the colors in the patterned shirt.

    Hope that helps, Edward!

  • 3. ali  |  July 24th, 2006 at 11:53 am

    you can either only view the shirt or the tie, not both at the same time. this is no help.

  • 4. Trisha  |  July 24th, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    Unfortunately, we were pulling photos straight from retailer sites when we wrote this post last year, and some of the items are no longer carried–hence the lack of photos. Our apologies!

  • 5. chris johnson  |  June 24th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    where can i get a matching shirt and tie ( that means made out of the same matteril) because i ve seen them on the tv but couldn t find them any where thanks

  • 6. Trisha  |  June 25th, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Your best bet is to custom-make the shirt-and-tie set. Find a shirt that you really like, and buy two–then take the second shirt to a tailor to make a tie out of that fabric.

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