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Matching Your Shirt and Tie – 3 Easy Combinations

Various folded collared shirts with text reading how to match your shirts and ties

Matching Your Shirt and Tie Made Easy

When it comes to putting together a matching dress shirt and tie combination, some gents seem to be born with an uncanny ability to just put together great ensembles of colors, patterns, and texture.

Many other men however often fall into one of two camps: 1) the “I will wear the same exact combinations and hope no one notices” camp and 2) the “I will point my fingers at my closet, close my eyes and spin around 5 times to see what the day has in store for me” camp. These poor chaps are intimidated by the mere thought of having to think about their wardrobe, relegating their choices into a safe play of recurring solids or the plausible deniability of random selection.

And while there’s nothing wrong with laying it up for the occasional luck shot…sometimes, you’ve got to have a better game plan. And you sir, are reading this because you are a student of the game. So in this article, we’re going to provide you with a few basics tips that will help you refine your approach to picking out some winning shirt and tie combinations. Start here and you’ll be a pattern-matching veteran in no time.

Shirt and Tie Combination #1: Solid-on-Solid

folded gray shirt with a close up of brown tie

Light Gray Heather Twill Custom Shirt by Black Lapel
Before we get to pattern mixing, let’s touch on a classic, low-risk combo: the solid tie and solid shirt combo. For the most part, doing this is nearly fail safe, but there are definitely ways to do it better. Here are two ways to approach solid on solid matching:

  1. Use contrasting color combinations. No surprise here – you’ve probably already been doing this. If you’re rocking a foundation shirt like a solid white or a solid light blue or pink, you can pretty much wear any color solid tie you like. It’s a great way to make your outfit pop with a bit more color.
  2. Use analogous color combinations. This is a very classy, sleek look that many overlook. Wearing a solid light blue shirt? Try it with a solid dark blue tie. Pink shirt? Go with a red, maroon or purple tie. Just keep it in the fam’ (color wise). While doing this won’t have the same “pop” as a contrasting color combination, it’s a minimalistic pairing that symbolizes a certain level of sartorial sophistication.

Like all aspects of style, gaining an eye for color is simply a matter of trial and error and finding what works for you. Experiment with online color matching tools like color explorer to find hues and analogous colors for your tie or shirt color. And one thing to avoid? Wearing a color combination where the color in your respective shirt and tie combo are too close – e.g., avoid wearing a light solid shirt with a light solid tie. Furthermore, never wear a tie that is the same exact color as your shirt unless you’re casting for some teen vampire movie. Why color with just one crayon when you’ve got 95 other colors in the box?

Shirt and Tie Combination #2: Solid-on-Pattern / Pattern-on-Solid

purple and blue checked shirt with close up of knitted navy tie

Purple & Blue Fine Check Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
Going with a solid-on-pattern requires a bit more thought than just matching solids, but rest assured that you’re still swimming in the kiddy pool. In fact, a solid tie on a patterned shirt is one of the easiest ways to work patterns into your outfit. Here’s the simple but key tip to pulling this off: match the color of your solid tie to the color family of one or more of the colors in your shirt pattern. In the above image, the dark blue tie works perfectly with the blue checks in the shirt.

pink shirt with close up of navy floral patterned tie

Pink Twill Weave Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
The reverse, a patterned tie on a solid shirt operates on the same principle.  Just match one or more of the colors within the pattern of the tie to the color family of the solid shirt.  Wax on, wax off and go practice these basic combinations!

Shirt and Tie Combination #3: Pattern-on-Pattern

Now that you’ve snatched the pebble from our hand, on to something with a bit more flare. Mixing a patterned tie with a patterned shirt isn’t rocket science, but some guys seem to stray from it because they’re afraid they’ll end up looking like this. Step one to avoiding a disaster like this? Skip the paisley shirts. We’re going to show you a few examples of patterned ties with patterned shirts that actually work. We’ll also explain how you can apply some simple tips to make successful pattern-on-pattern combos as easy as bacon and eggs.

  1. Vary pattern type. Avoid having the same pattern appear in both your shirt and your tie. If your shirt has polka dots, don’t pair it with a dotted tie. Easy.
  2. Vary pattern size/scale. In general, the patterns on your tie should be larger and bolder than the patterns on your shirt. For example, a thick, wide-striped tie would work with a thin-striped shirt, but not a thick, wide-striped shirt. A big check would mix well with a smaller check. Having patterns of the same size (and/or type) can result in an overly busy look.
  3. Match a detail in the tie with the dominant color of the shirt. Determine the dominant color in your shirt and look for a tie with some of that color within the pattern. For example, white and blue, finely checkered shirt (that looks predominantly blue) would pair nicely with a brown (or any other base color) tie with bold blue stripes.

Here are some visual examples of patterned tie with patterned shirt combinations:

pink micro check shirt with close up of navy polka dot tie

Pink Micro Check Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
Here you see an example of using a dotted pattern on the tie and complementing it with a gingham pattern in the shirt. The differing pattern type and size won’t confuse the eyes while the light blue of the gingham shirt ties in nicely with the navy in the tie.

navy gingham shirt with close up of gray striped tie

Royal Blue Gingham Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
Here you have a boldly striped tie against a fine grid check shirt. The smaller grid pattern of the shirt works well in creating a more muted canvas for the louder stripes of the tie while the fine stripes of lavender in the tie pick up the purple in the shirt.

blue striped shirt with close up of navy polka dot tie

Blue Pencil Stripe Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
Lastly, here you see a plaid tie with a striped shirt. The shirt employs lines, but is fine enough to not clash with the busy plaid pattern of the tie. The fact that the lines of the shirt go vertically while the plaid lines move diagonally also add to the visual balance and prevent your coworkers from seeking out optical illusions in your shirts.

Matching Your Shirt and Tie in the Context of Suits

For those of you stylish gents who are already thinking about adding a pinstripe, windowpane or other patterned suit to the mix, here’s a simple tip:

Dress one of the three basic elements (suit, shirt and tie) as a plain or solid. While some men can in fact pull off three highly patterned pieces, you’re going to have less headaches adhering to this guideline. Having a neutral canvas as the base such as a solid charcoal suit is a great way to complement a highly patterned shirt and tie and avoid running the risk of looking like you’re trying too hard.

Above all, remember this: learn these as simple guidelines to form your own stylistic expression. If you think you can pull off that pattern-on-pattern-on-pattern combo, then go for it. Play around with different combinations and above all else, don’t be afraid to discover and express something unique! As Oscar Wilde once said, “You have to be yourself, everyone else is taken.” 

Interested in one of the shirts or ties pictured above? Find them here: Black Lapel Custom Shirts | Black Lapel Ties

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764 thoughts on “Matching Your Shirt and Tie – 3 Easy Combinations”

  1. Victoria Addington says:

    I am most captivated by your tip that you should identify the prevailing color in your shirt and look for a tie with some of that shade within the pattern, just like a white and blue finely checkered shirt would pair nicely with a brown tie with bold blue stripes. I am planning to gift my boyfriend with some ties, but it seems hard to choose what will fit him, luckily I came across your post. I think it would be special if I can find handmade patterned ties to make it unique and personalized.

  2. taqenterprises says:

    Such a great information. This is really very helpful for bloggers

  3. stenbok says:

    Useful post! I really need this type of article.. this is very useful for me.

  4. tinu says:

    Such a superb content as always !

  5. Ellie Davis says:

    I liked that you mentioned an online color explorer can help you to find the right match to wear. My brother has an important job interview in a couple of days, and we are looking for advice to help him dress for the occasion. I will let him know about your recommendations to help him look great during his job interview. https://www.overunderclothing.com/collections/flannel-shirts/products/the-crosscut-flannel-shirt-glacier

  6. Emmanuel Ernest Atta says:

    if i am going to a wedding and iwant to wear a royal blue suit and a yellow vest on a white long sleeve shirt what colour of tie should i use.

    1. Black Lapel says:


      In your case, you’ll want to go for a tie that works with the suit. The yellow vest is already quite a pop, so you need the tie to help bring it all together. A navy tie either solid or a navy with a light, subtle pattern would do well for your look.

  7. Pingback: Which Tie Goes Well With A Blue Shirt – The Pink Petticoat
  8. Neil says:

    Great article, I am sure going to use this in the future!

    I also had a question, I have homecoming this Saturday and really need help with choosing a tie. I am going to wear a white shirt which has a pattern of very small blue dots and blue squares all around it along with navy blue dress pants. I was just wondering, could you please give me some different tie combinations I could wear with this outfit? Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ah Neil, wish you’d have used this article in the present. The truth is, we can’t recommend a tie for you to wear without seeing you, seeing your wardrobe and seeing how your clothes look on you. The reason we published this article is so that you wouldn’t have to ask what tie you should wear, but alas it appears we’ve failed.

      Perhaps we threw too much information at you? In that case, follow this simple rule: match your ties to your eyes. When the dominant color of your tie is the same color as your eyes, you create a color harmony that’s hard to beat (and it’s hard to screw this one up). Got blue eyes? Stock up on blue ties. Green eyes? Grab some green ties. Medium brown eyes? Look for earthy shades of brown and khaki ties. Really dark eyes? Try dark gray ties. You get tie idea, right?

  9. James says:

    Hi! Is there a “rule” that the tie’s color shouldn’t match the suit’s color? For example a navy suit paired with a navy tie? Thank you for your help.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There isn’t a “rule” that states that. In fact, a tie that uses the same color as the jacket can bring harmony to your outfit.

      One way we like to do that is to play around with different shades/tones of one color, like the light gray tie we combined with the Gray Check Saxony Custom Suit or the light blue tie we paired with the Marine Blue Sharkskin Custom Suit. Sometimes the colors match more precisely, but the tie includes several colors, like we did with the floral print tie and the Monterey Glen Plaid Custom Suit.

      So, as you can see, there are plenty of ways to pull this off and they’re all well within the “rules” of menswear.

  10. brry says:

    i have white and green striped shirt. will a patterned black, grey and white tie be okay?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The answer completely depends on the pattern and the shirt. Pairing shirts and ties isn’t so mechanical. We can’t give you a simple equation to ensure a great combination. We can, however give you guidelines, which is just what we did when we published our article on How to Match a Tie to a Striped Shirt. Check out that article, then take another look at your shirt and tie and you’ll know what works.

      And, as always, remember, these are just guidelines. The ultimate test is put the shirt and tie on and look in the mirror. If you like what you see, case closed. If not, go back to the closet and try again. Like learning to drive or ride a bike, you’ll only get good at matching your clothes by doing it. Let the guidelines be just that, guidelines, and you’ll be good at it in now time.

      1. Opeoluwa says:

        Hello. I have a school dinner to attend this week. I have a black suit, a burgundy waistcoat and a plain white shirt.
        What colour of tie would be suitable to wear?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          When wearing a black suit for an evening affair keep things simple and classic. We love a black necktie for this. But we’re always down for throwing a cool twist into the mix, like rocking a black knit tie to keep things interesting. Simple, stylish and sharp.

    2. Black Lapel says:

      There isn’t a “rule” that states that. In fact, a tie that uses the same color as the jacket can bring harmony to your outfit.

      One way we like to do that is to play around with different shades/tones of one color, like the light gray tie we combined with the Gray Check Saxony Custom Suit or the light blue tie we paired with the Marine Blue Sharkskin Custom Suit. Sometimes the colors match more precisely, but the tie includes several colors, like we did with the floral print tie and the Monterey Glen Plaid Custom Suit.

      So, as you can see, there are plenty of ways to pull this off and they’re all well within the “rules” of menswear.

  11. Dave Keitzmann says:

    I am 19, and have a farewell planned with a dress code of shirt along with tie.
    i am indian and considerably fair.

    need advice on the best combination for this event.
    i dont want to look to jazzy or too plain. i want to look suave and attractive.
    also this comes once in a lifetime right.

    p.s — i was thinking of Dark blue/Burgundy with black tie or pink shirt with purple tie

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re going to nix the dark blue/burgundy shirt with a black tie. Those colors are both too dark to wear together and won’t do your complexion any favors. If you look back up at combination #1, you’ll see that a pink shirt with a purple tie is a combination we can get behind. This will look suave and attractive as long as your shirt fits properly and your tie is tied just right 🙂

      1. Max Taylor says:

        Thanks for the Heads Up…
        Great Advice….but since i wore this shirt last week at my farewell, it didnt quite look as expected
        here check it out : https://scontent.fdel1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/16864403_1320582987980907_8844681297799910993_n.jpg?oh=d0d3a15fcb712d28c7e0ee32579c6183&oe=593D4480

        i will be losing the beard and shrinking my specs by a bit.
        any advice that would look better would be HIGHLY appreciated

        thank you so much !!!

        1. Dave Keitzmann says:

          okay….this guys interesting……
          i too share your problem fella.

          anyways i guess his problem is like mine…
          i am a little bit fatter than this dude and a little taller too
          but the problem is essentially similar..
          pink and purple were a disaster plus people might turn in out
          i dont want to look like a clone with somebody wearing similar clothes

          but al in all if you can suggest me some alternatives that would be great

          U GUYS ROCK….

          1. Black Lapel says:

            Well Dave, as we said above “If you are seeking a fish handout, you are in the wrong place. If you just want to skip to the answers, there are no right answers.” You’ve got to put some thought into your outfits or you’ll always just look like a clone of some picture you saw or some mannequin in the store. Sorry to be the bearers of tough love, but the ball’s in your court Dave. Get out the mirror, try on some clothes and don’t quit until you like what you see.

        2. Black Lapel says:

          It all start and ends with the fit, Max. No matter the color your clothes or how you accessorize, if they don’t fit well, you’ll never get the results you want. Nail the fit and you’re most of the way to a great outfit. From there, there are many more pieces of advice than we could possibly cover in the comments of an article about matching shirts and ties. We’ve got hundreds or articles about style published here and subscribing is free, so our best advice is to subscribe to The Compass and keep coming back for regular inspiration.

      2. prince sharif says:

        I am 17 years old
        I am wearing blue suit, with blue pant, white shirt and brown shoes for farewell
        so can u suggest me what tie should I wear and what type of handkerchief should I put on as pocket sqaure

        1. Black Lapel says:

          For colors, you can’t go wrong with echoing your own coloring. If you’ve got brown eyes, a tie with brown in it like this would work well. If you’ve got blue eyes, try a blue tie. Following this simple rule takes the guesswork out of picking a color for your ties.

  12. ISMAIL says:

    HEY.. I have a dark navy blue shirt , can it go with a lime green bow tie..!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      No. There are several reasons why this won’t work:

      1. Dark shirts have a casual look and rarely look good with ties of any sort.
      2. As a rule, don’t wear a tie that is lighter in color than your shirt or you’ll look like you’re in a 20s gangster costume.
      3. A bow tie is quirky enough, there’s no reason to go nuts by making it lime green. If anything, you should look to tone down the look of a bow tie or it’ll completely draw attention away from your face when you talk with people.

      So back to the drawing board on this one, Ismail. Rock that shirt with no tie and, think of some other use for that bow tie (As a dog collar, maybe?)

  13. jerome says:

    hi ,I just want to ask your suggestions of what plain colored shirts would be compliment to a plain black neck tie.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A solid shirt and solid tie is combination #1 above. You can go with high contrast like a white shirt and black tie or low contrast, like a gray shirt with a black tie. Which should you choose? That depends on you. The contrast in your outfit shouldn’t exceed the contrast between your skin tone and hair. So if you’ve got, say, light skin and jet black hair, a black and white combo might work. If you’ve got medium toned skin and medium brown hair, go with a gray shirt and black tie.

      This system works for any items of clothing. It’s what we call dressing from the inside out and it’s a surefire way to be the best dressed guy in the room because you’re not just ripping outfits from magazines, you’re starting with what looks good on you, thus ensuring that the whole outfit looks good. For more on this subscribe to The Compass to see how we do this and check out the article on picking shirt colors to match you.

  14. Suprateem says:

    I have bought a shiny slate grey suit.. Will you please helpme what colour shirt and tie combination will suit the most.
    P. S. I am brown complexed.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Got it. There are so many shirt and tie color combinations that match with a gray suit that we don’t even know where to start. With a gray suit, it’s safe to build your shirt wardrobe around two colors. Another important question to ask is: what is the occasion? Work, wedding, date, the list goes on and on. But perhaps the most important question of all is: what color combinations will look best on you? Figure that out here.

      1. Suprateem says:

        It is a graduation program in my college and i am trying to look at my best. But i am not able to think of a good match as i am brown complexed.

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Hmmmm…did you read the article we recommended about matching your shirt to you? There it shows that there are strong color combinations for every skin tone. As you can see from the models throughout our website there are thousands of shirt and tie combinations that look good on men with brown skin.

          To make it even simpler, let’s take one difficult choice out of the equation. Wear a white dress shirt. With a gray suit that’s a 100% neutral outfit so no tie color can possibly clash. Now choose one following our advice in the article above and you, literally, can’t go wrong.

  15. Ishee says:

    Hello first i have to say this article is very helps me.And i have question i have dark purple blue(base color) and mint green dotted polka dot shirt. Dot is very small almost 2mm and i dont know how to choose my suit and tie. I tought navy blue suit and bow tie it is fine?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Beware of the dark shirt and tie combination. Your tie should always be lighter than your shirt. If you wear a dark shirt this severely limits your tie choices. We recommend a lighter shirt or going without a tie.

      As for what suit to wear a dark purple shirt with, we’d suggest a gray. But really, we’d just suggest changing shirts.

  16. Adrian says:

    What is the best color of a necktie for a Green/Dark Green shirt ? Is it okay to use a Black necktie? Thank you for the tips.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As we told Roy when he asked about a green shirt and black tie combo, this is a non-starter for us. The darker your shirt the less formal the look, so we our first question is: do you need to wear a tie at all?

      Search Google or Pinterest for “Well dressed men” and you won’t see any dark shirts with ties. Take that as a sign. If you’re headed to an event that is formal enough to require a tie, you shouldn’t wear a dark green shirt. Instead, go with a white or blue shirt.

  17. Gilbert says:

    First of all, what do you think of the so-called “power tie” which is bright red? What are power ties and which colors make a the best ones? I’m also planning on getting myself a red tie as a power tie and I’m planning on pairing that tie with my plain white shirt and red pocket square with white stripes.

    As for my other combo, I just got my self tailored a powdered blue shirt. I have a diagoannly striped dark blue tie with off-white and grey accents. The color scheme is same for my plaid dark blue tie. I also have a vintage-esque tie with blue and yellow repeating patterns. Another tie I” planning to buy is this dark blue one that I’m planning to pair with this blue shirt for a authoritative look that goes well with my charcoal suit and skintone. Do you think they won’t clash with my striped grey and blue pocket square? I folded it to a four-point fold. Are the three blue elements too mucn?

    I’m also planning on having a powdered blue shirt to be used with my charcoal grey suit and a somewhat charcoal brown suit I” also planning to get in the future. I was thinking of having the yellow shirt paired with a dark green tie(which I might pair wih my blue shirt as well) and the blue/yellow tie. However, one thing I’m not really sure’s if the said combos will work with the charcoal brown suit I’m planning to have. I haven’t seen yellow-green-brown before.

    Also, I’ve read on one of your articles that ties are best paired with the color family of our eyes, shirt color sith the amount of contrast on our face, and the suit being best matched or complemented with the color of our hair. I was thinking of going yellow shirt, dark brown tie, and charcoal brown suit. Perhaps have the yellow shirt changed to the solid beige linen one I was craving to have. So, what do you think?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s a lot to take in, Gilbert. To your first question about the so-called power tie. While clothes can have an affect on your overall look, we don’t believe wearing one particular item makes you more powerful. In fact, we wrote a whole article about how to look more powerful and it wasn’t about clothes at all. Don’t believe the hype, Gilbert. The color of your tie should tell people about your taste in tie colors, nothing more.

      As to the shirt and tie combinations you gave, to be honest, we can’t give a true assessment without seeing the shirts and ties on you, but if you’re following the advice above then you’re off to a good start. As you’ve learned from other stories in The Compass, it’s much more important how well your clothes go with you, then how well they go with each other. When you make sure your stuff matches you, it naturally matches anyway. If your collection of ties, for instance, includes elements of your eye color and your shirts are all white and blue, pairing them is easy, you can practically get dressed in the dark. It’s when guys’ closets are like rainbows with a bunch of colors and no consideration to what colors look good on them that they run into problems.

      Take a look at well-dressed men of the past and today and you’ll see that nearly all of them follow one basic rule: keep it simple. Go and do likewise, Gilbert.

      1. Gilbert says:

        Thank you. I’m keeping things simple for my formal outfits now. I bought a new patterned shirts on sale as well for my unsuited look. Striped shirt for ligher pants and checked for dark jeans. I guess I shouldn’t have read on sites with hipsters trying to look like gentlemen. XD

  18. Nathy says:

    Hi, my 8 year old is having his first comunion at the end of the year and is going to wear a navy blue suit; cognac belt and shoes. I was thinking on white shirt an yellow tie. What is your advice?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’ve got the right idea, Nathy. A similar alternative could be a bronze colored tie instead of stark yellow against a white shirt. Either way, it sounds like you’ll have one suave looking 8 year-old.

      1. Nathy says:

        Thanks for the reply and compliment! He certainly is one of a kind. ?

  19. Tabish Jamal says:

    Hello Every One

    I have beige color suit and want to pair up with maroon checked shirt or sky blue shirt.Could you please help me which one looks better and also color of tie for both shirts.


    1. Black Lapel says:

      Bad news and good news. The bad news is, we don’t have the information we need to make this decision for you, Tabish. The good news is, all the information you need is staring right back at you in the mirror. You just need to know what you’re looking for. That’s where we can help.

      It’s not that well dressed men all know how to match their clothing colors. It’s that well-dressed men know how to match their clothing colors to THEMSELVES. You can learn to do this too. How? Take a look at our article on how to Pick Shirt Colors That Match You Even If You Have No Eye For Matching. There we break down how to find the colors that work best for you and give you advice that lets you make endless shirt and tie combinations. Not to oversell it, but that article will change your life! Check it out.

  20. CJ Peterson says:

    I have Black Shoes and Black Belt
    -Dark Navy Suit, both pants and jacket
    -Solid White Shirt

    Can I do a White tie with Dark Navy Pinstripes? I understand the white tie on a solid white shirt

    but I will have a Navy Vest on too


    1. Black Lapel says:

      We would not recommend a white tie. The rule of thumb is that your tie should always be darker than your shirt. Otherwise you end up looking like you’ve got on some sort of 20s gangster costume. Even when the shirt is white, we’ve yet to see this look pulled off. We don’t dispute your right to pioneer this style, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

      1. CJ Peterson says:

        Thanks for the info!

        How about a grey/silver tie with navy blut pinstripes on a solid white shirt?

        The suit is solid blue

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Gray is a much better option than white. No shiny silver ties though!

  21. Abeera Sultan says:

    Is it good enough for a dark coloured guy to go on solid-black suit, ash trousers, solid-pink and a black shoe? Please help?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’ll assume by “suit” you meant suit jacket, Abeera. IN that case, you’ve got a black jacket, light gray trousers and black shoes. That’s the makings of a sharp monochromatic outfit. But then you took a hard left turn and threw a pink tie in there that could sabotage the whole look. As we said in our article dedicated to how to wear a black suit, a surefire way to screw it up is to wear black with loud, high-contrast, colored accessories. The affect is jarring and will make you look like a style rookie. Instead, keep the tie either dark, if it is a color or a shade of gray for a sharp outfit.

      1. Just Me says:

        Hi- Dark navy blue suit with a whit/blue mico mini checked button down shirt.. which is best.. dotted tie on checked shirt or striped tie on checked shirt, and does it have to be a darker colored tie? Could you incorporate a splash of yellow or red?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          That’s really two questions rolled up in to one so we’ll tackle them one at a time:

          1. Whether to wear the dotted tie or striped tie depends on the tie. When combining patterns it’s all about scale. While we can’t tell you, since we can’t see the shirt and tie, we can tell you how to figure this one out for yourself. We wrote a whole article for just this sort of situation, called A Guide to Mixing Patterns With Confidence.
          2. Does it have to be a darker tie? Not necessarily. This too comes down to scale. You don’t want a relatively colorless outfit with a bright yellow or pink tie like the non-Jamie Foxxes in the Verizon ads, but a bit of contrast never hurts.
  22. Clayton says:

    Is it ok to wear black pants, black shirt, and a black tie or should i wear some other tie that will be more of an accent?

    1. Clayton says:

      Nevermind I read through other articles and comments that you gave and BLACK ON BLACK ON BLACK is not that way to go. Ill probably go with white shirt instead.

      1. Black Lapel says:

        Love the self-serve approach you took, Clayton! You figured it out. We’re all for the white shirt addition.

  23. Varinder says:

    I have a blue blazer with skin coloured pants what color shoes and shirt should I wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As we noted in our article on picking shirt colors that match you, there are many skin colors, Varinder. Just in our office alone, those pants could range from off white jeands to khaki chinos to cocoa brown slacks. So the color of the pants you described is still a bit of a mystery to us, making it tough to give a good recommendation.

      But here’s the thing. Even if we knew exactly what color those pants are it wouldn’t make a difference. Why? Because as we always say (see most of the comment replies below) matching the colors of your clothes is secondary. Before you match the clothing colors to each other, be sure you understand what matches with you. After all, the outfit isn’t going around on a hanger. There’s a guy wear it. So even if the shirt and tie combination is certified by Pantone to “match” it may not look good on you. What we’re talking about is dressing from the inside out and we described exactly how to do it in our article on How To Choose Your Clothes: Mastering Men’s Fashion From the Inside Out and the aforementioned piece on Picking Shirt Colors That Match You, Even If You Have No Eye For Matching. Giving those a look should give you tons of ideas for shirt and tie combos that work for you.

  24. Steve L. says:

    I’m probably going to get scolded for this, but I am looking to wear a light tie with a dark shirt and a dark blazer and light trousers. The reason being is I look completely washed out with my skin tone with any light colors on top (even white doesn’t look good on me). If I were to keep my blazer on the entire time I can wear a light shirt, but I know I’m not. So I like deep, dark and heavily saturated colors.

    How much of a crime would it be for me to wear a navy blazer, light gray trousers (light is fine below the belt) with a navy or dark blue shirt and a light tray or silver tie matching the trousers? I am as concerned with how I’ll look without the jacket, if not more, so this is another consideration. At any rate, the predominant colors on top for me must be dark (jacket AND shirt, with tie being the contrast). I would rather be unconventional and feel better than wear a light shirt which I would not feel comfortable in at all. I am kind of hosting the event so I don’t mind standing out a bit.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hmmm…it would be disingenuous of us to offer a dark shirt and light tie combination since we have consistently said DON’T wear a dark shirt and a light tie. We’re not saying dark shirts are off limits, we’re just saying they should be worn in the right context. What context is that? We just published a whole article about it recently. We recommend giving What to Wear With a Black Shirt a read for some ideas.

  25. Janmejay says:

    Which coloured bow tie should contrast with dark grey satin shirt??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’ll say black, but we’ll also day that a gray satin shirt may not be a good idea. It’s 2016 and we’re not sure how many people (if any) still wear satin dress shirts. If it’s not for dress up, it sound like you could be getting ready for black tie event. If you want to stand out in a sea of black and white, read about how you can go beyond a black tie dress code without breaking any rules.

  26. Mo says:

    The first week of September I will attend to a wedding. I have a black suit, white shirt. What color tie should I wear? I have a light yellow tie with light blue squares, also have royal blue tie with white and dark blue dashes, and other light blue with white and pink. I need your advice.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We have written a whole article about How to Wear a Black Suit With Style, Mo, so we suggest you check that out since it’s the majority of your outfit. There you’ll see that we suggest muted colors or no colors at all for your tie when you’re wearing a black suit. Strong colors are just too jarring against an already stark contrasting black and white suit and shirt background. Check out that article for examples.

  27. Paul Burns says:

    Hi Black Lapel,

    Firstly I’d like to say what a great website this is, I’ve been looking for some advice on what to wear with my navy suit for my son’s wedding next April.

    I’m around 5’8” tall and of medium build with medium skin colouring and shave my head (due to going bald at a relatively early age lol).

    I’ve recently purchased an orange (It’s not a garish orange but quite a darker shade with some mid blue geometric patterning) pocket square to add a bit of colour and was wondering firstly if this is a good fit and secondly what shirt/tie combo would look good (but obviously not too good as I don’t want to upstage my future daughter-in-law lol)with the suit and square??

    Many thanks in advance,

    Paul (UK)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Congratulations, Paul. Not only did you clearly do something right in raising the groom (at least the bride thinks so), but you’re also putting the forethought into your outfit!

      Further, you’re taking into account the key thing when putting together an outfit, not how it looks together, but how it will look on you. Knowing your skin tone and the bit about shaving your head, you’re well on your way to making great choices. We call this kind of thing dressing from the inside out and we recently published a whole article about how to use your coloring to choose your shirts.

      Your case is an excellent example of how color combinations should not be considered in a vacuum. The combination of navy blue and orange can look quite good since these colors naturally complement each other, however, it’s a high contrast combination. Since you shave your head, you don’t have the hair to create contrast with your face. So a high contrast suit and tie combination can overpower your face pulling people’s attention down to your chest.

      So we would caution you against too strong of a contrast like an orange tie. Instead, we’d suggest looking for a feature to highlight from your face. For instance, you could follow your eye color. If you’ve got light blue eyes, wear a light blue tie. Got brown eyes, try a rich earthy brown tie. You get the idea…when searching for colors to wear, the first place to look is in the mirror.

  28. Brian says:

    Hey looking for any insight. Getting married this fall. Going to wear a navy suit. Fiancé has put down some requirements. One that I wear an ivory shirt (apparently to match her dress color)and two that neckwear incorporate wedding colors, burgundy and/or plum. The guidance ive received so far that due to suit-shirt combo cant pick a solid tie. Gentlemen, do you agree with that logic? If so, are there any patterns I should be weary of. Appreciate any and all responses.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As you’ll see in the first combination above, a solid tie and a solid shirt can be paired together. Done well it can work. That said, when the solid colors have no relation to each other, it can look a little color block-y.

      It sounds like you’re looking to create color harmony between navy blue, off-white and either burgundy or plum. To accomplish that, we suggest ignoring the off-white since it’s a neutral, and focusing on tying together the navy and the burgundy or plum color. The way to do that is to choose a tie that includes, you guessed it, navy blue and either burgundy or plum like this one or this one. Since neither of these ties include white they won’t create any clashes with the off-white of the ivory shirt and both bring the blue in your suit together with the wedding colors.

      Now get out there and knock ’em dead at the altar, Brian.

      1. Brian says:

        Great. Thanks for the insight

  29. Rasmus says:

    Attending a wedding soon. I have a black suit (with small small dark grey stripes), biege pants and a white shirt with light gray stripes shirt. What colour tie would fit with that?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Uh-oh. Are you thinking of wearing a pinstripe jacket with non-pinstripe pants? This is a big no-no. Pinstripes are meant to create long lines down your body, so interrupting these lines with solid pants, especially a more casual pant like chinos, should never be done.

      1. Rasmus says:

        Oh, thank you for the information. I’ll look into this! How about the tie?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Anytime, Rasmus. It’s tricky to match a tie to a black blazer and white shirt well since those two already have so much contrast. A good option would be to stick with the gray theme in your blazer and shirt and wear a light gray tie.

  30. James says:

    Hello, I’m attending a wedding in a grey (lightly striped colour) suit with a white striped shirt (the shirt stripes are actually the same colour, just a little shiny). What tie would go well with this? and do you think black shoes and belt or brown shoes and belt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      What you’ve described is what’s called a monochrome outfit (all shades of black and white). That can make for a sharp look. You could go with a black or gray tie and black shoes and belt, for instance, and it will work.

      Of course, as we’ve reminded many commenters on this article in the past, color combinations don’t happen in a vacuum. You’re going to be wearing this outfit and you want it to look good on you. Contrary to what most people think, color combinations are more influenced by the wearer than by the combination itself. What works for some, doesn’t always work on others. That’s why we recommend dressing from the inside out. That is, learning what color combinations look good on you and building your wardrobe around those. It’s easy. Start here. To see the system in action, check out our recent article about picking the best shirt color for you.

  31. Nishant says:

    I am going to be wearing a turquoise blue shirt ( a bit dark), black trousers and brown belt for the coming teachers day! What colour tie would go with this combination?! Thank you!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey, Nishant. We’re not sure a dark turquoise blue shirt is the right choice to wear with black pants. Those are two very saturated colors that don’t offer much contrast. If you need help choosing the right shirt color for you, read up on that here. Anyways, if possible, we think you should rock a white dress shirt instead. But, back to your tie dilemma, we suggest a light blue tie for either shirt you decide to go with.

  32. Antoine says:

    I was looking to wear a pale blue bow tie with white dots and pale blue braces and was wondering what colour shirt to wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Your shirt should always be lighter in color than your tie. With a pale blue bow tie that leaves you few options. White is your best bet since it will coordinate with the white dots of the bow tie.

      Of course, as we say in just about every comment on this article, it’s not what color combinations work, it’s what color combinations work ON YOU. Dressing for yourself is the key. That’s why we recommend you read our recent article that unlocks the secrets to always picking the right shirt.

  33. Alvin says:

    What do you think about a red striped tie on a turquoise blue shirt.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We can’t give an opinion about a color combination without understanding your own coloring and how it works on you. What looks good on you might not work on another guy. That’s why we advocate dressing from the inside out. We recently wrote a whole article about how to apply these principles to picking a shirt. So our first recommendation is to get out a mirror and check out that article.

      All of that being said, the shirt and tie combination sounds a little off. Why? Because there’s nothing tying the whole look together. If there are no shared colors or patterns in the shirt and the tie it’s tough to pull off a cohesive look. So we would proceed with caution. But again, it all depends on how it looks on you.

  34. G POOL says:

    I have a dark blue shirt with sort of dots on it for a next week wedding. What color of tie you suggest.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It’s hard to suggest a tie with this information. What color are the dots on your shirt? What color are your pants? Are you wearing a jacket? If so, what color is said jacket? However, a general rule about dark colored shirts you can work around is choosing a tie in the same color family, just a different shade (lighter blue, in this case).

      1. Victor says:

        the shirt is white, no dots, the pants are black, the jacket is a solid royal blue, the Jerry Garcia tie is predominantly purple with off-the-wall Jerry Garcia-like swirls and long slashes but again predominantly purple. Thanks for you attention. Vic

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Well Vic, take this with a grain of salt because we can’t see your clothes or your tie, but we still say toning down this look is the way to go. Nobody stylish man ever said “I wish I had worn more colors.” A little restraint can go a long way.

          All of that being said, don’t take our word for it. Like we always say, dressing well is about learning what looks good ON YOU. So grab a mirror and check out our article on dressing from the inside out, where we explain why the most important color combination all men should know is how the combination of your hair and skin color make clothes look on you.

  35. Victor says:

    Would a Jerry Garcia tie with purple patterns go with a solid color royal blue jacket? I usually don’t have too many problems matching ties with jackets but I prefer Jerry Garcia ties and this combination is causing me problems. Thanks Vic

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hmmm, a Jerry Garcia tie? What do you usually match these wild ties to? Anyways, a purple tie with a solid blue jacket is already a highly saturated combination so you won’t want to throw another strong color into the mix. We recommend either a classic white shirt, or a pale blue.

  36. Ray says:

    Would you consider a black tie on a gray and white checkered shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You actually have quite a few options with a shirt like this, Ray. You could contrast it with black, or even a darker shade of gray. The shirt you described has a pretty subdued color palette, so you don’t have to rule out brighter colors or a simple print either.

  37. uche says:

    Pls am getting ready for my wedding, I hv a purple shirt and gold shirt. What color of tie should I wear them on a black suit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The problem is not the tie choice, it’s the shirt choice. Purple and gold is tough to pull off on any suit. With a black suit it is not advised. Strong, saturated colors can be jarring against a black suit and make a normal color appear clownish. Instead choose a white shirt and a tie in either black or gray for a cohesive dressy look.

  38. Samuel says:

    What tie, lapel pin and pocket colors would match with a white shirt or light pink shirt for both navy blue dark grey suits.
    Thanks for that great article

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are too many variables for us to possibly answer your questions. We don’t know what you look like, what clothes you already have in your closet, what accessories you have, what your style is, how your clothes fit you, where you wear them, what’s your budget…the list goes on.

      Here’s what we do know: shop for versatility. Don’t buy anything that only “goes with” one outfit. A small, collection of ties in navy blue, gray and maybe an accent color or two is all you need. Three or four paisley pocket squares with the same colors in them will do the trick. As for lapel pins, they’re more of a novelty item so no matter what color they’re going to draw attention. All the more reason to weight your collection towards traditional menswear colors, blue and gray. With a foundation of accessories in basic colors you’ll be able to combine and recombine them with your shirts and suits for years.

  39. Anuj says:

    I have just bought this gold suit and peach shirt for a special day:

    However, I am unable to come up with what colour and kind of tie, pocket square and cufflinks should I wear. Any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The pocket square in the photo is a nice touch of contrast. Play on that with a tie like this one that incorporates that maroon/burgundy shade but isn’t an exact match to the pocket square (you wouldn’t want to look like you’re wearing one of those cheesy tie and pocket square sets). For cufflinks, don’t try to match the colors. Go with metal ones that’ll work with any color of shirt you want to wear them with.

      1. ANUJ says:

        Thanks Black Lapel. How about a burgundy tie and a maroon pocket square work or vice versa?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          No problem, Anuj. That combination works too. Just as long as the tie and pocket square aren’t exactly the same color, you should be good to go here.

  40. Charles says:

    I wouldn’t call this a delimma but I am debating on wearing this for an evening out, depending in the tie. I already have navy blue pants, with light brown shoes and belt, light khaki sport coat, and a pink gingham shirt. I’m wanting to wear either a plain navy blue knitted tie, but I am also leaning in favor of a navy blue knitted tie with small white horizontal stripes on it.(not overbearing that is)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This is really a personal preference thing, Charles. It depends on how this looks on you. If you’ve got a mirror, you’ve got everything you need to make the choice. Ultimately trying both ties on is the best way to decide.

      That said, with our limited information about how you look or how your clothes fit or look on you, we would lean toward the plain blue tie. Depending on the size of the gingham and the stripes in the tie, those two elements could compete. Plain blue is the safer choice.

  41. boz says:

    What is a good shirt tie combo to wear with an traditional earthy (greenish)tweed suit with blue/purple checks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Tweed and earthtones make us think the suit has country roots. That’s not a bad thing, we like a good rustic look. For the shirt, a solid white dress shirt will always be our starting point, but one that draws on the suit’s country qualities would mix nicely with it, like the equestrian inspired tattersall pattern in this dress shirt. Add a chunky textured tie like this earthy knit tie or this blue wool tie and you’ll have a strong outfit.

  42. Ian says:

    Hi. I am going to a wedding in a few days and have my suit and fancied wearing pink which is something i wouldn’t u do. And ended up with this lot https://www.dropbox.com/s/zg0txvy495y8gxr/20160622_183811.jpg?dl=0 Having read your tips i realise this is all wrong. What would you recommend with this suit. I’d still like to try pink though.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The pink shirt and pink tie combo is tough to pull off. We suggest going with a white shirt and a tie that includes pink and white for a more cohesive look, like the Friday outfit in our Spring Suit & Tie Combinations article.

      Just the addition of a little bit of contrast, the white shirt, will make all the different in sharpening up this outfit.

  43. Gerard says:

    Hi, my graduation is in 4 days and I’m having a bit of a dilemma here!! So I am wearing: baby pink polo, checkered light gray pants, dark brown belt, and dark brown shoes. What should the color of my tie be? Thanks in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like you just described the outfit in Combination #1 above, Gerard. As you can see there, we went with a solid purple tie for a strong color combination.

  44. Priya says:

    Hi there,

    My brother is getting married in July 2016, I am trying to put an outfit together for my dad.
    He owns all black suits and my mom’s wearing a purple dress. It’s a Hall party in the evening.
    We are South Asian (Indian), his skin color is Brown and gray/black hair. Could you please help me out here.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A black suit is difficult to outfit, but it’s helpful that your brother’s wedding is at night and that your dad has darker skin (black suits are easier to pull off with a darker complexions). As for a shirt and tie combination, read up here on the best way to pull off a black suit with style.

  45. Kaveer says:

    Hi there. Im wearing a black suit and looking for a shirt and tie to match my partner whos color is burgundy. Any suggestions for a shirt and tie combination.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi there, Kaveer. We usually only suggest a white dress shirt under a black suit with very simple accessories. You can read more on how to wear a black suit with style here.

  46. G says:

    Will a dark blue(darker than the shirt) bow tie with a plaid design match a navy blue shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sure. It won’t offer much contrast, but sometimes that’s a good thing and we’re fans of monochrome ensembles.

  47. Chris says:

    Great website. Trying to match a small black/gray check jacket with appropriate shirt/tie combo. Will be worn with gun metal dark gray pants and black shoes. Please help.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi, Chris. This sounds like an strong business outfit in the making and you’ve got a bunch of options to bring it home. Since your jacket has a small pattern, you’ll want to incorporate a larger pattern in your shirt or tie, but not both. However, we do think the stronger look is a solid white or light gray dress shirt with a patterned tie. Check out the “Tuesday” suit & tie combination here to give you some more inspiration.

  48. Syed says:

    BL, Good day to you.I am managing my best selecting combination for my Wedding Function.

    I have a light grey color Pant Coat . While I am finding a suitable color shirt, of which I can wear Peach color/contrast tie.

    Please and thank you for assistance.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Your tie should always be darker than your shirt. With a light colored tie like peach, we recommend a white dress shirt. White is the most formal dress shirt color so it is perfect for weddings.

  49. Michelle Oliver says:

    Hi there, great web page, can I pick you brain please? Best shirt and tie combo for a maroon/dark red ultra skinny fit two piece suit (for a prom). Suit is cotton and the collar has a small black satin effect, sounds awful right? It actually looks pretty good on. I was thinking a grey shirt maybe?? What would you say? Thanks in advance

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You wrote the magic words: “it actually looks good on.” So many people ask us what to wear without ever considering how it’s going to look on them. The truth is we can’t ever tell them what looks good on them because we don’t know what they look like and how the clothes will look on them. You’ve got the right idea. Try things on. The answers are always looking right back at you in the mirror.

      In your case, we would recommend that, along with a gray shirt, try on a white dress shirt. Since it is a prom, you want to go with a formal look. White is the most formal dress shirt color so start there. As for ties, solid black is great for evening and will tie back to the satin on your lapels. If you do go with the gray, go with a solid gray or it will be too casual for the occasion. Either way, stick with black, white or shades of gray. Adding any other colors to the outfit in the shirt, tie or pocket square will take away from the maroon color of the suit.

      Enjoy the prom!

  50. debraj swargari says:

    Urgent 🙁 plz reply in a hour or 2 if possible)
    I have my college farewell tomorrow and i have bought a navy blue trouser with brown shoes and belt.plz suggest me what color shirt & tie should i buy? And my height is a bit short(5 feet 7 inch).please suggest me keeping my mind in height. Tyia

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Well Debraj, as you might have figured out by now, we’re not an on-demand shirt and tie matching service. There are some out there, like this, which you can use in a situation like you described. Still, it would be better to learn to do it yourself, which is what the above article is all about.

      We know, we know, you just finished college and the last thing you want is to have to learn something, but this is worth it (and it couldn’t be easier). Just follow the guidelines above when you shop and you’ll have a closet full of shirts and ties that can be easily paired together for any situation.

  51. Celeste says:

    Hello, I’ve read several of your articles about the “suit topic”, but I’m honestly strugglin with my little brother’s suit. He owns a black suit, and he plans to wear it with a white shirt for his high school graduation party, unfortunately(?) that’s the only suit he has. He is not too much into fashion, but nevertheless I’d want him to look his best with what he already has. So, here’s the question, what tie color/pattern should he wear? And what about the pocket square? What color/pattern should it be? Personaly I was thinking on solid brown for the tie and some pattern pocket square in the same color. But, I’m not any expert 🙂 Is there any chance he does not have to go with an all gray/black tie? I don’t whant him to look boring, not clown like either.
    Thanks and sorry for the long post. Great work btw 😉

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey, Celeste. No worries, we’re here for guidance. We also admire you looking out for your little brother; many stylish men have female influence to thank for their good taste 😉

      But, like you said, a black suit does put your little brother between a rock and a hard place. A black suit isn’t very versatile and mixing in bright colors can end up making anyone look clown-esque. Since we don’t want him to look boring at his high school graduation either, we have a solution for you. We aren’t going to recommend you go with a brown tie because black and brown is a hard color combination to pull off and it could look pretty drab if not pulled-off correctly too. How about a pale blue tie and white pocket square? A white pocket square will match his white shirt and adding in a pale, muted color like a light blue isn’t boring and won’t make him look like a clown. We hope this can work out for your little brother! Good luck.

  52. Jo says:

    Hello – thanks for the wonderful article! I’ve fwd’ed this to my beau.
    Question though – what shirt color and pants would be appropriate with the following tie? I was thinking white and grey pants? Any other suggestions to jazz it up a bit?


    The occasion is a spring wedding and their colors are peach / orange.

    Appreciate the advice in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hello, Jo. We think a white shirt is the right call here too. As for grey pants, we agree—a wedding outfit should have a little more jazz to it. How about a pair of medium blue dress pants? We say medium blue because if you’re beau just wears classic navy pants you’ll probably run into the same problem you felt about him wearing grey pants. A pair like these are a brighter medium blue color, and a pair like these are a lighter, more unique shade of blue. Both pairs will add color to your beaus outfit and will coordinate with his tie. Enjoy the wedding!

  53. rob mills says:

    I am in need of a bit of advice please, ive gotta wedding next weekend, ive gotta navy suit with very faint black checks, ive gotta navy herringbone shirt i just wondered what tie i could wear with the shirt that will compliment my overall look?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There’s a reason you’re having a tough time with the tie, Rob. It’s the shirt. Dark shirts are not dressy enough to be worn with suits and ties. (Don’t take our word for it, do an image search for “navy blue dress shirt” and you won’t see any of them combined with suits and very few paired with ties).

      We say swap out that navy blue shirt for a light blue dress shirt and a navy blue knit tie for a cohesive, blue-tinged look. Alternatively, you could go with the shirt that goes with everything, a white dress shirt. White shirts complement everyone and are a surefire winner with just about any suit and tie combination. We stockpile them for just these types of situations, so we’ve always got an easy backup.

      For more on simplifying your shirt and tie choices, check out our article on How to Build a Shirt Wardrobe With Only Two Colors.

  54. avinash says:

    i am wearing a navy blue suit(not a shiny one) for my farewell party. Which combination of shirt and tie should i wear.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      With a solid navy blue suit, any of the above combinations will work, Avinash. It really just comes down to your personal taste.

      If you asked any six of us here at Black Lapel to pick one of these combinations you’d probably get one vote for each of the six different shirt and tie combinations above. You won’t go wrong with any of them.

  55. SJJ says:

    Getting married in July of this year…small wedding of 70 people. I am wearing a grey pinstripe suit and grey shirt and our colours are lavender and grey. Need a tie and pocket square to go with it. Should I go with a lavender striped tie or plain. I wear suits everyday for the office and like the formality of the grey pinstripe. What can you suggest? thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Stripes on stripes is a little tricky, but not impossible to pull off. Just make sure that the scale of the stripes in your tie differs from the scale of the pinstripes in your suit. If the pinstripes are 3/4 in. apart, try a tie with more widely spaced stripes. For more on this, check out our Guide to Mixing Patterns with Confidence. Of course, a solid tie would work, but don’t shy away from wearing two patterns if you like the look of the stripes on stripes.

      As for the pocket square, we love a paisley pocket square because it gives you lots of visual depth. Go with one that incorporates the lavender in your tie for a cohesive combo.

  56. Stuart says:

    I have a navy blue tweed suit that has a few details in silver and comes with a silver tie. What colour shirt and pocket square would make it look awesome?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Don’t overthink it Stuart. A crisp white shirt is always (yes we said always) appropriate. A light blue shirt will also work. That’s why we wrote a whole story about why you only need two shirts in your wardrobe: How to Build a Shirt Wardrobe With Only Two Colors. As for pocket squares, the choices are seemingly endless but the sure fire way to come up with one is to choose one with a pattern that includes one of the colors in your shirt, tie or jacket. So if the look is blue and white, go with a patterned pocket square that’s got blue and white in it, like this. Easy, right?

  57. Josh says:

    Hello I am wearing a taupe colored suite with retro pink and blue checked shirt. What color bow tie would you recommend.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A check shirt with pink in it and a bow tie is going to be pretty aggressive. The taupe suit will tone things down and the bow tie should also be more grounded than the strongly patterned shirt. That leads us to chambray in a shade of blue that ties in to the blue in the shirt, like this one from the J.Crew Factory, which ought to do the trick.

  58. Caroline says:

    Hi we’ve just bought our son his first suit for his sisters graduation and we want to get this right, the suit is dark blue( not navy) with a silky sheen look and the trousers are slim cut, he’s 6ft 2, 17 and medium build but looks more like 21, I did buy a navy shirt and was going to buy a navy tie but then i stumbled on this article, thank fully, so what shirt and tie would look best, also he has black suedette shoes that are very smart but I have a feeling that may be wrong to. My husband has a grey pin stripe suit that has a very faint light grey/bluish and and light purple stipe, what shirt and tie combo would go with this, thank you

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like you’re looking for a more complete outfit, rather than a system for picking out shirt and tie combinations we wrote above. While it’s impossible for us to give a full recommendation without seeing the whole thing on him, we can offer some full blue suit combinations that includes shirts, ties and pocket square combos that will work with a blue suit.

  59. Eric says:

    Hi there, I have a wedding to go to in May, and I’m trying to figure out what would work best.

    I have a charcoal suit to wear, and will probably wear a light blue shirt with it. The ideal would be to wear a darker blue tie with that, yes?

    Theoretically, I’m open to any type of combination that work best with the suit.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A darker blue tie is ideal with this, but it’s not your only option! Since it’s a wedding, you can have a little more fun with the tie. Check out some of our blue striped and polka dot knit ties here.

  60. Paul says:

    I have a black two-piece suit with a thin light pinstripe and I am wondering what shirt and tie combinations to go for? I have some nice white shirts but want to change it up a little?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re sorry to say, Paul, it’s not the shirt it’s the suit. Despite men’s penchants for them, black suits are very limiting. Their harsh darkness is unforgiving to anyone with medium to light skin and creates jarring clashes with most colored shirts and accessories. Often the same guy wearing the same shirt and tie looks exponentially better in charcoal gray suit than he does in a black suit. So we say if you’re going to change something up, change the suit. Swap that black pinstripe out for a solid charcoal gray and every color of shirt and tie will be eligible to wear.

  61. Promise says:

    Pls what colour of shirt and tie will perfectly work for a white suit

    1. Black Lapel says:

      White suit? Daaaaaaaamn. The color white matches with almost everything, but that doesn’t mean a white suit looks good with everything too. For starters, if you’re rocking a white suit you should probably keep the rest of the outfit on the more casual side. Since warmer weather is supposedly approaching, we think a chambray shirt with your white suit could look cool. We like the idea of a lighter blue shirt, but to make things a little more interesting you could wear a light gray chambray instead.

  62. cunningstunt says:

    Thinking wearing a Navy plaid jacket, light blue shirt, dark grey trousers black belt and shoes, what tie would you recomend? Its for a wedding. Thanx

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Nice combo, we’ve put something very similar to this together before. In our version, we paired these suit separates with a white shirt and this Forest Green Silk Knit Tie, which would still work with your light blue shirt. If you want to add more of a fun, wedding vibe to your look, this lavender and blue tie is great for warmer weather weddings.

  63. Jack says:

    Hi all,

    I’m after some advice on the following combo. Summer wedding in May.

    Im wearing a mid-light grey suit and thinking of pairing with a powder blue shirt with fine white pinstriping (the stripes dont stand out too much against the blue). What tie and pocket square would you go for in this getup? FYI shoes will be tan brogues.

    Many thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi, Jack. If there’s any possibility you have a powder blue shirt without white pinstripes, then wear that one instead. Pinstripes of any kind have a naturally more business/professional feel and a wedding is the time to wear something more playful. If you can make a solid powder blue shirt work, you’ll also have way more tie and pocket square options to go for.

      Assuming you wear the powder blue shirt with white pinstripes, a solid tie in a darker shade of blue would work and maybe a tie like this would make your outfit a little more exciting—but pair with caution and only wear if your shirt’s pinstripes are as fine as you say they are.

      Assuming you can swap your shirt out with a solid powder blue shirt, a tie like this or this is perfect for a summer wedding.

  64. Andy says:

    Hey great article and website!

    I’m just starting to put together a new wardrobe, starting with a navy suit, mid-gray suit, and a couple basic, solid white and blue shirts. But I also picked up a brick-red mini-checked shirt that I quite like but am unsure if it goes with my new suits/ what kind of tie to match it with. Any suggestions?


    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’ve got a great approach here Andy. Kudos to you for building on a good foundation. We’re happy we can help. As we’ve said in these pages before, you can build your shirt collection on just two colors.

      That said, we wholeheartedly support your efforts to add some other colors to the mix. If you’re wondering about shirt and tie patterns matching, the advice above ought to give you all you need to pick a tie. If you’re wondering what colors go with the shirt, we think that’s not the question to be asking. The question you’ve got to answer is what colors go with you? Stylish men know you don’t have to worry about your clothes matching each other if they match you. Have we lost you yet? Don’t worry, we’ve written a full story that…well, we don’t want to oversell it but, it has some simple tips in it that will change your life! It’s called Mastering Men’s Fashion from the Inside Out and we highly recommend give it a read as you build your wardrobe.

  65. Jake says:

    I was wondering what type of tie a should wear with a light blue shirt with white pen stripes.
    Also would that shirt go with tan pants and tan shoes with a black suit jacket. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance.


    1. Black Lapel says:

      You had us right up until the addition of the black suit jacket, Jake. Black and tan might make for a good drink at the bar, but the combination doesn’t often come off so well when it comes to tailored clothing. Why? Tan is in the earthtone family while black is in the achromatic family (white, gray and black). Those two families are generally like the Hatfields and the McCoys. That’s why the rule of thumb is not to wear brown shoes with black pants, for example.

      If you’re looking to wear a dark jacket with tan pants, we suggest navy blue like we used here and here. Or you can go with a lighter blue like we did here. When you change the jacket to blue you open up a lot of choices for ties but one of the simplest and most stylish options would be to keep the blue theme going and choose a solid navy knit tie. Not only is this a workhorse tie (in other words, you can wear it with more than just this one outfit), but it also adds textural contrast to most outfits.

  66. shinning star says:

    what colore tie would go best with light green shirt ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A green shirt? But St. Patrick’s Day was last week…

      Just kidding! A light green shirt is acceptable. Tie colors that would pair well are brown, dark blue & navy, and also light gray.

  67. rildul says:

    im having this light gray suit, with black lapel edge on it which im planing to wear with a black shirt and a black trouser for my senior ball. i dont really have a choice of tie and pocket hankie plus im chubby, and dark in complexion….
    i need your professional help on the outfit. thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Professional paging in! We usually aren’t the people to recommend a black shirt because it causes the exact problem you’re running into: no tie choices. Although we’re guessing your senior ball is a nighttime event and black is a slimming color, you’re still probably better off wearing a white dress shirt. If you wear a white shirt you can use your dark complexion to your advantage when choosing a tie and pocket square. Contrast is in your favor, Rildul, so you could wear a black or dark gray tie to match a white shirt and your light gray jacket. As for a pocket square, you could wear anything in the white/black/gray color family. Maybe, since it’s a ball, you could throw a splash of green or very light blue into the mix! Good luck pulling the outfit together and remember, confidence is key.

  68. Brad says:

    I recently purchased a dark charcoal Hugo Boss suit that I plan to wear with a light blue and white pinstripe shirt, however I’m having trouble deciding on the best style/color tie that would compliment the suit and shirt. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Brad, it sounds like you’re off to a good start, minus your suit not being Black Lapel 😉 Anyways, any blue tie that is darker than the light blue stripe in your shirt will compliment the suit and more so the shirt. You could also wear a gray tie that’s lighter than dark charcoal and that would compliment this outfit and more so the suit!

  69. Rajan says:


    I have a bold purple knitted tie as a theme for a wedding. What colour suit and tie should i go for?

    My initial thought was a dark grey suit with a white shirt.

    Also an idea of accessories and shoes would be great.


    1. Black Lapel says:

      We like your initial thought, Rajan. We were going to direct you to this outfit, but light or dark gray will both work. For shoes, either dark brown or black is going to match—black leaning a little bit more on the formal side. Other accessories like a pocket square should be kept simple since your tie is so bold, but don’t resist adding some more fun to your outfit with a unique pair of socks. It is a wedding after all!

  70. Ray says:

    I have a dark navy shirt that is dotted with small white dots. The event is casual dressy and I would like a tie for it. Any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our rule of thumb is make sure your tie is darker than your shirt. That means that, if you’ve got on a dark shirt, your options are limited. That’s fine, though because a dark dotted shirt is a casual shirt so we don’t recommend wearing a tie at all. If a tie is required, we’d suggest going with a shirt that’s more tie-friendly, like a white shirt and pair it with a low key knit tie.

  71. Austin says:

    I have a Navy Blue suit and a Maroon shirt. What are some options for ties with this combo. I currently have a gold tie, bright red tie, Black tie with crisscrossing small blue lines and a black lines, teal; a teal, black, white, and grey diagonal tie, a white tie, a black tie which both have designs but are solid colors, and a blue and purple box like tie. I also have a white, black, grey, and light blue shirts as well as a Dark Grey suit. Any help on combining some of these would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Woah there, throwing your whole wardrobe at us now are you? It’ll be hard to give you exactly what you’re looking for seeing as we have no idea what you or you clothing actually looks like, but let’s take things one at a time.

      The first suit you mention—Navy Blue—is going to look better with your white, gray, and light blue shirts. If you insist on wearing it with your maroon shirt, then we would probably recommend the blue and purple box tie. But again, it’s hard for us to be certain this definitely matches. If you decide to wear one of your lighter colored shirts (which we think you should), the gold, red, teal, and blue and purple tie will most likely look best with any of those shirts.

      You dark gray suit has similar flexibility, and would look better with a maroon shirt. Wearing the dark gray suit with the maroon shirt, you could probably match the gray diagonal tie. Again, you can wear the dark gray suit with your white, gray, and light blue shirts as well.

      Notice we didn’t mention your black shirt in any of these suit, shirt and tie outfit combinations. While we’re not fans of black shirts because they lack this versatility, you could wear yours with your dark gray suit and go tie-less. This look has fancy Friday/Saturday night vibes written all over it. Also, have you ever thought about mixing and matching your navy and dark gray suit as suit separates? This story will show you the light on how to break up your suit jackets and pants.

  72. Micheal says:

    can i wear a light blue shirt with a black suit? If yes, then with what tie combination? If not, what colour suit would be best and with what colour tie?

    Should i have a pattern on my tie or no pattern?

    The occasion is a prom

    Thank you for the advice

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Are you set on wearing this light blue shirt? If so, this shirt would probably look better with a charcoal gray or mid to dark blue suit rather than a black suit. Wearing a gray or blue suit opens up your range of options for ties, but have you thought about matching your prom date? It’s not a must, but it could be nice if the color matches your suit and shirt.

      If you’re open to say, a white shirt instead instead of your light blue, you could wear this black suit to your prom. It’s a classic suit for a formal occasion like a prom, but if you wear the black suit we think you should wear a white shirt. Then, for a tie, you could go with almost any color as long as it’s in a light, subdued tone.

  73. Chesdon says:

    I am wearing an all black suit with a black shirt and my date is wearing a white dress what color tie should I go with

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yin & yang, huh? That’s cool, but it doesn’t leave you a lot of options for tie color. Two colors ties you definitely shouldn’t try wearing are white and black. If you go with a color, say light gray or light blue, it should be in a subdued, muted tone as you don’t want too much contrast against your black ensemble.

  74. jitendra sidh says:

    I have dark navy colour suit with light pink shirt with black printed tie and black flowers on background pocket square. . What you thought. ..?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We think your accessories might not be a good fit for the key players in your outfit: the navy suit and light pink shirt. Black matches with pink, but has a strong contrast so a black tie and pocket square would end up clashing with your navy suit. You need to find accessories that complement the key players, not clash with them. What about this knit tie with pink polka dots? It’s a classic pattern with a modern twist and will bring the key players together quite nicely. If you’re more of stripes guy, you could rock this knit tie instead. If you’d prefer a busier pocket square, then you could always opt for solid colored tie in a shade of blue, gray, or brown. As for the pocket square, you have lots of solid or patterned options. If you opt for a pattern, try to make sure navy or pink is incorporated in that pattern. Then, like we mentioned, other good colors matches for the key players of your outfit are other shades of blue, gray, and/or brown.

  75. Jacob says:

    Hello, thanks for the article, it’ll help me a lot! I am looking for advice on what to wear to a summer wedding. Do I stick with a classic black suit or go for something a little bit different? I don’t want to take attention from the couple getting married, yet I am the type of guy who likes to add a little color and style to my suits. What should I do? Thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Well, Jacob, we’ve gotten this question before and devoted a whole article to it a while ago. While we included a straightforward black tuxedo look, we also offered some different options that are more summer appropriate. None of them should overshadow the groom but all of these outfit ideas add color and style to your look.

  76. Z says:

    What tie will suit a charcoal suit with maroon shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since maroon is a dark shirt choice, you’ll want to wear a tie that lightens your look up a bit. We’re thinking a much lighter gray tie is your best move here, Z.

  77. Joseph says:

    Gentleman, I have a dilemma with which I seek advice. Wearing a Navy suit and have put together quite randomly, a very fine checked wine/white shirt with a small, yet slightly larger patterned tie. Both pieces match in color and relationship in an almost monochromatic fashion. I’m not sure if I am skating on thin ice or if I should just trust my gut and go for it. Okay? What color/text or pattern should I use with a good pocket square?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Gentleman, we have a solution: go with your gut. We trust in the advice we gave you in this story so if you stick to it, you’ll be good. As for the pocket square, we suggest something without a pattern so you don’t overwhelm your look. White is probably your best choice and one way to get more creative with this is the way you choose to fold the pocket square!

  78. jasonf says:

    Hello, I’m going to be wearing brown dress shoes, navy blue pants, brown belt, and a solid light blue shirt. What color and style tie would you recommend?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Well, you could stay within your blue & brown color scheme and wear a tie in either of those two colors, or both. Outside of blue and/or brown, you still have a lot of options. You could wear green. You could go for gold (bronze, actually). For some more inspiration, visit our accessories page.

  79. VIPUL says:

    Hey I am wearing a Black shirt with black trouser along with a dark chocolaty coloured v – style waistcoat.
    Which colour tie i should wear? Red?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We wouldn’t recommend a stark red tie, what about a Maroon silk knit tie instead?

  80. Frank says:

    Hi I have a charcoal gray 2 piece suit, and a plain blue shirt, a light blue striped shirt which matching ties would you recommend

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Well Frank, the first combination above is probably the simplest thing you could do. Just get yourself a solid tie to go with that solid blue shirt and you’re all set. What color tie? Just about anything goes. You’ve got a neutral suit and a very versatile shirt color. If you want to keep the outfit simple and solid, add a little texture by going with a knitted tie. Or even add a patterned knit tie to add more visual interest.

      For the striped shirt, try something like our final recommendation in Combination #3 above where we paired a light blue striped shirt with a patterned tie.

      For tons of other suit and tie combinations, check out our seasonal suit and tie combination article.

  81. Brian says:

    What color suit, tie, and pocket square would work with a navy gingham shirt. I’m about 6 ft and slim to medium build if that matters

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are a lot of variables, Brian, like where you intend to wear the outfit, what suits you’ve already got. What season you’ll be wearing this outfit in, etc. but here’s an answer that will work no matter what: Blue. A solid blue suit (navy or a slightly lighter blue), with a medium blue tie and a light or medium blue pocket square would give you a cohesive monochromatic look. To give this look a bit of life, try a patterned pocket square like this, but resist the urge to wear a patterned tie as it could easily create a busy look on a gingham shirt. Instead, wear a knit tie like this for a touch of texture.

  82. Kegan says:

    Great article. Only issue is I’m colorblind. So when I’m shopping ties, especially checked, I can’t tell whats going on. Also, I can’t tell if the pics above have black or dark navy. Its a tough life. I have standard khaki and black dress pants now. I would like to adopt some gray and navy blue into my panta wardrobe and expand from the basic look I seem to be stuck in.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ah, that does sound tricky. There are definitely life hacks that you can use to get around this and still dress yourself properly every day though. As a rule of thumb, maybe stick to plain colored ties and going forward, you should try to recruit the help of a sales assistant whenever you’re out shopping and looking to purchase clothes in new colors. No shame in that, plus the end result will be well worth it. Lastly, for this story, if you click through to our accessories page, the product pages from there always describe the color as best as possible 🙂

  83. Jim says:

    Hi. Great article. I’m struggling with a light grey three piece suit and a white shirt with small polka dots. The polka dots are in several colours. I need a bow tie to go with it. Should I ditch the shirt and go plain? It is a double cuff tailored shirt and looks smarter than it probably sounds…. I was thinking one of the colours of dots but perhaps a stripe or chevron pattern. Please help.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi. Thanks. We think you should ditch the polka dot shirt if the occasion isn’t right. Although we believe you that it’s smarter than it sounds, it could still be distracting in, say, a work meeting. However if the occasion is appropriate, then you could rock this shirt with a bow tie in a solid color similar to the color of a dot in your shit…we don’t advise mixing polka dots and stripes/chevron. If you’d rather wear the more playful bow tie, the opt for that white shirt.

  84. Niraj says:

    hey i have purple suit and black-green tie which color shirt should i should wear

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Woah there, purple suit? Very bold, Niraj. I think the only thing that’s going to match your purple suit and black-green tie is a white shirt. Can’t go wrong with a white dress shirt!

  85. Haamid Majoria says:

    I have a black colour fully velvet blazer with a satin collar. I want to wear it in my sister’s wedding.Can you suggest me some good combinations of shirt to wear inside and the trousers too

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Nice! You’re going to look like one cool cat at her wedding. Here’s how you’re going to keep things slick… For your shirt, we would go with just white or a uniform light gray. As for trousers, you should wear gray or black. The shade of gray is up to you, and anything gray tweed is a great, wintry look (might be getting a little too late in the season for this though). Otherwise, sticking to a monochrome white/gray/black outfit with your blazer is the key here. Enjoy the wedding!

  86. Daniel says:

    Hello, I am looking to use the color royal blue in some fashion (my date is wearing that color). I was planning on wearing a black waistcoat and black pants. Any ideas as far as shirt and tie combinations? Please help.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This affair sounds formal. If so, white dress shirt—always. If it’s not too formal, you could try rocking a shirt & tie combination like this. Otherwise, if you want to work royal blue into the mix, why not just rock a royal blue tie? We like this one from Freshneck. It’s the right color scheme and you won’t look too matchy-matchy with your date.

  87. shahzeb says:

    Sir which colour of shirt match with gray three piece

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Good sir, a lot of colors. Look at two examples we’ve put together ourselves here and here. The first, lighter gray suit is worn with a light blue dress shirt and the second with a classic white dress shirt. Now, these are both very traditional options. You could incorporate pattern and color at the same time with a spring-y gingham, or just a more stand out color like this. A darker gray suit will be better complemented by a lighter colored dress shirt and vice versa. Time to make your call.

  88. himanshu says:

    hey, please suggest me a tie color to be wear on black shirt with a creamish color coat and pants are also black as well?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey there. You’ve already got some pretty heavy color contrast going on, so I wouldn’t throw another color into your outfit mix. How about a patterned black tie? The black base color wouldn’t stand out from the rest of your outfit and as long as the pattern is also in a subtle color (like cream, white, gray), you should be go to go. Hope your #ootd is on point!

  89. Danny Jakes says:

    Good day. Please I have a cream color shirt. What color of tie do you think would go with it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s a color theory question that we can’t answer without much more information. What information? Start with your own coloring. What color hair do you have? What color is your skin? How about your eyes?

      Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t. Check out our story on dressing from the inside out where we share our tips on how to wear the colors that work best for you in three simple steps.

      Then there’s the issue of what other clothing you’ll be wearing with this shirt and tie. (You’re not just going to go around with a shirt and tie on, right Danny?) Where are you going? Is it for a day at the office? What kind of office? A bank? A PR firm? Or maybe you’re looking for something to wear to a job interview? A wedding? A court date? A funeral? All of these answers will guide you towards what to wear. That’s the kind of stuff that we cover on a regular basis, so if you haven’t already, subscribe to our emails and we’ll keep you in the style loop with what to wear ideas every week.

  90. Tofunmi says:

    Hey! Nice article. I want to wear for my bday, gray pants on a black suit and a black tie that has lemon sunflowers on it with tiny dots of gray in the middle of each flower… I am stuck on what shirt to wear, white or lemon? And pls what color of pocket square. I’m black but not so dark wit black hair

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Please wear a white shirt. We can’t emphasize that enough. We do not want you going around in a black suit and a lemon colored shirt or anything else that might get you mistaken for the mascot at a Georgia Tech basketball game.

      For the pocket square, a white one is always appropriate. A patterned one would also work. This gray and white one will tie in the gray of the tie and is still versatile enough to wear with other outfits. In general, don’t go crazy with the accessories, Tofunmi. That’ll keep the emphasis not on your clothes, but on how great you look.

  91. Shaheer khan says:

    Sir, can you ask me that which color tie is suitable with peach colour shirt.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This question is really about color theory rather than shirt and tie matching. We can’t answer that without seeing the shirt and how it looks on you. After all, it’s more important that your clothes match your coloring than your clothes match each other.

      That said, peach has a natural affinity for earthy browns and tans so we’ll suggest a tie like this brown knit. Keep it simple with a solid, muted colored tie.

  92. Aks says:

    Heyy i am pretty much pleased with your site and now would you please tell me what type of a tie should i wear on a White printed shirt??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our recommendation is simple, a printed shirt should not be worn with a tie. Printed shirts are casual, ties are not. So the resulting combination makes you look like you’re not sure what kind of event you’re dressing for. We say stick with dress shirts like the ones shown above when you’re wearing a tie and save the prints for the nights and weekends.

  93. Arpan says:

    I have a black suit and a red shirt what do you suggest should be my colour of the tie or a bow tie ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Tread very carfeully, Arpan. Black and red is a great combination for a team uniform, but can be pretty jarring when paired in tailored clothes. It can be done, but it takes a delicate touch. The red must be a dark and subtle accent color (like the red in this vest and tie and pocket square worn under a black suit). If you’re planning to wear something more like this, we highly suggest you rethink the plan and swap the red shirt for a white one. Then keep the whole look simple with a black tie and call it a minimalist outfit.

  94. Joel says:

    What would work best with a lighter denim colored cloth button up? I’m planning on wearing it song with khakis so I just need a good tie/bow tie color combo? Also the shoes are black

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A bow tie with a denim shirt and khaki chinos, Joel? Why? That’s a casual outfit if we ever heard of one. A knit tie like this is the only one casual enough to possibly work with this outfit. But really we don’t recommend wearing a tie with this shirt and pants.

      One other note, since you brought it up, we would discourage you from wearing khaki pants and black shoes. Black and khaki will clash. Brown shoes (because khaki is just a shade of brown) will tie the whole look together.

  95. Sujan says:

    I want to wear an ivory three pieces suite with a red purple shirt (with tiny polka dots). What colour of tie should I go for?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Whoa there, Sujan. We can’t, in good conscience, recommend a tie to go with the shirt you described for two reasons:

      1. A colored dotted shirt is a casual shirt. Wearing a tie with it is like putting a tie on a polo shirt.
      2. Red and purple? With and ivory three piece suit? That train is headed straight to Clash City, so we’re not getting on board.

      Drop the shirt, go with a white one instead. Then add a light tan tie. Better yet, drop the tie altogether. Either way you’ve now pared down the amount of colors in your outfit. That’s a crucial part of dressing well that too many men often forget. The whole point of dressing is to put the focus on you, not the clothes.

  96. Cj says:

    hi, There’s a big party this saturday and I’m planning to wear a black suit with black shirt, but I’m a bit confused about the bow tie. Which colour do you think will suit me best with both the suit and shirt being black.?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      What tie to wear with a black shirt? This question comes up again and again (see the comments above). We’ll give you the same answer we give everyone else: none. Black shirts are casual. They don’t look good with ties.

      A black suit with a black shirt is a smart idea for a party. If everything fits you well, the look can be quite dashing. Don’t overplay your hand by adding a tie.

  97. Kyle says:

    I have a dark purple shirt and light grey and or charcoal pants. What kind of tie can I wear with those combinations?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You don’t see any dark shirts on this page, do you? There’s a reason for that. The rule of thumb is that your tie should always be darker than your shirt. That’s tough to do when your shirt is dark. Black is an okay option but really, Kyle, you shouldn’t be wearing a dark purple shirt with any tie. Dark shirts are casual and unless you’re going for the Regis Philbin look, the whole dark shirt and tie thing is kind of played out.

      Do yourself a favor and stock your closet with as many white light blue shirts as possible. Why? Because they go with everything and they’re appropriate everywhere. Here’s an article we recently published on building whole shirt collection with just those colors.

  98. Bibek says:

    Hy I will be wearing a maroon shirt for the party. Which color tie would be suitable?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      None, a maroon shirt is too dark for a tie (unless you want to look like Regis Philbin circa 1999). Our rule of thumb is your tie should always be darker than your shirt. It’s not impossible to pull this off with a maroon shirt (you could wear a black or navy blue tie), but there’s a high degree of difficulty.

      If it’s a party, a tie is probably not mandatory, so we suggest going without one. If you’ve got to wear a tie, or just really want to, then we recommend switching to a white or blue shirt (after all, they’re all you need).

  99. ola says:

    I want to wear a three piece mismatch suit, which colour wiast coat should I wear with an orchid tie and am dark skin tone

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ahhh, a true unsuit! One problem here, you haven’t let us know the colors of your other two pieces are. We can’t recommend a waist coat color without that crucial info.

  100. Benjamin says:

    Hi! I have a navy shirt with white micro dots that I love… Is there a tie that would work with this? Or too dark?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You should be able to fine a tie that works with this shirt. Nothing too busy because you might end up clashing and if you wear a navy tie it might get steamrolled by your shirt, but check out this gray herringbone tie by Armstrong & Wilson.

  101. Narayan says:

    What colour tie do you think will go well with a medium blue checkered shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This kind of depends on the rest of your outfit, but to be safe we’ll recommend gray, like this combination here.

  102. Ens says:

    My husband is dark in colour he has a light blue tie which colour shirt would match best?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Your husband should wear shirts with small patterns instead of stark white ones since his skin color is dark. To match his light blue tie, here’s what we have to offer: Light Blue Striped Dress Shirt, Light Blue Gingham Dress Shirt, or in a darker blue Mini Check Dress Shirt. These are just a few options, but you can have him read Creating Your Own Shirt Style.

      1. Nick M. says:

        I love you guys, but shouldn’t you be pointing her away from light blue shirts if her husband has a light blue tie?

        1. Black Lapel says:

          You’re right, the dark blues are more appropriate, but that’s not to say these light blues can’t be worn since they aren’t a solid color. We’re into monochrome outfits, especially in winter! Which one of our shirts would you pair with a light blue tie (keeping in mind her husband has dark skin)?

          1. Nick M. says:

            First, I’d recommend that they don’t invest in anymore lightly colored ties, as it has very limited uses. Those are to be added after the staples have been obtained, if desired. For a light blue tie with a dark complexion, I’d go for a white shirt with subtle grey patterns. No, it doesn’t compliment as well as light blue shirts and dark blue ties will, but there aren’t too many options when it comes to light blue ties.

            The patterns you listed are great, but in my opinion would work better in a subtle grey. Sorry I couldn’t list specific models. Writing on mobile.

          2. Black Lapel says:

            We can comprise with you on a white shirt with subtle grey patterns, but maybe not a plain white shirt. Some men can pull this contrast off, but it’s not a guarantee for all men with dark skin.

          3. Nick M. says:

            I also feel a plain white shirt looks great on a dark complexion and is the best fit for a light blue tie. Neal Caffery’s signature.

  103. Brad says:

    Have a red striped tie, with black pants. What would you recommend for a shirt color and type. Obviously looking for something that would look well together, but maybe also a little standout/unique.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      How about this Gray Micro Check Shirt? It looks gray from afar, but once you’re up close people will be impressed by your ability to pair stripes and checks 😉

  104. Hank says:

    Black blazer, tan trousers, pink patterned shirt. Color tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re thinking purple. Take a look at our purple silk knit tie, the color will balance out the rest of your outfit and it’s silk knit construction is the perfect mix of stylish and casual.

  105. P.Ch says:

    i am a guy with dark complexion . i am having black suit and a purple shirt , so what colour tie and pocket square should i wear for a fare well party.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Would it be appropriate to go tie-less to this farewell party? If so, do so. Adding a tie on top of a black suit and purple shirt will make this dark combo look even heavier. As for a pocket square, what about this purple paisley pocket square? We’re thinking it’ll match your suit and shirt combination very well.

  106. Razi Ahmad says:

    sir my skin color is little dull or i have navy blue pant and coat with white shirt so which color tie is better for me or which pattern

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since your suit and shirt combination is high contrast, that will help bring your skin color to life a little more. As for tie color and pattern, check out our story Mastering Men’s Fashion From The Inside Out to learn what will work with your coloring.

  107. Ea says:

    Wearing a solid dark purple shirt with black pants. What tie colour matches that. It’s my first day at a new job and need to look smart. Is ash, gray or……

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re going to advise you against wearing a solid dark purple shirt with black pants, this look is way too heavy and not as professional as you may think. Gray is a good tie color choice, but definitely lighten your shirt up and wear light blues or white.

  108. P says:

    Hi, my girlfriend recently bought me a white shirt with thick dark blue stripes and a white collar, I have been struggling to find a tie to match. Any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since this shirt is bolder, you should wear a solid colored tie. We suggest trying out ties in shades of blue or gray.

  109. Terry says:

    We are wearing midnite blue long sleeve dress shirts for a wedding what color tie do you suggest. Solid, stripe thank you

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Dark shirts are usually reserved for casual wear so we don’t recommend wearing a tie with them at all. If it’s for a wedding, you may not have a choice, though.

      The rule of thumb with shirt and tie colors is that your tie should always be darker color than your shirt. Since this shirt is already pretty dark, you’re pretty much limited to a black tie. Since it’s going against a dark shirt, you should probably avoid a light stripe or it will stand out and draw attention down to your chest away from your face. So we say a solid black tie, either in woven silk or knitted, should do the trick.

  110. DD says:

    I am wearing a dark purple shirt with a black suit. Which is a better option a light pink colour tie or a light purple tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yikes! Can we choose “None of the above”?

      Here’s the problem, DD: the darker the shirt the more casual it is. So a tie is inappropriate with it unless you’re going for the Regis Philbin Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? look. Regis is a nice enough guy, but we’re not taking any style tips from him. If you want to wear a tie, we say ditch the dark purple shirt. Instead opt for a white or light gray shirt with your black suit.

      As we noted in our story about how to wear a black suit, wearing brightly colored accessories with a black suit is one of the most common style mistakes men make. The reason is that strong colors look even stronger set against black and can start to look clownish if you go too far. Instead, keep the look cohesive with an achromatic (black, gray and white) color palette when you wear a black suit. If you want to throw in a color, accessories are the perfect way to drop in that dark purple color you mentioned. A white shirt and a dark purple tie could make for a strong combo with a black suit.

  111. Fabunmi Femi says:

    Hello, Am wearing a Flora shirt tomorrow to office will it be appropriate to put a plain tie on it. Thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This shirt and tie combo is appropriate—I recommend going for a tie in a color that’s included in your shirt’s flora pattern— but, depending on where you’re located, you may want to ask yourself if this is a seasonally appropriate combination.

  112. Brandt says:

    Wearing a 3 piece blue tweed herringbone suit for my wedding in Ireland. Any suggestions on tie color, definitely want a skinny tie, we like the old vintage look so any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Brandt says:

      Any prolly just an old white shirt under the tweed vest like on the show Peaky Blinders, if you’ve seen it. 🙂

    2. Black Lapel says:

      I know Peaky Blinders, and inspiring to look like those guys at your wedding is badass. Depending on the shade of your blue suit, you could go for a lighter/darker shade of blue. Have you checked out any of our tweed bow ties and ties? We have this old school Gray Wool Tweed Bow Tie (also comes as a regular tie) or this Turquoise Tweed Wool Tie. This tie isn’t extremely skinny, but if you’re wearing a 3-piece suit it will still look skinny underneath a vest. You can check out our accessories page for more ties/bow ties that will fit the old vintage look you’re going for.

      1. Brandt says:

        Awesome, I’ll check it out! Yea, the vintage way is the way we want to go! Victor Valentines website has that 3 piece blue herringbone suit if you can look at it. I dunno if I’ll get it from there as they arent really keeping in touch but I’d love to get my accessories from you all! But if you can check that suit, because your advice is greatly valued! They have a red tie with it but no red for me! I’m a UK Kentucky bball fan so I hate red and Louisville! 😉

        1. Black Lapel says:

          I was able to locate the suit…nice. The herringbone pattern is stronger than I imagined, so throwing any more herringbone on top of it probably won’t look good. I know you aren’t a “fan” of red, but you’ll see in their pictures that the tie is a knit tie. Lucky for you, we have a whole collection of silk knit ties. Knit ties can also be styled a littler skinnier since I know you’re going for that look. Out of these, I would go for the Navy Knit or the Forest Green Knit. Hope this helps! Oh, and go UK!

  113. Marzian says:

    Awesome article! But what’s a nice bow tie or tie partner for a beige/cream shirt? I don’t have a good fashion sense so I can’t think of a good match to my shirt.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks brosef! How do you feel about maroon? Check out this Maroon Silk Knit Tie. Maroon and cream is a luxurious color combination and perfect for winter. If for some reason you’re against the color maroon, you could try this Forest Green Tie instead. Since your shirt color is simple, you can wear a tie or bow tie with more texture. I think this Hunter Green Herringbone Bow Tie by Armstrong & Wilson. I hope this helps give you some more fashion sense!

  114. puneet says:

    i have a dark blue self printed shirt and a 3 peace Gray suit . so what colour of tie will match on it

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The darker the shirt the more casual it would be and the less likely we would be to wear it with a tie at all. If you do, a dark tie is necessary, but that can quickly get into Regis Philbin circa 1998 territory. We say either lighten up on the shirt (a crisp white shirt looks great on everybody) or ditch the tie altogether.

  115. Lester says:

    I planning on wearing a full black shirt with a red tie for a New year’s event. Is the idea of a red tie a good choice?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      What can we do to talk you out of this shirt and tie combination, Lester? We have never seen this look pulled off. Do a Google image search for “black shirt red tie” and you’ll see images like this nonsense, this monstrosity (yes that’s a mullet sticking out in the back), and this bit of satiny insanity. We don’t know you very well, but since you’re commenting here, we’ll consider you a friend and friends don’t let friends go out of the house looking like the guys in those photos.

  116. Haasitha says:

    Hello…I am thinking to buy a tie for my friend so what kind of tie goes well with Light blue shirt nd black coat over it??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Black puts a limit on your choices because strong, saturated colors tend to look too loud when contrasted against black. On the flip side, dark, subdued colors can be too close to black and not differentiated enough. A solid black tie is a safe choice. Try a black knit for some texture contrast.

  117. James says:

    Hello, I love this article. I’m wearing black slacks and have a tie that has the type of 45 degree slants;the colors are a mainly black tie, a slightly smaller white stripe outlined with a very thin silver line. How would I pick a coordinating shirt color? What would go best with these two items?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since you’re going a little heavy on the black, I say we keep the shirt simple. Not classic white dress shirt simple though, that could make you look like a waiter. So how about a light gray dress shirt? A gray shirt will pick up the hues of silver in your tie and bring your outfit together nicely.

  118. Tuli says:

    I bought a ash shirt for my friend.Which color tie is good for the shirt??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This kind of depends on the rest of the outfit, but a lighter gray (ash) shirt can work with a lot. A typical menswear combo you see a lot is gray and purple, but you can also match this shirt with dark blues or green. Your friend could also wear a patterned tie with multiple colors since the shirt is on the simpler side.

  119. Deb R says:

    I wish more men would find your tips..I give you the entire line of Fox Sports…While I adore Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, & Jimmy Johnson, there are times when their wardrobe selection is just painful. So many prints & color combos…None good..Mr.Strahan Tends to wear so much in browns & burgundy..Normally, Jimmy Johnson is impeccable..Just not 100% of the time. I think I love football season for more reasons than watching the games! Thanks for having such a perfect sense of what goes & what doesn’t!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ah Deb, you’re a woman after our own hearts, you’ll watch the game AND comment on the announcers’ style.

      We’d love to have a beer and watch a game with the Fox football crew. Those guys genuinely seem to have fun. Let’s see if we can get them into some Black Lapel clothes. We’ll suit them up good.

  120. Sam says:

    Do you think I should wear a pocket square ith a patterned shirt? What are your thoughts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      YES! We always encourage A+ style game and adding a pocket square to any outfit brings you one step closer to achieving this. Even if your pocket square is a solid color you get brownie points in our book.

  121. Varun says:

    How would a black bow tie look on a red shirt and navy blue suit and pant? Or should I avoid the tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Definitely avoid a black bow tie or tie. You can wear a tie, just make sure it matches. Since you have two strong colors in your shirt and suit, go for a complementary red or blue (in lighter or darker shades) tie to match.

  122. Sarah says:

    Hi, I love your article! I’ve just bought a light grey tie for my partner and I’m thinking which shirt color would liven that up? His suit jacket is very dark blue. White ones are getting a bit monotonous…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We hear you about those white dress shirts! If you’re looking for something subtle, check out this Micro Check Dress Shirt or this Striped Dress Shirt. However if you really want your partner to step up their shirt game, take a look at this bright gingham dress shirt. White shirts are the easy way out, challenge your partner to match one of these instead.

  123. Carlos says:

    I have a navy blue shirt with small white dots printed all over it. What color/kind of tie would match well with it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A dark, dotted shirt is a casual shirt, Carlos. Your best bet is not to wear it with a tie at all. If you’re going somewhere where a tie would be appropriate, change to a lighter, dressier shirt like a solid white or a striped dress shirt for best results.

  124. Sam says:

    So, if I have a checkered shirt and a mini dot necktie, should I wear mini dot suspenders that correspond with the tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      No, you shouldn’t. Matching your suspenders to your tie would make it look like you were wearing three ties at the same time. I would recommend choosing the darker color in your mini dot necktie and corresponding a pair of solid-colored suspenders to that color.

  125. Puneet says:

    Im wearing an ash grey blazer and trousers with cherry red shirt, which tie would be ideal match to both the suit as well as the shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A cherry red shirt is not appropriate for a tie, Puneet. Strong saturated color shirts are inherently casual. We suggest going without a tie if you’re wearing a cherry red shirt.

      If a tie is required, then we suggest changing to a toned down shirt color like lavender with a tie that incorporates both gray and lavender for a colorful and classy combination.

  126. Sam says:

    Do you prefer skinny ties over wider ties or vice versa on someone with a slimmer build? I’d love to hear your input.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We prefer non-extreme ties regardless of your build, Sam. Too skinny and too wide are both too extreme for our taste. We range between 2 inches at the narrowest and 2.75 inches at the widest for anyone with a medium to slim build. If you’ve got a broader chest you can get away with wider ties going up to, say, 3.25 inches.

      The general rule of thumb is that your tie width should match your lapel width. Use that and you’ll avoid the extreme trends.

  127. Ishan Gupta says:

    I have a purple suit and a white shirt.
    Which colour of bow tie you would prefer ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A color that bridges the high contrast between your purple suit and white shirt is a good move. Check out this Gray Wool Plaid Bow Tie by Armstrong & Wilson, it’s seasonally appropriate and the muted gray color will help the cohesiveness of your outfit.

  128. Samuel says:

    Hi, am wearing an off-white suite, Pink shirt and a Black shoe, what bolt tie color can i wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      An off white suit and a pink shirt should not be worn with a tie. An off-white suit is not a business appopriate suit, so don’t try to make it something that it isn’t by adding a tie. If you are headed into a business or formal situation, we highly recommend going in a different direction with the suit. If you’re planning on wearing this while strolling Ocean Drive in Miami, then you’ll be better off tie-less.

  129. Tom says:

    Hey if I’m wearing a grey blazer with black shirt and pants for prom, should I wear a tie along with it? If yes what colour should I pick?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our rule of thumb is that your tie should always be a shade or more darker than your shirt. That’s why we don’t suggest wearing a tie with a black shirt. A black shirt has an inherently casual look that a tie will disrupt. If a tie is required, we suggest changing to a white shirt. If not, go tie-less, Tom.

  130. Eldho Joseph says:

    My son is completing his 12th and is preparing for his farewell party. He has a white skin and slim enough with a fit body.
    We all are eager to select a suit for him. What suggestion on color and pattern do you feel that will be good for him to chose.


    Eldho Joseph

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like you’re getting your son off on the right foot!

      We have a concierge service that can give you specific recommendations and help you measure and customize your suit, so our first recommendation is to email us at concierge@blacklapel.com.

      We can offer this general advice: a first suit for a young man just starting out in his adult life ought to be versatile and simple to mix and match with lots of other things in his wardrobe. It should be able to get him through a graduation, a job interview, a wedding (don’t worry, we’re not suggesting your boy go off and get married next month, just that he should be ready with something to wear as an attendee). A straightforward navy blue or charcoal gray is a good foundation of a wardrobe. If you like both gray and blue and are looking for something a little different, a charcoal blue suit may be the perfect choice.

      Still, we urge you to take advantage of the concierge service for more specific advice.

  131. Gian says:

    Hey guys, thanks for the great article and the time you dedicate to reply.
    I have a navy blue knit tie with wide horizontal red stripes (around 1cm thick and 5-6 cm apart).
    What kind of shirt do you think I can wear with it? one of the classic light pinks or blues? what other interesting combination can I use with it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The tie you describe sounds a lot like the one we featured in this look with a crisp white shirt. Why a crisp white shirt? Because it gave us a neutral canvas on which to showcase the color in the tie.

      As for color combinations, that really depends on your own coloring (your skin, hair, eyes, etc.). Most guys get hung up on matching the colors of their ties to everything else they’re wearing. That’s kind of important, but the way to truly pull off a great look is to match your colors to yourself. For advice on how to do this, check out our story on Mastering Men’s Fashion from the Inside Out.

  132. Ken says:

    Hi, im going to a wedding soon, its cold in the UK so will be wearing a Ted Baker charcoal wool suit, the shirt i want to wear is blue with vertical purple stripes (bold), my tie choice i think would be solid purple or paisly purple, both silk with matching top pocket this wrapped up in patent black leather shoes.
    Any advice on this selection please, i do have a black pin striped hugo boss which maymgo better ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like a strong statement, Ken. Of course, it’s a wedding so you can go all out (as long as you don’t upstage the groom). Stick with the gray suit, we’ll almost always recommend dark gray over black because it’s so much more forgiving when you want to wear strong colors like your shirt and tie.

      Our one word of caution: don’t wear a pocket square and tie from a matching set. That’s a bit of a faux-pas because it signifies a lack of imagination. Otherwise, have at it!

  133. Maverick says:

    What color shirt do I wear with an ice blue tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As a rule of thumb, your tie should be darker than the color of your shirt. So unless you have a shirt that falls somewhere between “ice blue” and white, a white dress shirt sounds like a good bet to me!

  134. Sophia says:

    Hi my son will be wearing a darkish blue shirt with small white polka dots on it what tie/bow tie should he wear with it ? Thank you

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Dark shirts are pretty casual. Add the pindots and this shirt sounds even more casual. So we suggest an appropriately relaxed vibe in the tie, like a knit. We suggest one with stripes like this to keep the look laid back but stylish.

      Easy, right?

  135. Anirban Ghosh says:

    I have a solid color slim black tie. I want to buy a formal shirt for it. I already have black, blue, pink and white. I want some other color. The pant is very dark blue in color. Can anyone help me with this?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A truly formal shirt would, nine times out of 10, be white. A truly formal shirt would be a shirt you’d wear with formal eveningwear (aka a tuxedo). If that’s what you’re looking for, stick with white. If you mean a dress shirt, as in something you’d wear with a suit and tie, you’ve got plenty more options. Our advice, though, is to go easy on the bright colors with a black tie. Black creates such strong contrast it can make an otherwise appropriate shirt look a little clownish. Stick with whites, light grays and pale blue shirts for with a navy suit and black tie. If you wear a more colorful shirt, do so with a tie that includes elements of that color, like this lavender shirt and navy/lavender tie combo.

  136. Jesus says:

    I’m having trouble wit a dark blue shirt..wat do u recommend in a bow tie…and would black pants work or charcoal?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Your trouble is not with the tie or the pants, it’s the dark blue shirt. The darker a shirt the more casual it becomes. The more casual it becomes the less appropriate a tie looks with it. Our suggestion, don’t wear a tie or slacks with this shirt. Save it for evenings and weekends with jeans and chinos. Replace it with a light blue shirt, a gray bow tie (if you’re a bow tie guy, which it sounds like you are) and a pair of charcoal gray pants and you’re in business.

  137. Enis Rraci says:

    My brothers wedding is on December Sixth, I am wearing a navy blue 3 piece suit with a light lavender shirt. I am not to sure what tie to match with it. I want it to be bold but classy also. And do you think dark brown fancy loafers go with the outfit? What handkerchief should I wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sup. Have you seen our Lavender and Blue Striped Knit Tie? I think its colors will work perfectly with the outfit you mention and the stripes are a bit bold, but it’s a silk tie so it’s definitely still classy. If you’re going with a bolder tie, I would reign it in with the pocket square you wear. Check out this subtle pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson.

      I would’ve recommended brown dress shoes, so check to your dark brown fancy loafers. You’re wedding ready:)

  138. Jimmy Emmanuel says:

    I am going for a conference and I intend to wear black suit with golden shirt over black shoes, what colour of tie do you think.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s a tough one, Jimmy. The problem is the black and gold combo. A black suit tends to look best with white or gray shirts. The same holds true for the tie color. Keep the tie in the gray family and you’ll have a cohesive tasteful look.

  139. victor says:

    Hi Lapel, I am wearing White & Blue Fine Stripe Shirt and Ash Trouser but i don’t know what kind and color of tie that i can put on to match up an upcoming interview.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      One of our secrets to dressing well is to match your tie color to your eye color, Victor. With an outfit like you’re describing, with neutral colors, that should be pretty easy to do. The tie can be a solid color (just look for one with a little texture) or include another color from your outfit (like the blue from your shirt). Follow this guideline for all your shirt and tie pairings along with the rules above and you’ll be in business.

  140. Teege says:

    Hi BL,
    I am curious, I’m rocking darkish navy blue pants to the races this spring and wondering if light brown Chelsea boots (tan) and light brown belt will go well? With a simple light blue shirt and dark tie. What’s your thoughts. Loving all Te help by the way.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sticking with one base color is a great way to simplify your choices and come up with a good look. In this case, going with shades of blue will work.

      The only small word of caution. When you go with a monochromatic look it does put more emphasis on the fit/proportions of your clothes, so make sure your pants and shirt fit well. For more on this, check out our series on fit for more on nailing the fit of your tailored clothing.

  141. lrg hoodies says:

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    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hi friend! Sign up for our mailing list (sub box above) and you can have articles just like this sent straight to your inbox for you to “peer” 🙂

  142. aleksander says:

    I have a grey suit and just bought a light blue shirt, using black shoes and belt, what color should i pick for my tie? considering dart blue or black?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The answer to most clothing color questions is looking back at you in the mirror. Look at yourself and pick out a color from your face or hair and, nine times out of ten, it’ll look good on you. Got blue eyes? Go with a blue tie. Black hair? Black ties work. Salt and pepper hair? Try a gray patterned tie. Using that rule of thumb will yield a much better result than us picking a tie for you without knowing what you look like.

      For more on these principles of color matching, check out our Mastering Men’s Fashion from the Inside Out story where we explain just how to find the right colors for you.

  143. Adam says:

    Great article!!
    My question here is if I can wear black pants with purple(more of a light purple) shirt, brown belt and shoes. Im not wearing tie nor bow tie. I would really appreciate if you could give me some advice on this.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks 🙂 One bit of advice I would give you is to rock a light brown belt & shoes since you’re wearing black pants. But otherwise, you can certainly rock the outfit you’re mentioning.

  144. kamran khan says:

    Hi nice suggestions.. i am wearing a bright blue/royal blue suit the link is given below.. Do you think a plain white /pink shirt will be a good idea with that?..plus black skinny tie will work with it.. also do u think i can wear light brown shoes or should i go for black shoes.. thanks once again and will be waiting for your reply

    1. Black Lapel says:

      While I don’t necessarily approve of the suit (our Royal Blue definitely tops this one), a black skinny tie will only work if you opt for a plain white dress shirt. And again, if you opt for the black tie, you should follow up with a pair of black shoes. Hope this was worth the wait.

  145. Mike says:

    Hi. Great suggestions. What tie would go well with this shirt? http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/calvin-klein-steel-non-iron-slim-fit-light-blue-stripe-performance-dress-shirt?ID=1911492&CategoryID=20635&LinkType=#fn=BRAND%3DCalvin Klein%26PAGEINDEX%3D1%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D127%26ruleId%3D%26slotId%3D2

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey Mike, glad you found this guide helpful.

      If you’re looking to go pattern-on-pattern with your shirt and tie combination, the Charcoal Blue Plaid Tie we mention above would definitely work with this shirt. If you want a bit more of a subdued shirt and tie combination, go with a solid color tie. Recently, I’m a fan of knit ties. You can check out the Black Lapel Accessories Page for our selection of knit ties, and I think the Navy would look great.

  146. JASONG says:

    I’m wearing a black blazer with a red/white alternating vertical striped shirt for a formal dinner. Whats a good tie colour for this?

    1. JASONG says:

      In addition, what is your opinion on wearing a black bowtie with the mentioned above? forgoing the suit.

    2. Black Lapel says:

      Hey there. To answer both your questions, I’m thinking that adding a black bow tie to this shirt and blazer combination will make your outfit too bold for a formal dinner. If a tie/bow tie is dress code for this occasion, I would wear a different shirt. You could wear your black blazer with a black tie or bow tie, but opt for a white or light gray dress shirt. This will give you a smart, classic formal look that can’t be challenged!

  147. James says:

    Hi Black Lapel, I have a patterned sky blue shirt to wear with a dark blue or navy blue pants. What would you suggest for a tie? Is black tie good enough?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      James, you (and this outfit) are better than a plain black tie! If anything, go with a solid navy tie or knit tie to match your pants, but I suggest you check out the “Dotted Tie On Patterned Shirt” look above for some more inspiration.

  148. Roger says:

    I have a black with pink floral bow tie, to wear to a semi-formal outdoor wedding reception. What shirt and pant color combo would work best?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      I wouldn’t go to crazy on the shirt color, since your bow tie sounds pretty vibrant. I recommend white or a very pale pink. For the pant color combo, I would stay away from black to avoid looking like the servers. Light gray/charcoal dress pants would work, but if that’s too formal you could probably even rock nicer khaki chinos or white pants – yes, men can wear white pants, especially to a summer wedding!

  149. Pingback: Top Tips on Matching Your Suit with a Shirt and a Tie - Fashion Style Blog
  150. Martin says:

    Hi Black Lapel – You guys have been a resource for the savvy student on more than one occasion!
    My question is simple – I have a formal dinner coming up but only own the one suit (black, navy lining) and (Being a student) I’m a bit strapped for cash.
    I’ve been invited to a formal dinner for the end of the year and the dress code is “smart with a splash of purple.” I gravitated to picking up a purple tie but its quite bold and I’m simply looking for advice on a matching shirt to go with it.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Wow, mandatory use of a specific color is pretty unusual. It’s your school’s color we assume. In that case, you’ve got your marching orders, purple and black it is. The problem is, purple can be dark and get lost in sea of black (provided by your suit). One solution to this problem is to go with lavender, but if your school color is purple, lavender will look off by comparison. Going with a true purple tie against a black suit is hard to pull off.

      So what’s our recommendation? Keep the purple accents small and sharp. Try a pair of cufflinks with purple in them, for example. Try a purple lapel flower for a classy splash of color. A purple tie bar also works. And for the truly strapped student, one the of the most cost effective ways to add color to an outfit: purple shoelaces. Those will really tie your whole look together (pun intended).

      With a great fitting black suit, if you nail these little things and you’ll be the best dressed guy at the dinner.

  151. John says:

    I have a solid light peach colored shirt to wear with a blue sharkskin suit. What would you suggest for a tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Without looking at you we shouldn’t recommend a tie. Why? Matching the color of your clothes to each other is pretty irrelevant (that’s why we focused on pattern matching above). Matching the color of your clothes to your skin and hair and facial features is much more important.

      That’s why alarm bells started ringing for us as soon as you mentioned a solid light peach colored shirt. A lot of guys would wash out with a shirt in that shade and then it doesn’t matter what tie you’re wearing, the whole look is going to be off. So, rather than suggest a specific tie, we suggest a few stories where we explain how to pair your clothes to your personal look. The first story to look at is our story on creating your own shirt style. Once you’ve gotten a handle on what shirt colors look best on you, we suggest checking out our story on mastering men’s fashion from the inside out where we break down a surprisingly simple secret to picking a tie color.

  152. trey says:

    need advise on what color of tie to wear for the following
    black suit, mini pin striped dark gray shirt
    attending a wedding

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The choice of shirt gets you off to a good start. When wearing a black suit, a monochrome look is always our first suggestion. Don’t go off the rails with a brightly colored tie. Stick with a black or dark gray. The whole look will come off minimalist and sharp. Top it off with either a solid white or light gray patterened pocket square and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is upstaging the groom.

  153. Jordan says:

    Hi BL

    I’m struggling with my choice of tie for my suit and shirt combination for my graduation! I am wearing a dark grey slim fit suit with a navy blue shirt, but not sure what colour tie to pair with it. Can you help?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The problem isn’t the tie, Jordan, it’s the shirt. Dark shirts are inherently informal, so wearing them with a tie can be tricky. Combine a dark shirt with a dark suit and you really paint yourself into a corner.

      Swap out the shirt with a classic white dress shirt. (If you don’t have any white shirts, you don’t have to buy them from us, but you ought to get some. They are just about the only shirts that are appropriate for all those post-graduation job interviews you’ll be going on.) With a white shirt and a dark gray suit, your can choose just about any tie. We suggest going with something that matches your eyes (here’s why). Then, after the graduation, throw on that navy blue shirt and head out to for a night on the town to celebrate.

  154. oluwaseye says:

    I am attending a valedictory service next week and we are ask to put on sky blue or tortuous blue and black trouser.Which tie shshould I use with it And shoe

    1. Black Lapel says:

      With black pants the shoe choice is a no-brainer: black shoes. As for the tie, try to incoroprate the jacket color. If you’ll be wearing a light blue jacket, keep it simple and go with a blue striped tie that incorporates the lighter blue (like this one).

      Of course, all of this advice is being given with a blindfold on. If we knew what you looked like we’d be able to give a more specific recommendation that brought out the best in you. Luckily, we’ve written a whole article explaining how to do what we’re talking about. Check out our story on Mastering Men’s Fashion from the Inside Out if you want to unlock the true secrets to better dressing.

  155. Paul says:

    Hi BL. I plan to wear a bold light blue & white shirt with a navy blue blazer. What colour and pattern of tie should I wear with that combination? Your recommendation would be greatly appreciated.
    I wait with anticipation for your response.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The answer you seek, Paul, is looking back at you in the mirror. It’s more important to match the clothes to the way YOU look, than to match them to each other. Unfortunately, we don’t know what you look like, but we’ll let you in on a secret: Match your ties to your eyes. If you’ve got brown eyes, try a brown tie. Blue eyes? Choose from any number of blue ties. You get the idea. Follow these color guidelines and the pattern matching and matching your shirts and ties becomes much simpler.

  156. RD says:

    Thank you BL. Great info and advises.
    My question is what color shirt to match with Antique gold tie & bit of black in it? I am planning to use black suit but can’t figure out what color dress shirt to use. Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Please, RD, we beg of you, wear a white shirt. A black suit creates a jarring contrast with just about every colored shirt, yet we see so many guys get exctied to dress up and go overboard with the color and end up looking clownish. Don’t be that guy.

      Now, let us also say this: colored shirts are great. That’s why they make up the majority of the collection we offer. We’ve got nothing against colored shirts. We recommend them with a lot of outfits, just not with a black suit because of the aforementioned jarring contrast. That’s why we rarely recommend wearing a black suit. It’s pretty limiting. We much prefer navy blue and charcoal gray for a dark suit for this reason. Those two suit choices go with just about every shirt and tie combination you can think of.

  157. Samuel says:

    Hello Black Lapel, I have three shirts, light blue, light green, and light purple. I have ties that are mostly black that have darker hues of the shirt colors stripped in them. They look really good with the shirts, but I am a little unsure of pant/belt/shoe colors that would go with them. I have beige, grey, dark navy and black dress pants. I have a big interview and want to look sharp. Any ideas on what my bottom half should do to compliment the shirts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The answer, Samuel, is looking right back at you every time you look in the mirror. Color combinations are less about matching your clothes to each other as they are about matching your clothes to your face, skin, hair and other features. If you’ve got a lot of contrast between your skin and hair, you’ll want a lot of contrast between your clothes. If you’re a low contrast guy, your clothes shouldn’t contrast too much or they’ll overpower your face, drawing all of the attention down to your clothes.

      We’ve written extensively about how to look at yourself and decide on the colors that work for you. Check out our Mastering Men’s Fashion From the Inside Out story for starters. For more, check out out piece on How to Build a Suit and How to Create Your Own Shirt Style, where we touch on this topic also.

  158. Azeez says:

    Hi, BL. Is solid silk red pocket square no longer fashionable?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      With all things fashion, it depends on who you ask. That said, we prefer solid pocket squares in linen, cotton and wool to take some of the sheen off of them. We also prefer silk pocket squares puffed because they don’t really hold their shape as square folds. Puffed pocket squares look great with a pattern on them. For more on pocket squares check out our Ultimate Pocket Square Collection story.

  159. david says:

    Can I wear a black suit with a dark purple shirt and a patterned silver and black tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hey David, I think this look you mention is a little outdated. It’s going to look too heavy with a dark purple shirt, so I would recommend just going for a classic white shirt and that way, you can still rock your silver and black tie.

  160. Vane says:

    Hi. I’m invited to my sister’s wedding in Europe which is night time wedding.
    I bought black suit and burgundy bow tie.
    My question is what color my shirt should be? I already bought white shirt with one chest pocket but i have some doubts about the pocket and the color.
    I’m thinking also about white shirt with black small dots or something different. What would you suggest me?
    Thank you!

    1. Nick says:

      I’m kinda curios as well. Maybe we’ll get some answer before you go to that wedding.
      My question is about black tuxedo and sky blue shirt and burgundy bow tie. Comment? Thank you BL. Great advises though

      1. Black Lapel says:

        I’m digging the idea of this look, Nick. You’re mixing up the idea of a tuxedo with this color combo and bow ties are a perfect way to cap off a summer wedding look. Plus if your jacket comes off for after hours dancing, you’ll be looking mighty dapper. Go for it!

    2. Black Lapel says:

      Rest easy, Vane, a white shirt is always appropriate. But all white shirts aren’t the same. A chest pocket is usually reserved for a more casual shirt. A black suit with a bow tie at a wedding is about as close as you can get to a tuxedo without actually wearing one. So your shirt should match the formality of the outfit and that means no chest pocket. Also, whenever you wear a bow tie you should consider the shirt’s placket (that strip of fabric where the buttons and buttonholes are in the front. Ideally you would wear a shirt with a hidden placket whenever you wear a bow tie so you don’t have a string of uncovered buttons running down your front. This isn’t always practical, but for a special event, if you’re wearing a bow tie, we suggest a hidden placket. (And if you’re wondering where can you get a shirt with a hidden placket and no chest pocket? Any Black Lapel shirt can be customized to include these features.)

      As for the color of the shirt, as we said, white is always appropriate. We recommend staying away from colors when you’re wearing a black suit (it’s one of reasons we’re not huge fans of the black suit, it’s not only uber-formal but very limiting to your outfit’s verall color palette). Most colored shirts will create too stark of a contrast on a black suit, so we suggest white, and ivory or light gray. How do you decide which of these will look best on you? Look in the mirror. The most important matching is not how your clothes match each other, but how they match you. For more on that, check out our story on creating your own shirt style.

  161. Azeez says:

    Hi BL, the organisation I work for is hosting her staff to a dinner and I have the following questions:

    1. Can I combine a light grey suit jacket with black pant trousers?
    2. Can I wear a red gingham shirt along with my combination above?
    3. Finally, I don’t intend to wear a tie rather I want to use a red silk pocket square. Hope it won’t clash with the red gingham shirt.

    Thanks as I look forward to read from you.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That whole outfit sounds good, Azeez. Combining gray and black is as easy as they get. The red gingham shirt takes what could be a formal look and turns it a little more casual. The choice to forego a tie further relaxes the look. If going without a tie is appropriate for the event, we say go forth.

  162. miggy says:

    What is the best color of tie suites orange polo

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You wouldn’t wear a tie with a polo shirt, Miggy. Are we missing something here?

  163. DJ says:

    I got a navy suit with a black slim lapel what shirt and tie would really make it stand out and attractive?.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      If you want a look that stands out, always go with high contrasting colors. I would wear a crisp white dress shirt and a colorful tie and pocket square combination for a clean cut, dressier look. You could also rock a bright gingham dress shirt for a more stylish yet casual vibe. If you’re looking for some more serious style, check out Black Lapel’s #SuitCity Gallery for hand-picked, real customer style inspiration. Don’t forget, standing out in a suit takes personality, so go with your gut 🙂

  164. Travis says:

    Hey I have a neon blue plain shirt, Im wearing black dockers with it but I didnt want to go with the traditional black tie. What color tie besides the black could work? Thanks in Advance 🙂

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Whoa there, we’re going to stop you at neon shirt. (Here comes some tough love, Travis so bear with us.) Under no circumstances would we recommend wearing a neon shirt with a tie.

      So what do we suggest instead? If you’re going with a pair of black chinos you’re already steering toward casual, so keep that vibe going with a gray chambray shirt and blue knit tie for a monochromatic look. Finish it off by loosening the tie a bit and you’ve got a sophisticated casual look.

  165. Mohd says:

    Hello, what do you think about light pink shirt and red tie on a medium dark grey suit for graduation ceremony? Can you give me some suggestions for the shirt and tie for medium dark grey suit, i have a 3 piece suit.

    Thank you!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A pink shirt on a gray suit is a nice combo. A red tie on a pink shirt can get kind of lost. Try a contrast like this silk knit tie instead. Aside from being a coordinated look, the knit tie will add a little texture to your outfit.

  166. Isaiah says:

    I will be attending an end of year “closing ceremony” (not a formal graduation) soon. I have a Burberry black tie that I have never worn but I do not know how to match it. I find a white dress shirt too basic and I will not be wearing a suit for the event as it is not a formal graduation. Could you help me out as to how to match the tie? Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      White dress shirts are too basic? Hogwash. That’s like the people who say that vanilla is plain. It doesn’t get more exotic than a flavor derived from fermenting and drying the ovary of a rare jungle orchid, yet people dismiss it as a “basic” flavor. Okay, so a white shirt may not require hacking into the rainforest to harvest flowers but it’s the king of dress shirts for a reason. Every man ought to have a few in his closet.

      But there’s another reason we’re advocating for a white shirt…because the tie is black. Black ties don’t play nicely with many colored shirts. Once you add in black elements, we veer towards monochromatic outfits. In fact, we wrote a whole story about monochrome outfits called the 5 Essentials of the Accidental Minimalist.

      If we were to stray from white with a black tie we would go with a cool color like light blue or lavender in a subtle stripe.

  167. sadik abdellah says:

    hello BL im going to graduate in the coming weeks, I want to wear black suit with black shirt and black tie so what do you think?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The black shirt and black tie look can work (sometimes), but not for a graduation, which we’re assuming is a daytime event. Save the black shirt for nighttime (specifically, the nightclub). During the day and with a tie we stick with the classic white shirt. As for ties, that really depends on what kind of look you’re going for and what color suit you’re wearing. But, of course, that’s what the article above is all about.

  168. Steve says:

    Hey! I have a wedding at the end of June. I plan to wear a light gray linen suit, lilac gingham shirt and I’m thinking gray camo or charcoal w/ skull and cross bones bowtie. Does that sound too aggressive?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It does sound pretty aggressive, but maybe that’s what you’re after? Skulls and crossbones, camouflage, these do carry some pretty violent connotations, which is kind of antithetical to the whole peace and love vibe of a wedding, but then again, if the groom is tatted up and the bride is a goth girl, maybe this is perfectly appropriate.

      The long and the short of it, Steve, is, this is a judgement call. Luckily, we’ve written about this very subject and can offer you some more detailed advice in our story on decoding the wedding dress code. There you’ll find a more thorough answer.

  169. john says:

    I have a green and white striped tie that everyone will be wearing as it’s for a football team awards night and its our so called team tie. Everyone is wearing a white shirt as far as I know and I want something different. Any idea’s?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There’s no I in team, John. If everybody else is wearing a white shirt, you may want to give it some thought before you change things up. Still, we support your right to be an individual. The thing is, a green and white tie pretty much screams “wear me with a white shirt”. That’s because, as we noted in the Patterned Tie on Solid Shirt photo above, it’s a smart idea to use a color from the tie in the shirt to coordinate your whole look. Assuming you don’t have any green shirts, white would be the logical choice.

      You could go with the Striped Tie on Check Shirt option and go with a check shirt that coordinated with the green in the tie. Depending on the shade of green in the tie, this could work. But, we gotta say, the smart money’s still on a white shirt.

  170. Susan says:

    So, I have a small dilemma! Im wearing a red gown for prom and my date got a navy blue suit. The navy blue suit has some black lining on the collar and on the pocket of the suit. The suit looks really good with a black shirt but the red bowtie clashes with the shirt and suit. How can we incorporate some red into the navy blue suit which has some black lining?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Well Susan, if your date were the one who asked us about this situation we would tell him the same thing we tell all guys when they ask about matching their date: “You’re a man, not an accessory.” Look, we get the whole special date, matching outfits thing, but it can be taken too far. Colors don’t need to match as long as the styles match. If you’re both in eveningwear (you in a gown, he in a dark suit) the two of you will match.

      Of course you CAN coordinate your colors if you’d like, but don’t force it. Unless he’s got a very distinct look, red is too strong of a contrast against blue and black can look clownish. Our first bit of advice to him would be to ditch the black shirt. Black shirts are casual. This is a formal affair. White is the proper formal shirt color. So we suggest he go with a white shirt and black tie to bring the whole outfit together. This combination with it’s quieter, more sophisticated touch, looks good on any guy and will look appropriately formal. In menswear, when in doubt, simplify.

      All this talk about prom has got us reminiscing about taking our sweet dance moves out on the floor back in the day. Woohoo! Let’s light this candle!

  171. Toby says:

    Hi, I have a light grey blue suit. and am planning to wear a navy shirt with it, however, I don’t know which colour tie I should have, and this is for a prom event too.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our rule of thumb is never wear a tie that’s lighter than your shirt color. A navy shirt makes that nearly impossible. Dark colored shirts are pretty casual, so we usually don’t have any problem following that rule. We don’t wear ties with dark shirts.

      If you do want to keep the shirt navy, that pretty much leaves you with a solid black tie as your only option. We suggest you change the shirt to either a light blue or a white. That will give you a lot more flexibility in ties. With either of those and a gray/blue suit a dark blue tie like this one would be a great way to go.

  172. Drew says:

    Hi, I have this orange and white checkered polo shirt and I can’t seem to figure out a color bow tie that would look nice with it, do you have any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Polo shirt and bow tie, Drew? Did you mean an orange and white checkered dress shirt? If so, don’t overthink it. Go with an orange tie with some texture to it like a linen or cotton (or wool in winter).

  173. Shaun James says:

    I need to match my tie with my prom date who is wearing a beige dress. I want to wear a black suit with a beige tie but cant seem to think of a shirt colour to go with that since plain white makes the tie almost invisible. What shirt color to go with a black suit and beige tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      “I need to match my tie with my prom date” you say, Shaun. We’re going to have to disagree with you on that one. You’re a young man, not an accessory.

      That beige tie is giving you a hard time because there isn’t a good way to pull off a beige tie and a black suit. Focus on picking a tie that works for your look, not her outfit. Try a black or gray tie. If your date is so self-obsessed that she demands that you match your outfit to hers, perhaps you ought to be looking for a new date.

  174. Michael says:

    I’m wearing a blue-striped dress shirt to a wedding in June to match my wife and son’s attire. Beyond that I need to wear it with a black or light gray suit that I already own. Which suit should I wear and what kind of tie? Another option would be to get a striped blue tie that matches their attire and then wear one of those suits and a different shirt. With this option, which suit and shirt combination should I wear. I sincerely appreciate any help you can provide.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This is an easy one, Michael. Go with the combination we suggested in the last photo on this page. That’s a blue striped dress shirt with a gray suit. The shade of the gray suit you’ve got may be lighter, but the concept still works. The tie we featured there is the Charcoal Blue Plaid. Bonus: this is a combination you can go back to long after the wedding.

  175. Michael says:

    I’m going to be wearing a blue gown for graduation and I will be wearing black pants. What color shirt and tie should I go with? I was thinking a light blue color with a darker blue patterned tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Blue and black is a tough combination to pull off. We’d suggest going with navy or midnight blue pants instead of black.

      Or, if you want to stick with the black pants, then go with a black tie to bring the whole look together.

  176. Billy bob says:

    Hi, Would a light blue dress shirt match with a white tie, navy dress pants, a black or beown belt (its reversable) and black dress shoes

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Swap the shirt and tie colors, Billy Bob, and you’re in business.

      One rule of thumb we adhere to is never wear a tie that is lighter than your shirt. That pretty much rules out white ties. We’re okay with that.

      As for the rest of the outfit, everything checks out in our book.

  177. design your shirt says:

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for design shirt

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Excellent. Glad we could help you out!

  178. Henry Venler says:

    Hi, does a solid blue bowtie and solid blue pocket square match with black dress shoes, black dress pants, and a grey dress shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      These colors can all work. The dirty little secret of dressing is that the colors of your clothes don’t really have to match each other, as long as they match you. If your skin and hair and features match your clothing colors you’re in good shape.
      As for this particular matchup our only piece of advice would be not to wear a tie and pocket square that match precisely. Those matching sets of ties and pocket squares that you find at cheesy menswear stores are strictly for scrubs. Instead, go with a patterned pocket square that includes some of the blue from your tie or, if you don’t have one, stick with a white pocket square.

  179. Frank says:

    I saw a guy on tv wearing a khaki suit, light yellow shirt and mint green tie. What do you think of this combo?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It wasn’t Dwight Schrute, was it? He’s been known to rock the yellow shirts. We suggest avoiding mustard yellow dress shirts like the plague. There just aren’t many skin tones that won’t wash out or look sickly against a yellow dress shirt. A bright yellow can work as one of the colors in a patterned dress shirt and a yellow polo shirt can also work for some guys, so that’s where we keep our yellows.

      As for the rest of the outfit, it all comes down to shading. That’s a bigger topic than we can tackle in this comment, but we touched on it in our stories on the Mastering Men’s Fashion and How to Build a Suit. They’re both good reads, and worth a look before you bust out this look.

  180. James says:

    Hey,I have a true blue suit with a white dress-shirt. Would a striped grey tie work?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      With the exception of the American Civil War era, blue and gray have always gotten along nicely when it comes to menswear. Now that you’ve got the colors right, use the advice above to nail the pattern combinations.

  181. Manuel says:

    I guess that the belt color is the same as the shoes, isn’t it? Just got a new job where I’ll have to wear these type of clothes that I don’t even have 😀 I’m looking for advice for the shopping day.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yup, belt and shoe colors should match, Manuel. As for what to wear on the job, we’ve got tons of guidance for you on The Compass. Just keep reading.

  182. Stew says:


    I have a navy slim fit suit for a wedding. Was considering a pale blue shirt with yellow tie/pocket square (all solid colours) What’s your thoughts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We would suggest one change, Stew: either the tie or the pocket square should be a pattern. Matching the tie and the pocket square is considered a Busch League move.

      For alternative pocket square ideas, we’ve got tons of choices in our ultimate pocket square collection story. Check it out. Otherwise, sounds like a strong outfit.

  183. James Bly says:

    Hey, someone asked this question earlier but I was wondering if you could go into detail a little. Im thinking about wearing a pair of salmon colored chino’s that I got off a whim to try something new and thinking of wearing them soon to a graduation. I was thinking about a pair of brown shoes and possibly a brown belt….maybe? lol, but what about the shirt and tie? What colors and patterns do I avoid? I agreed with the blazer Idea but I think it’ll be to warm for me to tolerate one by the time I attend. If you could give me a guideline of the do’s and don’ts, and a few tips that might help me out…..lol I hope. thanks!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Chinos are on the casual end of the spectrum. So is going without a blazer. So a tie is not mandatory for this type of look and may even look out of place. A super formal tie would look strange with such a laid back look. What’s the solution? Our favorite way to take the tie down a step in formality is to wear a knit tie.

      As we have covered at length before, we love knit ties for their utility as well as their style and we think every man should have one or two (or 10) in his tie arsenal.

      As for shirt and tie, a white shirt and a knit tie that coordinates with the pants is the way to go.

      You will notice that the color choices are simple. That’s because, as we have said in a lot of the comments above, matching the colors in your outfit has little bearing on whether it looks good on you or not. If the colors don’t work for someone with your hair and skin tone and with your features, they could be expertly matched to each other by a team of color theorists from Pantone and the look would still come off a weak. The opposite is true as well. If two colors work on you, it’s hard to make them clash in an outfit because your skin/hair/eye color holds the whole look together. For more on this check out our story on Mastering Men’s Fashion from the Inside Out.

  184. N says:

    I have navy blue pants. Green gingham shirt. What color/pattern tie should I be wearing for a classic look.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As you can see in the dotted tie on patterned shirt photo above, we like dotted ties with gingham shirts.

      That said, for a “classic look” we wouldn’t suggest a green gingham shirt. Gingham is classically a more casual pattern. If you’re going for a classic look, look at some classic icons. Can you imagine Cary Grant in a green gingham shirt? Probably not. He’d stick to stripes and solids. If you’re looking to go classic, a crisp white shirt is a can’t miss option.

  185. olaniran says:

    please enlighten me on the colour and shade of gold and orange tie and shirt that can go with black suit. if I can get the pictures, I will so much love it. thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sorry Olaniran, but gold and orange ties don’t work with a black suit. Colored ties don’t go with a black suit in our book. A black or gray tie is more suitable. Black suits are their own special thing, not for everyone and not particularly easy to get right. That’s why we wrote a whole article about it. As we advise there, the simplest solution is usually the best. Stick with a monochromatic approach to the black suit and your chances of a stylish look go way up.

  186. Ronald says:

    What is a nice combination of shirt and tie to match a black suit? I’ve considered a dark maroon or navy shirt but the tie stumps me.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The tie stumps you because the dark shirt choices are backing you into an un-stylish corner. The weak contrast shirt and suit combination rarely comes off looking good and when the suit is black it is an especially lethal move.

      If you’re looking for ways to wear a black suit, we’ve got you covered. As we point out there, the black suit look is not for everybody, but if you’ve got some contrast in your face and hair, match it with a shirt and tie that echoes that contrast, like a white shirt and a gray tie. Keep it simple, keep it monochrome and you’ll keep it stylish.

  187. Tam says:

    I’m wearing a “school tie” striped with my school colors, blue and gray–Hoya Saxa. Was planning to wear with gray pants, but the pants are a different shade of gray than that in the tie; is that okay? And should the shirt be plain white, or is a little texture/pattern okay?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The tie need not match the pants exactly, Tam. The tie need not match the color of the pants at all, for that matter. As for the shirt, a little texture or pattern is okay. You G’town guys have been blessed with a school color scheme that is at once unique and classic. Some stylish men have spent their whole lives clad in gray and blue. You can be one of them.

  188. Sergio says:

    You sir are a genius. I have asked for advise her a couple of times and you always have the best solutions. Maybe you can help me one more time. I will be wearing a black suit for my sister quinceanera and wanted to advice on a shirt/bow tie combo. I have black, dark grey, white, and a white blue red checkered shirt. I want a shirt with color this time around. Maybe a red or navy blue but am lost on the bowtie. I dont mind checkered bowties or striped either. What combo should i do

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A black suit and a bow tie? That might end up looking like a half-assed tuxedo. Instead, use your whole ass, Sergio. If you’re going with a black suit, take a few notes from our story on how to wear a black suit and wear a white shirt and dark necktie combination. Simply put: Keep it simple.

  189. Bernd says:

    Hi, do you think a very light solid blue shirt will fit with a solid sky blue tie in a dark blue suit?


    1. Black Lapel says:

      A monochrome look can be stylish or dull. We can’t tell you which one this outfit will be but the answer is looking you in the mirror. If you’ve got a lot of contrast between your hair and skin tone, this look is likely to work. If you don’t have much contrast between your hair and skin color, this look will likely fall flat.

      For more on how to match up your coloring to your clothes, check out our How to Build a Suit, Create Your Own Shirt Style in Three Steps and Mastering Men’s Fashion From the Inside Out stories./

  190. Matt says:

    Hey gang, loving the info,

    quick questions, sisters wedding coming up, wanted to wear my plain navy suit, with a white shirt, small charcoal-ish diamonds broken up with red dots (hard to describe) with a read broad check tie, with white and red squares on the intersecting points of the check, but ive been told i will clash too much with the rest of the family. (rose golds/light bronze colours)

    Would love to send a pic of my shirt and tie to show

    need some help with either a new shirt or tie or both


    1. Black Lapel says:

      Looking for a way to wear a navy blue suit, huh Matt? How about 8 different outfits? We’ve got them all (with links) in our Blue Suit Combinations for Every Occasion story. We’re sure you’ll see something you like there.

  191. Shravan says:

    Hi, I am wearing a grey suit and light pink shirt but confused about the tie color. I was actually trying to match a tie color that match’s my wife’s saree color which is golden, will it be good to wear a golden color tie and square pocket of same color with grey suit and pink shirt, if this idea is bad, can you please suggest me the best tie combination???

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Before giving any advice on colors, we’d like to offer some coaching: You’re a man, not an accessory. Your tie does not need to match your wife’s dress. Instead of trying to match your tie to her outfit, match it to yours. Here’s how…

      That gray suit and pink shirt combo just begs for a gray tie. If you want to add another color, try a navy with some pink in the pattern like this one.

      As for pocket squares, don’t overthink it. A simple white pocket square looks great with a gray suit and you’ll get plenty of use out if it outside of just this one outfit.

  192. asim naseer says:

    Hi, can u tell me. Can I use solid black tie on blue lining shirt with black pent.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re going to give you a tentative okay on this look, Asim. It’s tentative because we’re not sure what a “blue lining shirt with black pent” means. Still, a solid black tie is a pretty safe choice.

  193. Junaid Nadeem says:

    So i’ve got a purple shirt (not bright, its somewhat dark), and black suit. which coloured tie should i go with?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Don’t do it, Junaid. Dark shirts are pretty casual. Adding a tie is a move that’s rarely pulled off well. The combination of a black suit (very formal) with a dark shirt (very casual) can make for an interesting juxtaposition, but don’t overdo it by adding a tie.

      If you’re dressing for something where a tie is appropriate, swap out that purple shirt with a lighter one. It doesn’t have to be white, but a light blue would do the trick. Then choose a simple tie that brings the whole outfit together, like this one.

  194. rajesh purwar says:

    sir i have cream colour touser and blue color shirt with white small spots,,,kindly suggest me about a tie .

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our suggestion is not to wear a tie at all. Yes, the polka dot shirt trend is still alive and kicking. We’re cool with that. But they’re too casual for pairing with any tie except an air tie.

      How’s that for a suggestion from a clothing company? “Don’t buy anything.” While our CFO might smack us for writing that, it’s our best answer.

  195. Alan says:

    Light blue ties. Some plain, some with moderate pattern….. What colour shirt?


    Navy and white thin stripe shirt….. What colour tie?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      To answer question #1, as long as the shirt is not the same color as your tie, you’re good to go. Pattern is the main thing. Color is not really that big of a deal when it comes to matching shirts and ties. Focus on making sure the color of your shirts contrasts well with your skin and hair color instead of worrying about the tie and shirt colors matching. That’s a topic we have covered at length in our story on how to Create Your Own Shirt Style.

      The same is true for the navy and white striped shirt. The tie could be just about any color, it’s more important that you get the patterns right. We suggest the tie we linked to with the blue and white striped shirt above for a sharp combination.

      Bottom line, match the patterns to each other and the colors to your own.

  196. Tom says:

    What goes with a solid white tie? I got it as a gift and don’t know what to pair it with. Also what goes with salmon colored pants? Thanks for the info and keep up the good work!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sorry Tom, but the only thing that goes with a solid white tie you received as a gift is a gift receipt.

      As for the salmon pants, be sure to wear them with toned down colors to balance out your look. The classic navy blue blazer is a classic for a reason. It’ll quiet down a pair of loud pants like nobody’s business.

  197. Jason says:

    I have a white dress shirt, but it has very, very light grey stripes going through it. Will this be considered a solid or a stripe? I will wear with a dark charcoal suit and black shoes, and also am stumped on what tie to wear. It is for a wedding in Japan, so black ties are a no-no (black ties are reserved for funerals in Japan). Thanks!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A stripe is a stripe, Jason. If you say the shirt’s got stripes, it’s got stripes.

      As for a tie, we’ll say go with a patterned tie with some gray in it, like the one we featured above with the striped shirt.

      Enjoy the wedding.

  198. Seth says:

    I am try to figure out good options for my beach wedding attire. I am planning to wear a light beige colored linen vest and pants. I am thinking light blue or white linen shirt, but can’t figure out a tie option. I also am not sure about the color of shoes or style since the pants and vest will be pretty casual. What color of shoes will work well with a light beige? Are shoes like Toms too casual? Any thoughts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We have put a lot of thought into beach wedding looks, Seth. We highlighted them in our Decode the Dress Code: Weddings story. And what did we show there? A khaki suit made with linen with a pale blue shirt and brown tie with light blue polka dots. Suffice it to say, we’re on the same page as you are.

      As for the TOMS, yes, they are a little casual, but more offensive to our sensibilities is the big logo on the back of TOMS. It’s great branding and fine for casual looks, but your fiancee is marrying a man, not a billboard. So what shoes would we suggest? In our version, we paired this whole look with a pair of medium brown, suede loafers. You could also use cognac colored loafers. In any case, socks are optional.

  199. Tolu says:

    I am intending to combine a blue suit with a grey inner jacket with a white shirt. I am confused as to what the color of the tie should be. Could you please assist?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re a little confused too as to what you mean by “grey inner jacket.” Could you assist us with this first? Then we’ll holler back at you.

  200. Rafael says:

    Pink Grey tie with grey shirt.
    What color pants would go best?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Definitely stick with your grey color scheme if you need a more formal look, and darker dress pants will contrast well against your grey shirt. If you want to look more casual, you can think teaming up this shirt and tie combo with a pair of dark jeans.

  201. Alan says:

    Hi I have a dark red shirt, what color would the tie have to be?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Actually, we wouldn’t recommend wearing a tie with a dark red shirt at all. The darker the shirt, the more casual it is and the less a tie is appropriate.

      If you’re going some place where a tie is called for, change to a dressier shirt, but if a tie isn’t necessary, we recommend leaving it out when you wear the dark red shirt.

  202. Nijat says:

    Please, suggest me a bow tie and suspenders ( Not black 🙂 ) with a white shirt. Thanks.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Hmmm…a white shirt, literally, works with everything. So basically the question is what are some of our favorite bow ties and suspenders. That’s easy.

      Bow tie: The Mister Nice Tie, Grey Wool Tweed Bow Tie by Armstrong & Wilson.

      Suspenders: The Malone Denim Braces by The British Belt Company.

      These are just two of endless choices, but these are some we’re into these days.

  203. Harold Marte says:

    does a blue and black striped tie match with a pinkish shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Not really, Harold. As we noted in Combination #2 above, we like to match up a color in a patterned tie with a color in the shirt. When the shirt is white, this isn’t that big of a deal, but with a color like pink, coordinating the shirt and tie colors can make a big difference. Try this tie on a blue shirt for a stronger combination.

  204. sam says:

    Please suggest me shirt and tie for white suit

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A white suit’s about as casual as they come so you’d be smart to go without a tie altogether. The shirt can be a white dress shirt or, for a modern day Miami Vice look, try a T-shirt (warning, only wear this in a casual situation like conducting an undercover drug sting from a speedboat).

      If you’ve got a lot of contrast betweeen your hair and skin color, and a good amount of confidence, you can pull off the look with a tie. In that case, go for a strong contrast patterned shirt with some white in it (like this) and a solid tie (like this). For more on making a suit work with your coloring, see our story on How to Build a Suit.

  205. josh says:

    Hi I’m getting married in summer and I’m wearing quite a bright blue suit with blue braces, black shoes and a white shirt and was thinking about getting a patterned bow tie to go with it, would you recommend a darker or lighter shade of blue in the tie or another colour completely. PS the wedding is quite informal, thanks Josh

    1. Black Lapel says:

      This is one of those questions that shouldn’t be answered in absolute terms. That’s because when you’re considering colors/shades it’s more about working with the colors/shades that work well with your skin and hair color than matching them to your other clothes.

      Case in point: if you are a high contrast guy (dark hair and light skin, say) then a dark tie on a white shirt will usually look good. However, if you’re a low contrast guy (say, blond haired with pale skin), the high contrast shirt and tie combo can overpower your look and draw attention to your chest rather than your face.

      The more contrast you have between your skin and hair the more your outfit can have but high contrast guys can also look good in low-contrast outfits. So, the safest bet is a lighter colored tie. Plus, since the wedding will be in a relatively warm time of year, a light tie on a white shirt is appropriate.

  206. malcolm k clements says:

    very good advice on color coordination

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re glad we could help you out, Malcolm. When you combine the color coordination with coordinating patterns, the magic really happens.

  207. Pete says:

    Hey guys,

    Just got word my Spanish Blue Herringbone Suit and Light Blue and Brown Tattersall shirt arrived. This is my combo I will be rocking for my wedding in about 3 weeks.

    Really having some trouble on which color bow tie I should be going with. Should most likely be a solid, but I really can get a good grasp on something with will look great with the suit but still be classy enough for me as the groom. any ideas?

  208. Edward Sarpong says:

    I have a brown shirt can I please add a plain tie of orange to it. Please
    advise me. Thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sorry, Edward, but we’re not down with brown shirts. If we were to wear one, we’d avoid a tie like the plague. Why? We don’t wear dark shirts with ties. So, we highly recommend going with another shirt, (like a white) to avoid looking like Dwight Schrute. Then an orange tie can work.

  209. Nick Dela d says:

    I have a paisley tie with varied shades of yellow, what suit and shirt combo would compliment it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Paisley can be scary, but it’s actually pretty easy to pair with other items. Why? For one, the pattern is so strong, you can surround it with solids and your look won’t be boring. Further, paisley usually gives you a lot of shades of one color, so you sort of can’t miss if you’re in the ballpark of a matching color. So, fear not, Nick, a simple white shirt and solid gray suit will work just fine with a tie like this.

      If you’d like to add some color to the rest of your outfit, you can go across the color wheel and wear a dark blue suit. We would stick with a white shirt for this look. If you want to bring some color to the shirt, instead, you can go with a light blue dress shirt, but we’d suggest starting with the much more forgiving white.

  210. Emma says:

    Hi, I am getting married in November and my groom is looking to wear a light grey suit with a darker grey waistcoat, patterned dark shirt with a coloured tie. I honestly can’t think of a way that he could get that to work. Our colour scheme is a purple slightly darker than cadburys.

    Also, I have a male bridesmaid, I am hoping to dress him in the same pale grey suit with a purple shirt to match my maid of honours dress with a dark tie. Could you help with this too? Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Not sure exactly what the question is, here, Emma. Are you wondering if we approve of the choices of clothing for your groom and the male member of your wedding party or are you looking for alternative looks for the men? If you’re looking for the latter, we’ve got a few articles you should check out including: The Royal Wedding or the first three outfits in our What to Wear to a Summer Wedding story (which are truly all-season outfits).

      To get truly one-on-one recommendations we’d suggest emailing our concierge service and working with a Black Lapel stylist to come up with a complete outfit. That way we can see some pictures and make some more specific recommendations.

  211. Jamal Taylor says:

    Hey, im going to my high school prom in a couple of months and im not really sure what to wear. Im thinking of a black suit, white shirt and purple tie. Would it go well on me? (Im mixed race by the way)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re not big fans of black suits because they offer little room for error. The fit has to be flawless, the shirt and tie combo must be calibrated to look good with your own color and coordinated with your pocket square and any other accessories. Still, it is possible to pull it off, but the answer to your question requires more than a comment reply. That’s why we published the How to Wear a Black Suit With Style story. Follow the guidelines in the story and you won’t go wrong, Jamal.

  212. Louie albert says:

    Hey i have black coat and black pants what tie and shirt that will fit on it? Pls reply asap cause my js prom is tomorrow i need your truly reply 🙂

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad you find it helpful, Louie. Your black coat and pants will match with almost anything, except more black. Spring is on its way in, so look back to the lighter color combinations we’ve already shown you above.

  213. Kirill says:

    I’m in highschool and I’m going to a dance. I have gray pants and a solid purple shirt. What color tie do you recommend?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Gray and purple is a classic combo, kudos to you. A patterned tie would be appropriate for a dance and lucky enough for you, we seem to have pre-imagined your look in our patterned tie on a solid shirt combo above. So, kudos to us too.

  214. Usman says:

    Please advice your best suggestion on below options.
    1. Black 2pcs with light pink shirt……!
    2. Black 2pcs with light blue shirt……!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Black suits are tough to pull off because black is so unforgiving. One false move with your shirt, tie or even socks and your whole look is thrown off. It all depends on how you look. Your hair color, your skin tone, your eyes, even your build. That’s why we rarely recommend black suits. Still, men have an enduring love affair with black suits and we’re not trying to break that up. So we devoted an entire story to how to wear a black suit, which we suggest you check out to help you figure out how to make your black suit look great on you.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Yes, bravo! We’re pleased that this post helped you in crafting this dapper outfit.

      Did you enter these photos into our weekly #SuitCity giveaway to win free stylish stuff? If not, we encourage you to do so now.

  215. Ali says:

    Hi I’m going to a wedding and I have a grey blazer with black pants. I don’t know what color shirt and tie I could use. My skintone is kinda light-brown, I prefer to use a navy blue or black shirt, but I have no idea on the color of the tie. I could go with other shirt colors, but I prefer navy blue and black.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A black shirt and a tie is a no-no in our book. A navy shirt for a wedding is not festive enough for the occasion either, is it? Unless, perhaps you’re going to the wedding under protest (is this an old girlfriend’s wedding you’re going to?)

      If you’ve read any of the comments above you’ve seen it a lot already, but we’ll say it again: you can’t have too many white shirts and you can’t wear them too much. White is always appropriate and looks good on everyone. It is the magic shirt. If you want to get a dark color in there, pair the shirt with a solid black tie or a black knit tie to add more texture to your look.

      For more on finding the shirts that work best for you, check out our story on how creating your own shirt style.

  216. Jayden says:

    I’ve got a blue/grey slate colored shirt. What color of tie would you suggest to pair with the shirt? Thanks!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like a great color shirt, and since it’s a solid shirt, you can opt for a solid colored tie or a patterned one. The world, of ties, is your oyster, Jayden.

      In terms of color, go for contrasting blues/grays. We recommend this navy knit one, or a subtly textured tie like this.

  217. salami Steven says:

    pls is d combination of grey suit brown shirt and yellow tie good

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’d steer clear of any brown shirt and yellow tie combination unless you want to look like Dwight Schrute. White shirts always do the trick with gray suits. If you want to veer away from white, take a tip from Rainn Wilson, the actor who played Dwight, and go with pale blues, which also pair nicely with gray suits.

      As for ties, color is less important than pattern and any of the pattern combinations above will work. For colors, try a gray or blue for a cohesive look.

  218. Rohit says:

    I’m wearing a cream colour cotton blazer with solid dark blue shirt. Which colour tie would suit? Does skinny tie suit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like a pretty casual cool outfit, Rohit. Go with a knit tie like this one (which is inherently slim but not one of those skinny travesties from a few years back that some guys who haven’t gotten the memo are still clinging to).

  219. Johan says:

    I have a violet Shirt what kind of colors tie should I wear? Is dark blue or red something I should think about?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We could answer that question blind, Johan, but that would be doing you a disservice. Why? Because the important question is not “Will these colors look good together?” but “Will these colors look good on me?”

      Never fear, there’s a simple way to determine the answer. As we say in step two of our three step system for defining your shirt style (which we recommend you read in full), looking at your own coloring and the amount of contrast between your face and hair will guide your decisions about color combinations in your shirts and ties. If you’ve got a low contrast face, analogous color combinations like violet and red may be your best bet.

      So while our answer to the questions is “it depends,” that story, along with our recent story on Mastering Men’s Fashion From the Inside Out, should help you answer the question for yourself.

  220. Jay says:

    Hello BL. Those were some great suggestions and tips from you. However, I wish to know if I can wear a solid blue tie on a solid pink shirt with a navy blue blazer and a navy blue pant. I wish to wear that on an interview. I can substitute the pink shirt with a plain white shirt. Would be glad to get your help

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That sounds like a good outfit for a job interview in all but the most conservative offices, Jay.

      To help you come up with good interview outfits, we published a story a while back called How to Nail Your Interview Look that we suggest you check out.

      Good luck in your search!

  221. Felix says:

    Hello, I think you are doing a great job. What do you think of a gray pant and a blue shirt.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks, Felix. We’re always happy to help.

      The question about gray pants and a blue shirt is a little broad. It’s kind of like asking, “what do you think of kids?” We like kids. They’re cool, unless they’re kicking our seats for nine hours straight on the redeye when we’re trying to get some sleep. In general, the combination of blue and gray is a classic that men have relied on to create stylish outfits for years. That said, we’ve seen some pretty crappy outfits made out of gray pants that were so long they bunched up in a fabric pile at the foot and dragged against the floor behind the heel and shirts that were electric blue and fit like a tent. The point is, it’s all in how you wear it.

  222. ackb0i says:

    I have a black checked shirt and was wondering if a solid pink tie would work?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The idea of a solid tie on a checked shirt is a good one. Black and pink is a pretty stark contrast and can come off kind of loud. Instead, try a monochrome combination. Go with a medium gray solid tie, perhaps with a bit of texture like this to keep things interesting.

  223. Deependra says:

    I’m going to a wedding and wearing black van heusen suit with white shirt… which color tie should i wear and will suit best…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Isn’t a black suit kind of a downer for a wedding? We hold ours for funerals and more somber events, but that’s just us.

      That said, if you’re going with the black and white look, take it all the way. Resist the urge to try to add a pop of color to this look. Instead, go with a solid black tie either a plain silk or a knit.

      For more on how to rock a black suit, check out our black suit primer and for more on how to wear a monochrome look, take a look at our 5 Essentials of the Accidental Minimalist.

  224. Rohit says:

    I am wearing a grey suit nd a dark blue tie..what colour shirt should I wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      White. You can’t have enough white shirts. They go with everything, look good on every skin tone and can be dressed up for formal events and down for casual use.

      Actually, that reply applies to all 279 comments to this story to date. To get more specific in color choices, we’d have to take a look at you. Why? Because a gray suit and a dark blue tie is about as neutral as it gets would work with literally thousands of shirts. So instead of trying to match a shirt to this outfit, we suggest matching your shirts to yourself. That’s why we wrote our guide to defining your shirt style. There you’ll find a system for choosing shirt colors that you can use whenever you shop.

  225. Mayank goel says:

    I have a black color suit along with purple color shirt . I want to wear a bow . which color bow would be better ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Go with another shade of purple. A purple shirt can be pretty loud, especially with a black suit. Keep things from getting totally (and tonally) out of control by sticking with a tie in the same color family as the shirt, like this one. For a stylish and refined look.

  226. anshu says:

    I have dark green color cauterize blazer and I have white cotton shirt and black pant.Will be wearing black shoes too. Just need to ask whether white color striped tie will suit or not? If not, then which color and pattern?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The striped tie will bring some much needed pattern to this outfit. We say go for it. We would caution you against the combination of dark green blazer and black pants and shoes, though. An earth tone might harmonize better with dark green (think of the green as forest green and the pants and shoes as the forest floor). Khaki colored slacks and dark brown shoes might work better for this look, Anshu.

  227. Xeplin says:

    I’m wearing a checkered green shirt and blue pants. Which color tie and Tuxedo will suit me best?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since you mentioned a pair of pants, we’ll assume you’re looking for a blazer, not a tuxedo (Question mark). The truth is no matter what garment we’re talking about, what will suit you best is an impossible question for us to answer without us having a look at your measurements, face, skin tone, hair color and your closet. Still, it is the right question to be asking. You should be thinking about what looks best on you. We’ve written about it extensively here, and here and have more stories coming that tackle this subject of personalizing your wardrobe.

      If you’re just looking for a jacket recommendation to go with a checkered green shirt and blue pants, take a look at our Look of the Week that included the Forest Green & Blue Gingham Dress Shirt. There we paired the shirt with a Warm Gray Sharkskin blazer. Instead of brown slacks, you could wear it with navy blues and the effect would be similarly stylish.

  228. Dwayne Hancock says:

    A farewell party has been organised for me…
    I am planning to wear a magenta blazer with a black shirt and black trousers. Suggest me which color bow tie should I wear…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      None. Our “don’t wear a tie with a black shirt” rule goes double for a bow tie. Black shirts are, by nature, casual, so we don’t recommend wearing a tie with them. A bow tie will do nothing but call attention to the fact that you’re wearing a formal tie with a casual shirt. You’ll get enough attention for A) being the honoree at the party and B) wearing a magenta blazer. Let that magenta blazer play the starring role, don’t let a black shirt and bow tie try to steal the show.

      Okay, so we know this may not have been the answer you were hoping for. If we have succeeded in talking you out of the bow tie and black shirt idea and you think a tie is mandatory for this outfit, we recommend changing to a white shirt and a neutral, solid gray or black tie (as we’ve said a lot in the comments above, “when in doubt, simplify your outfit, it almost always looks better when you have less going on”). To put it into context: more Daniel Craig, less Craig Sager.

  229. RV says:

    I own a sky blue suit and white shirt, which coloured shoes and tie will be best to wear?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our trick for matching shoes with suits is to take our cues from the buttons. If the buttons are black, black shoes will harmonize well with the suit. If the buttons are brown, go with brown shoes.

      As for tie choices, color should be the last thing you consider when you pick a tie. With a light suit pattern and texture, not color, will make or break the look. Either a linen tie or a silk knit tie would be appropriately summery for a sky blue suit.

      If you followed the aforementioned rules about shoes let that choice also govern your tie choice. Going with brown shoes? Try the always stylish blue and earth tone color combo with a knit tie like this one. If black shoes are what’s called for, try a light gray linen tie like this one.

      These ties may seem like simple choices. That’s because they are. When in doubt about matching anything, simplify. Look around at the best dressed men you see. Their outfits rarely include many colors or a whole lot of moving parts, yet the sum of their outfits are always greater than the parts. Go and do likewise.

  230. abhinav says:

    I have got a navy blue suit with black shoes but I’m a bit confused with Tie and shirt colour……plz help…..occassion is my farewell

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Endless possibilities can lead to confusion but we can see how you got there. An outfit as simple as a navy blue suit and black shoes gives you endless possibilities. The result: paralysis by analysis.

      Don’t overthink it. Cut down on the options by choosing to go with a solid shirt and tie like in combo #1 above. A white shirt and a simple solid tie in whatever color you like is perfectly appropriate. You really can’t go wrong here, but we’ll steer you towards darker shades of ties to keep the outfit balanced with the navy suit and black shoes. Instead of a bright red, go with a more grounded maroon. Instead of a light lavender, choose a deep royal purple. You get the idea.

      Insider Tip: give yourself a limited amount of time to look for and choose the tie. If you fret over it for hours it’ll show when you’re wearing it. Instead, choose one in 10 minutes or less and stick with your choice come hell or high water.

  231. Tareen says:

    I have an interview in an hour, I am wearing plain white shirt with brown paints. What tie color shoul I use?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You have a lot of options here, Tareen. Since you are going for an interview, we suggest keeping it simple with the first combination in this story, solid-on-solid. This will give you a “can’t miss” professional and classic look.

      As for color, you can’t go wrong with navy, darker greens and reds. Or tray a lighter/darker shade of the brown color of your pants. With these looks you’re bound to impress.

  232. Fahan says:

    I’m wearing a kind of darkish grey suit and I’m gonna be wearing a black bow.
    What color shirts do you suggest?also what color pocket square do I go with ?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’re almost all the way to a monochrome outfit, don’t stop now, go with a white shirt and pocket square. It sounds tame but the gray suit and black bow tie really box you in. If you tried to throw a pop of color in under s black bow tie it will break things up and call too much attention to the color of the shirt.

      One thing to be aware of, though is that a monochromatic look puts more visual emphasis on the fit of your suit, so make sure yours is flawless. For more on pulling this look off check out our 5 Essentials of the Accidental Minimalist story.

  233. Kyle says:

    Hello. I’m going to a wedding and wearing a grey suit with a light pastel pink shirt. What colour bow tie and pocket square do you think would be best?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Resist the urge to add more colors, Kyle. So many guys go nuts on the colors and bow ties and the resulting sartorial pyrotechnics make them look like they are trying too hard. Stick with a gray bow tie and a white pocket square that lightens up the suit and hints at the light celebratory mood of a wedding.

      Now get out there and knock ‘me dead.

  234. Brandon says:

    How about a white shirt with vertical red stripes???

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We have yet to see a tie with vertical stripes that we could endorse. We say avoid this one.

      As an alternative, try a repp tie with diagonal stripes for a classic look.

  235. Indian Guy says:

    Hi Black Lapel!

    I have to attend a business event organised by government and having high profile participants around the globe. I have got a dark gray suit.. can u please help me with a shirt and tie ? please specify type of shirt i.e strips,checks,plain and so the tie i.e pattern/plain.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The choices are limitless with a dark gray suit, so we’ll narrow the field and make things easy. Start with a white shirt. A solid white shirt is formal enough for any setting. That leaves you with a lot of leeway when it comes to picking a tie. A little bit of pattern is the way to go. We suggest a striped tie (like this) that adds a touch of color and has some white and gray to pull together the shirt and suit colors as well. And there you have it, a sharp business look made from two versatile pieces that you can mix into your everyday wardrobe well after this meeting.

  236. Imraan says:

    Hi, I’ve got 2 questions.

    Firstly, I’ve got a navy blue shirt with small white polka dots. Which tie would match?

    Secondly, would a maroon suit match this navy polka shirt or not?

    Thanks a lot guys!!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The dotted shirt has been trending for some time now. At the same time the air tie trend has been popular. The two go hand-in-hand. Dotted shirts are casual by nature. So are dark colored shirts. So a dark colored dotted shirt screams “no tie” in our book.

      As for the maroon suit, we like them, in theory, but have seen too many guys screw them up in practice. The trick to pulling off a less traditional suit color is to wear it boldly and make everything else in your outfit serve the suit’s color. That means not wearing strongly patterned or contrasting colored shirts. A navy blue polka dot shirt with a maroon suit breaks both of those rules. Of course, style rules are meant to be broken but pulling this outfit off without looking like you’re trying to hard to be fashion-forward would be quite a feat.

      If you’ve read the comments above we probably sound like a broken record here but, why not just wear a white shirt with this suit? White shirts look good on everyone, are appropriate for just about any situation and are a great way to showcase the color in the rest of your outfit.

  237. Darko says:

    Hello Blacklapel,
    Needless to say your article provides excellent advice,much needed for someone as clueless as i am when it comes to fashion sense and color combinations.
    So,i have two weddings coming up…Im wearing a navy blue suit for the first one,have yet to pick up a shirt and tie…i like the color red in general but im ready for any suggestions..
    the second wedding is a big one,my sister’s..i want to look different yet classy…no suit picked yet…so anything goes…would prefer a striped shirt combo…what would be your advice concerning suit,shirt and tie color….im open to everything.

    Ive shopped with BL before and im planning to do it for this one as well, so direct links of online purchase of the articles you advice would be much appreciated…Budget isnt an issue as long as its not outworldly expensive.

  238. Antonio says:

    I have a black and white checkered shirt. Would a university striped tie go well with it (blue/gold/red)?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We know that black and white shirts can leave you wondering where’s the color in this outfit? But we suggest resisting the urge to add more elements to an already busy pattern. Keep the tie simple and monochrome (a gray would work well). If you want to add visual interest, bringing a little texture to the party with a black knit or a wool tie is your best bet.

      Our overall message is, when in doubt, simplify, Antonio. For more ideas on how to do this, check out the 5 Essentials of the Accidental Minimalist.

  239. sachin says:

    I am wearing a Dark Navy blue suit with light blue shirt. Could you please suggest me a tie that would go with it. Shirt is in solid color.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As we showed in Combinations 1 and 2 above, there are seemingly endless ways to go with this outfit. Way too many to list. So instead, we’ll tell you what tie not to wear with a solid blue shirt and solid blue suit: a solid blue tie (snoozer).

      We love rich dark browns with light blue. Try a knit like this, for example and your shirt will really pop. Even though this is solid on solid on solid, it works because you’re varying textures with the rougher knit tie. Bonus points: this tie will go with just about anything else you can throw at it, making it a versatile closet all-star.

    2. Alex says:

      Red tie… 🙂

      1. Black Lapel says:

        Sure, red on all blue is okay. Lots of red ties are so strong that they just steamroll everything else in the outfit and take up all the attention. So we suggest using red ties with caution to keep your look balanced.

  240. Heather says:

    I’ve read most of the posts here and appreciate the great advice very much. One comment mentioned how the contrast in your face/hair should affect your color and tie/shirt contrasts. What tie/shirt colors would work best for a bald Caucasian man with a dark mustache and goatee?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Being bald, you would think, detracts from contrast, but the dark facial hair does create some contrast. The other places to look for contrast are the eyebrows and eyes. A light skinned guy with dark brown eyes, and dark hair on his face still has a good amount of contrast. In that case, don’t go overboard with an all high-contrast look, but there’s no need to stick with muted contrast either.

      Also, when your color contrasts are muted, add textural contrast with knit ties. For instance, a light blue shirt and navy blue knit tie are low on color contrast but high on style.

  241. Ish says:

    Hi. I’m attending a wedding and have brought a pair of light grey suit and have no choice but have to wear a dark purple tie to match with colour theme given. What colour shirt would go? White or a sky blue. Forgot to mention I have a pair of black shiny tassel shoes and a pocket square that looks blue and dark purple. Would appreciate your advice as its a wedding function. Many thanks in return

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Go with the white shirt, Ish. No reason to add another color to the mix if you’ve already got the strong combination of dark purple with light gray. Like all great arts, the art of getting dressed is about knowing what to cut away. When in doubt, edit.

      Plus, a white shirt is dressier than the blue. Dressy is good, especially with the black shoes (black shoes always come off more formal than their brown brethren). A wedding is one of those events where dressier is better. It’s hard to overdress for a wedding.

      Now get out there and enjoy those nuptials!

  242. Trenton says:

    I got a yam colored shirt would that go with a black tie with small Grey diamonds on it

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’ll assume the shirt is a solid, Trenton. Therefore, the tie pattern sounds fine. The color combination sounds a little Halloween-ish, though. Black ties tend to look best with white shirts (of which you should have plenty).

      We’d suggest changing the shirt anyway, since a yam colored shirt sounds dangerously close to Dwight Schrute territory. It’s a tough color to pull off with just about any skin tone. If you really dig the yam color, why not incorporate it into your outfit with a tie? Ties afford you with lots more leeway in terms of color than shirts because they’re a relatively small fraction of your entire outfit.

      For more on choosing shirts, check out our piece on defining your shirt style.

  243. Russll says:

    I have a Gingham Shirt from Banana Republic …its blue and white small checkered…Would a black tie go with it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A black tie might work with a blue gingham shirt, depending on how dark the blue is. If it’s a navy, we wouldn’t suggest trying this combo because the dark blue and black would likely clash. Better to do what we did and pair a blue tie with a navy gingham shirt as we did here. With a lighter blue shirt you may be able to get away with this but we’d suggest a gray or blue tie for a more cohesive combination.

  244. S N MURTHY NALLURI says:

    i am not confident that to pair clothes. How to look more effective with the color pairing? , can i get that?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Too many people focus on what colors go with other colors. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, focus on what colors go with YOUR coloring. After all, you are going to wear the clothes, so the colors need to look good on you. If you are worried about matching two colors, simply replace one of the colors with white and you’ll never go wrong.

      For more on this, check out our piece on defining your shirt style, where we break down how to match your clothing colors to the colors in your skin, hair, eyes, etc.

  245. Scott says:

    So I got a beautiful dark and light grey burberry tie and I was wondering what kind of color shirt would I be able to wear it with besides plain old white shirt.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      When in doubt, we consult a color wheel when matching colors, but if you did that you wouldn’t find gray on the color wheel. That’s because it’s a neutral that goes with everything.

      Don’t sweat the shirt and tie color matching, Scott. You can wear any colored shirt you like, lavender, blue, even pink. They’ll all match the tie.

      That means that instead of matching your shirts to your tie, you can focus on matching your shirts to your style, something you can do in three easy steps.

  246. Vikingbeast says:

    Can we post a picture of a shirt I’d like you to match it with some great tie suggestions

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You can point us to a picture of the shirt. We’ll look for that type of shirt in one of the categories above (solid, checked or striped) and recommend a style of tie from the matches we made above. In other words, we’ll take our own advice and give an answer based on the combinations you see above.

  247. Vikingbeast says:

    Do you answer question? I have one

  248. Jackie says:

    I’m in a bit of a pickle: attending an evening function on short notice and I managed to cobble this (http://i.imgur.com/3o7ojlv.jpg) together. It’s a grey suit, dark purple shirt and burgundy tie (though it’s ridiculously iridescent to the point that it comes out a few shades shy of plum under direct light)

    The kicker is that I only have the time (and to be honest, the funds) on hand to change one of these elements. Help!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Change the shirt, Jackie. Dark shirts are really hard to pull off with most suit and tie combos. You can’t have enough white shirts because you can always wear a white shirt with every suit and every tie. It won’t turn down the sheen on the tie, but a white shirt will create the right amount of contrast in this look to bring it to life.

  249. Joseph says:

    Would a purple and white striped shirt go with a black tie??

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like Combo #2 above, Joseph. That’s an easy pairing. Go with it.

  250. juan says:

    from a fashion consultant to another….
    great post.
    you guys really touch on the importance of being yourself and really know how to carry it out.

    in a side note:
    it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on clothes , if you are not confident on rocking it.
    it will show right thru.


    1. Black Lapel says:

      Confidence, as you so aptly noted, Juan, is your best accessory.

  251. Ron E says:

    Hi Black Lapel
    I have a wedding in December and was thinking of wearing a black suit with a black shirt and a silver/glossy grey tie and silver pocket square.
    What are your thoughts on this? Does it suit an evening wedding followed by reception?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sorry, but we can’t get behind any black shirt and tie combo. (It’s not just you, Ron, if you look at the comments above you’ll see that we have a staunch record of vetoing black shirt and white, red, silver, gold or any other colored tie combinations.) The whole thing just comes out looking like a gangster Halloween costume.

      Since it’s an evening wedding the black suit will work. Be sure to check out our recent story on How to Wear a Black Suit With Style for a quick and easy set of guidelines on how to pull this off.

  252. jeffrey says:

    what colored shirt would go with a white tie then ? and well i decided to go with no tie on the trip today. btw the tie isn’t solid its a narrow silk tie striped

    1. Black Lapel says:

      First of all, we’re glad to hear that we could help you plan for your trip.

      As for what color shirt would go with a white tie, the sad but true answer is none. White ties are pretty much unwearable in our book. We make one exception, and that’s “white tie” formal events. But those are extremely formal events (think: royal coronations).

      All of that said, it sounds like it’s not an all-white tie. You said it’s striped. Are those colored stripes? That makes a BIG difference. A white tie with stripes can be a fresh approach to a cool summer look, as we pointed out in our Guide to Lightweight Ties and Pocket Squares.

  253. jeffrey says:

    does a black solid shirt go with a white tie and khaki jeans ? I’m using this for a college field trip tomorrow thats why but I’m undecided on jeans color I’m just not trying to wear slacks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We advise against the whole black shirt + white tie idea, Jeffrey. It starts to look dangerously close to a gangster Halloween costume.

      In most cases wearing a black shirt means no tie. If you must wear one, a black tie or perhaps a very dark gray with some texture (like wool) will work. It sounds like you’re not required to wear a tie for this event (it would be weird if jeans were appropriate but a tie were mandatory). So we say go without a tie.

      If you would like to wear a tie, try reversing the combo and wearing a white shirt with a black knit tie, which will work better with casual pants than a traditional smooth silk tie.

  254. Jorge says:

    Burgundy shirt, black tie and black vest, yes or no? Thoughts? I have a burgundy shirt that ive been trying to pair in my mind, recommendations to go with the shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:


      (Sorry Jorge, but you asked for a “yes” or “no” answer.)

      A burgundy button-front shirt is a casual shirt and will probably look out of place with any tie. If you want to force this bad boy into your wardrobe and need it to look dressy, try it with a gray knit tie and a gray suit.

      For a shirt to wear with the black vest, lighten up with one of these chambray shirts that are casual enough to wear leith jeans and come in a variety of lighter colors.

  255. Tom says:

    Hiya Black Lapel,

    Firstly, what a GREAT article with superb informative comments for everyone. I’ve learnt a lot already! I have a question of my own, I received a shirt like this: http://shop.davidjones.com.au/djs/en/davidjones/lomax-stripe-winchester-slim-fit-shirt a couple of weeks ago as a gift (it is 99% the same!) and I can’t quite figure out what kind of tie I should wear with a shirt like this….do you have any suggestions? Any kind of ties in your shop that you’d recommend?? Should I wear a tie with said shirt?

    Cheers and keep up the FANTASTIC work!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Dark shirts like the one you’re talking about can be a little tricky to pair with ties, Tom. One thing you DON’T want to do is go with a tie that is too much lighter in color than the shirt. The safest route is to go with a darker color. Okay, well the safest of the safest routes would be not to wear a tie at all, but since you asked about tie pairings, we’ll give you tie pairings.

      When the shirt is mostly one saturated color, we love a simple solid tie in a complementary color to go with it. So if the shirt is mostly a medium blue, we’d suggest a solid dark blue tie. Another route would be to go with a dark gray tie which works with just about any colored shirt. Pair either of these with a gray blazer and you’re off.

      1. Tom says:

        Thank you so much, Black Lapel! What good suggestions. I must say I was simply considering allowing it to be a ‘tie less’ shirt but I’ll definitely give your suggestions a go. You’re the best! Thanks again

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Glad we could help. Let us know how it comes out when you do add the tie.

  256. Mike says:

    Charcoal grey 2 button wool suit with light blue pencil stripe on a pale grey haired guy: white shirt always on models and in photos but “Q-tips” me out. Options?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The Q-tip effect isn’t because of the shirts, it’s the white shirt against a charcoal gray suit. The contrast between your suit and shirt colors is overpowering the contrast between your hair and face. Since you’re low contrast from the neck up go low contrast from the neck down. Lighten up your suit with a color like this and a white shirt will work just fine.

      All that said, your solution, wearing the blue striped shirt with a charcoal suit helps lower the contrast below the neck. If you look carefully above you’ll see that that is pretty much the outfit we photographed above in our “Patterned Tie on Striped Shirt” combo. There we used a Charcoal Blue Plaid Tie. We also like dotted ties with stripes and, of course, you can’t go wrong with solid ties, like this one.

  257. jacob says:

    Thanks for this guide, although I do have one question, I have a solid “light” blue shirt and a purple shirt, what color and patterned tie would look best with those the blue shirt is close to a light powder blue. Thanks again~ Jacob.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It’s nice (though not always essential) to pick up the color of the shirt in the pattern of the tie. So, you might choose a plaid like this, which has a thin blue line in it, to wear with the light blue shirt. This is also works with ties that have small spread out patterns like dots. Just try to avoid ties like this that are almost solids and too close in color to the shirt.

      As we said, though, harmonizing with the color of your shirt is not mandatory. A contrasting color that works with some other element of your outfit (the jacket, the pocket square etc.) like this gentleman is doing, can look pretty fly too.

  258. Jacob Willis says:

    I’m wanting to wear a red & blue checkered shirt (about a 1/3″) with a tan linen coat – my initial thought was a paisley tie (red or a red & blue tie perhaps). In light of the above, it sounds like I should go with a large angle striped tie instead. (note: I don’t have any solid ties) Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the matter….

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Wearing pattern on pattern can seem tricky because of all the possible combinations and a checkered and paisley combo sounds pretty hard to perfect. A striped tie works, but a tie with checks larger or smaller than a third of an inch would also complement your shirt. For example, this Armstrong & Wilson tie has checks that are significantly smaller than a third of an inch and would go well with your look.

  259. kyle says:

    This is very helpful!! 🙂

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Glad we could be of service, Kyle.

      If you found this helpful, you might also like our recently published guide to lightweight ties and pocket squares for some good examples of how to put these shirt and tie combos together with jackets and pocket squares.

  260. Mat says:

    I have got a navy blue suit and I need to match a shirt and tie.its for a wedding.i was thinking of going for a light pink shirt with the suit but am having a tough time thinking of what tie to match with the shirt and suit.any suggestions?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Since the suit and shirt will both be solid, mix things up a little with a patterned tie, Mat.

      For a truly summertime look we love gingham, like the seersucker Clifton W tie or the linen Corey tie (both by Armstrong & Wilson).

      Alternatively, you could take our advice about gingham but go with a white shirt and make the pink the main color of the tie, like the Rodney tie (also by Armstrong & Wilson).

  261. Brooke says:

    Good info!

  262. Alex says:

    What color dress pants and bow tie would look good with a blue dress shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are, literally, hundreds of combinations that would work with a blue shirt. The colors you choose to pair with your shirt depend more on the color of your skin than anything else.

      Thus, we’ll give you a safe recommendation that will work for just about anybody trying to pull off a blue dress shirt and bow tie look. Either khaki or medium gray pants are neutral enough to work with a blue shirt. Wear them with a navy bow tie for a foolproof combo.

  263. James says:

    I have a pink floral bow tie I want to wear with a dark gray suit. Having trouble finding the right match for this. Any thoughts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Floral ties love solid shirts. The irregular floral patterns can also contrast nicely with the straight lines of a striped shirt. Just try to match the width of the stripes to the size of the flowers in the print. A small print means pinstripes. As for colors, pink will work with the tie, but light blues can provide more contrast and solid white is always a good bet.

      The beauty of all of these options is they’ll all work with a solid, dark gray suit.

  264. arnel says:

    I have a medium pink checkered shirt, gray pants and dark blue tie with small polka dots of blue and pink that I would love to wear on my masteral graduation day. Do you think it is appropriate or will i look “too loud” to wear this on this special day. Thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Too loud? Have you seen what people wear to graduations these days, Arnel? Some of these guys are dressed like they’re about to get drafted by the NBA.

      The outfit sounds like a winner, Arnel. If there was ever a time to do something a little special with your look this is it.


  265. Anshul says:

    Hi Black Lapel,

    I have gray colored suit along with black stripe tie (with base as sky blue color). Please suggest the shirt type/color.

    Thanks, existing tips are really helpful.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Our shirt color suggestion is any color. That sounds like a wise-ass answer, but it’s the truth. The colors you’ve listed are pretty neutral and you really can’t go wrong with many shirt colors. The more important part about matching a striped tie is working with other patterns. As we noted above, getting the scale right is the key to that.

      For example, if you wore a striped shirt with this tie, you’d want to make sure that the stripes are a different scale than the stripes in the tie. If the tie stripes are thick, the shirt stripes should be thin. If the tie stripes are an inch apart, the shirt stripes ought to be much closer together.

      If you wanted to wear a different pattern, like a check shirt, you’d want to get the scale to match the scale of the stripes in the tie. So if the tie stripes are thick, try a you wore a box check, shirt with thicker lines. If the tie stripes are a half inch apart, look for a check that creates half-inch boxes on the shirt.

      Follow these guidelines to create pattern harmony and you won’t have to worry about the colors matching at all.

  266. Pingback: Suit up! - Absolvire | Go 4 Improvement
  267. diego says:

    Hi there, im wearing a black suit with a light blue straight shirt that has a white collar. What tie could go with that?
    Thanks, awesome page by the way!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A contrast collar and black tie is a seriously formal look. If you want to keep things serious, go with a solid black tie or a traditional striped tie. To take the formality down a notch, try changing up the texture with a knit tie or something really unexpectedly stylish like a selvedge chambray tie.

  268. Jack says:

    Hi Black Lapel,

    love your work, really great website.
    Quick question could a grey ‘black lapel’ blazer, black shirt, black trousers and a dark purple tie go together? As i would like to wear this combination to prom.

    Thanks again, i will be sure to tell my friends about this website.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Ah prom…it’s a big event. One of Black Lapel’s founders even, years later, married his prom date! Suffice it to say, we want you looking your best on prom night. With that in mind, we recommend editing your outfit slightly.

      The black trousers and gray blazer will work. Our issue is with the black shirt. Black shirts just never come off well with ties because the tie is either lighter than the shirt and you get the gangster costume look or the tie is black and you get the Regis Philbin circa 1997 look. We suggest going with a simple white shirt instead. You could keep the purple tie for a bit of color, or go even more straightforward with a black tie.

      One more note…keep the shoes black (and well shined).

  269. Randy says:

    i’m wearing a light gray suit with a navy blue shirt to prom and was wondering what color tie would go with it?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Dark shirts are extremely difficult to pair with ties. It gets even trickier when you combine a dark shirt and light suit. So maybe you should reconsider the navy shirt choice and go with something a little easier to pair like a lighter blue or a solid white.

      If you do stick with the navy shirt, then keep the tie dark. A solid black tie would work for a low-contrast look. Another low-contrast option, try a navy knitted tie. If you do that, just be sure you’re wearing black shoes to tie the whole look together. Another option, try a dotted navy tie. This will work best if the dots are in the gray family of color and echo the gray from the suit.

      Have fun, Randy!

  270. quickchrome says:

    Will a magenta tie work well with a baby blue dress shirt only. No suit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’ll work. You really can’t go wrong with a solid-on-solid combination if you’re not going to wear a jacket. If you do add a jacket, keep it neutral with a gray or navy, to let the tie really shine.

  271. Phil says:

    what kind of ties do you think looks best with dotted shirts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We think “air ties” work really well with dotted shirts. We also like them more traditionally unbuttoned without a tie. Dotted shirts are casual wear, so don’t think you’re going to throw a tie on and you’re ready for a client meeting.

      If you’re looking to dress it up a bit, go with a solid tie. The color doesn’t have to match the dots, try something analogous (i.e. navy dots on the shirt, and dark purple solid tie). Pair it with some chinos or jeans and you’re ready to go.

  272. Imran says:

    Its amazin u ppl r doing well kind to us in deciding the best color.But
    I have a question, does black color tie with white dot in it will be a best match for blue color stripped shirt

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks, Imran. We’d swap out the black in that dotted tie with a navy blue. It’ll achieve a similar affect, but the blue base color of the tie will agree with the stripes in the shirt.

      When in doubt, stay in one color family and you can mix and match patterns almost any way you like.

  273. divya ajay says:

    I want to get for my husband a tie for sky blue colour shirt so that he can wear it for office. Can you please help me. Can you suggest me 2 or 3 ties

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The simplest solution is to get him a solid blue tie and point him to the “analogous color” bullet point in Combo #1 above. If all blue is too conservative for him, try the Mr. Bronze tie from Armstrong & Wilson which looks great with light blue shirts.

      To go with a solid + pattern combination, try a dotted tie that incorporates blues (they don’t need to match the shirt) like this one from Nordstrom. We also love knit ties, which can be solid, or patterned like this one from J.Crew.

      Finally, don’t forget the pocket squares. A tie does a lot, but a pocket square really caps off the look. Check out our Ultimate Pocket Square Collection for some stylish options.

  274. Alex says:

    Awesome article. Going straight into my favorites for a quick reference whenever I need some help picking the days combination.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s what we were intending with this piece, Alex. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Pocket Square Collection when you’re pairing things up.

  275. Nico Palomado says:

    Actually I’m planning to wear a striped light brown long sleeves,, what’s the best tie to pair?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are a few ways to go, Nico.

      1. You could use the ideas from combo #2 above and wear a solid brown tie like this.
      2. You could use the ideas from combo #3 above and wear a patterned tie. There aren’t too many patterned ties with light brown as the primary color since light brown is pretty neutral you really have free reign to choose other colors. Try matching the color to the color of your jacket (i.e. navy suit + dark blue patterned tie)
      3. Another way to do combo #3 would be to wear two stripes. In that case, just make sure the scale of the stripes is different. If the shirt has narrow stripes that are close together (we’re guessing that’s the case), then pick a tie that has wider stripes that are more spaced out. As for the color of this tie, again, look to pair it up more with your jacket than the light brown in your shirt.

      Experiment with these options and you’ll find this shirt in your regular rotation in no time!

  276. Nico Palomado says:

    Very Helpful site. 😀 Im so excited to wear my suits 🙂

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We love hearing this. Nobody should “have to” wear a suit. A good suit ought to make you excited to wear it! Now get out there and rock it Nico.

  277. el_prez says:

    Hey, love the site and expert knowledge assembled here!
    I need your take on a suit/shirt/tie combo for an interview.
    It’s for a teaching position and I’m also in my 30’s so while I want to be noticed, I don’t want to be flashy.
    I have a sharkskin 2 button grey suit – not charcoal but not too light either.


    The wife says white shirt, navy tie but it’s spring and the interview is in San Diego, so I am thinking maybe some pink?
    what do you think?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are rules of thumb that apply specifically to job interviews and there are rules of thumb that apply to matching shirts to ties (see above) but there’s one rule of thumb that applies to everything you wear: The contrast in your clothes should match the contrast on your face. So the answer to your question is: “It depends.”

      If you’ve got dark hair, echoing that darkness with a navy tie on a white shirt will serve you well. For fairer skinned, lighter haired guys the high contrast between the shirt and tie will be take attention away from your face. In that case, a lighter tie, that echoes your hair color and doesn’t contrast too sharply with your shirt is the way to go.

  278. G says:

    Can someone pleeeease tell me what they call same color shirt, tie and suit. The word sounds French and it may be just for black/black/black color. I used to know what it was called but have since forgotten.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      People seem to be able to translate everything into French in an effort to sound more stylish, so you may be thinking of something different, but we’ve gotten along fine using the word “monochromatic” to describe a single-color or black & white outfit.

  279. raphael says:

    Hello, am having an official function coming up soon, and i wanted your opinion on my colour combination; i’d be wearing a black suit with a pink striped shirt and a maroon solid tie , and also a maroon pocket filler, i wonder if this is gonna be ok. Thank you

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The harmony of colors is a smart move. Sounds like the outfit will work. We would suggest going with a patterned pocket square when you wear a solid tie (we’ve got some good options for you in the Maroon Marstro section of our Ultimate Pocket Square Collection.

  280. BK says:

    What type of shirt could be worn with a white tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      If you’re talking about a white bow tie, then keep things formal. White tie is super formal, so wear it with a formal white tuxedo shirt with a wing tip collar (like this one).

      If you’re referring to a white long tie, we wouldn’t recommend it. For starters, a tie is in such a high traffic area, it’s bound to get dirty quickly and any bits of food or drops of coffee. Further, white ties have an old-school gangster connotation that’s been hard to shake. If a you’re looking to keep things light in the tie department, we recommend going with a lighter hued knit like this silver one from the Tie Bar.

  281. Karen says:

    Hello, I am trying to buy a tie for my boyfriend who is graduating this Spring. His gown is aegean blue in color. He will be wearing a shirt and tie underneath. Here are 2 ties (photo links) that I am considering to get him. Which do you think is a better choice? I am quite confused as this is the first time for me to get somebody a tie for graduation.
    1. http://postimg.org/image/re322acnn/
    2. http://postimg.org/image/v7wibftzn/
    3. http://postimg.org/image/thdh9ycgj/
    Your opinion will be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Karen, the solid black grosgrain tie (option 1) works but we can do better and more fun than solid w/ solid. The background color of the bird’s eye blue tie (option 2) is a bit too similar to the gown color and won’t offer enough contrast. The dotted tie (option 3) is the best choice of the three and the winner in our book!

      1. Ksren says:

        i boughtthe dotted tie today. thank you for your help, Black lapel team!!!

        1. Black Lapel says:

          Happy to be of service!

  282. dammy says:

    I have purple shirt and a ash trouser,want to know if a light purple tie will fit.
    I also have a yellow shirt want to know the type of tie and trouser that will fit.tanks really love your article.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Dammy, yes to the purple shirt and light purple tie with the ash (gray) trousers. Just make sure there’s enough contrast between the purple of the shirt and the light purple of the tie. The yellow shirt is a tougher one. Our advice is going to depend on the shade of yellow. Can you send us a link or post a pic somewhere so we can get a look?

  283. Judy says:

    really love ur article, cos it has been very helpful.pls i nid ur suggestion. what color of shirt and tie will go with an ashe colour suit.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Judy, an ash (dark gray) colored suit is what we like to call a blank canvas. It’ll work with almost anything. Since it sounds like you might be in the beginnings of building out an amazing wardrobe, we recommend starting with a crisp white shirt with a stripped tie of any color combination. Good luck and keep reading The Compass!

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  285. brandon says:

    I have a black and white poka dot bowtie I just wanted to know what color shirt would go best with it besides the usual white shirt?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It depends on how big the polka dots are, Brandon. Bigger dots are a bit more casual and should be reserved for a more laid back look, like a Blue Oxford shirt. If the dots are smaller, the look is a little dressier. In that case, a lighter colored, more formal shirt will do the trick, like this Solid Lavender, or this Solid Pink Twill shirt.

      These are some specific choices, but generally speaking, the idea here is to keep the shirt light to offset the black in the bow tie. Stick with solid light colors and you won’t go wrong.

  286. JJ says:

    Wish I could have found something like this when I still wore ties. I haven’t worn a tie in 10 years. Ties are for suckers. Every time you put one on you may as well hang yourself with it. Think about it. Truly successful/confident people don’t wear ties because they’re not trying to impress anyone. They just do them – take it or leave it. I don’t care who I’m meeting with, whether it’s a venture capitalist, music mogul, lawyer or sales person… I never wear a tie. What has your experience been?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      “Every time you wear a tie you might as well hang yourself with it.” Every time, JJ? If you hang yourself with your tie, wouldn’t that mean you would only wear it once? Well, maybe twice. They’d probably put a tie on you for the funeral. Yeesh, wouldn’t that be weird if they used the same tie? Talk about a downer funeral. Come to think of it, all funerals are kind of downers, huh? You know why? Because they always expect the mourners to wear a tie.

      In all seriousness, our experience has been that people can think whatever they like about our ties, we like them so we wear them. That’s not to say that we think you’re completely off the mark. The New Yorker ran an interesting piece that pointed out how people like Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban and the late Steve Jobs broke with tradition and dressed casually. Still, somehow we don’t think it was their avoidance of ties that brought them success. Nor would their success have been hindered by wearing a tie. To paraphrase Freud. Sometimes a tie is just a tie.

  287. Pets says:

    What would be a nice colour shirt that will go with a maroon tie in a light grey suit pls?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Color is probably the least important part of this combo. Focus more on combining complementary patterns, using the combos we highlighted above. We’ll assume you meant a solid maroon tie. In that case, try a contrasting colored, patterned shirt like a Navy Gingham or a complementary colored one like a Pink Microcheck.

      When in doubt, remember the stylish man’s mantra, you can never go wrong with a crisp white shirt.

  288. Akshay says:

    I recently got a grey tie with fine yellow stripes on it. What color and pattern shirt would it go best with?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You don’t always have to match up a color to the tie colors. This tie sounds like it would work best with a gray suit and solid white or light blue shirt.

      This brings up a great point. The guidelines above are useful most of the time, but when you find that you have an outlier, don’t sweat it. A lot of guys think they have to go through a complex algorithm to match up every tie in their closet with a shirt, when really they just need more quality solid white shirts. It sounds simple and that’s because it is. Don’t over-think it. Instead, focus on pulling a color from your tie into another element of your look like your pocket square or even your socks.

  289. idy says:

    what do you think of groomsmen wearing black suits ,pale pink shirts with champagne ties???please help

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Black suits are kind of dour for a wedding, don’t you think, Idy? The light colored shirts and ties will give the whole look a lot of contrast, isn’t always flattering to all complexions and hair colors. Judging by the colors of the shirts and ties we’re guessing this is a warm weather wedding. We would go with a lighter, more celebratory look like the Royal Blue Suit, Pink Microcheck Shirt and Solid Royal Tie we highlighted in the City Rooftop Wedding section of our What to Wear to a Summer Wedding story.

      If you do want to go the black suit, high contrast route, then we suggest going with tuxedos. They are high contrast, but since they are all black and white, they are much more suitable for a variety of complexions and hair colors. Furthermore, a tux is quite a classy getup for a knot tying ceremony.

  290. Fernando says:

    I’m Djing and wearing a Black Tuxedo, with a black shirt.
    What color bow tie ?
    I was thinking something like a silver/gray pattern.
    BTW, I’m not afraid to wear anything.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re not fans of ties with black shirts. You’re already deconstructing the black tie look with the black shirt. So why wear a bow tie at all? Keep the collar open instead.

      By the way, be sure to check out our Beyond Black Tie piece. If you’re not afraid to wear anything that’ll give you some great ideas for breaking the black tie rules in style.

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  292. Paul says:

    Any idea what tie color, pattern and pocket square can match with this shirt wearing a solid black 2 button jacket? Thanks

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A solid black tie would work with a black jacket, Paul.

      We wouldn’t wear this shirt with a black jacket, though. For one, the striped contrast color shirt is way too formal for wearing with a jacket and separate pants. We recommend wearing this shirt only with a suit. Then there’s the color. Purple and black is a good sporty combo (think Baltimore Ravens) but a black suit deadens the effect of the purple. A lighter gray suit like this will really make the purple stand out. In that case you could stick with the black tie or lighten up the tie a little bit (like this).

  293. anubhav says:

    what color shirt and tie should i wear with dark khaki color suit and fire brick color blazer.. and also with the dark charcoal suit.. also plz tell thee appropriate tie and pocket square..

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The khaki and charcoal suits are neutrals. That means you can wear just about any colors with them but we particularly like blue with khaki and gray.

      With the fire brick blazer simple white shirts work. Go with patterned ties and pocket squares that incorporate shades of brick red into the patterns.

  294. Jazz says:

    What color shirt should I wear with a Bright navy blue color with shawl lapel of satin

    1. Black Lapel says:

      “Bright navy blue,” you say? Having trouble picturing that but here’s a general suggestion for when you’re wearing a jacket with a unique feature, like a shawl lapel: keep the neighboring layers neutral. A white shirt will help you show off the shawl lapel and help keep a wide range of neckwear in play. That way you can focus on making sure your jacket and tie are in harmony rather than having to make sure the jacket and tie and shirt are all coordinated. In a word: simplify.

  295. Carol says:

    Are you thinking of expanding into a line of women’s’ work wear any time soon? I think it would be very well received!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Anything’s possible, Carol, but we don’t have any plans for expanding into women’s wear now. We like M.M. LaFleur for women’s work wear.

  296. Chris says:

    Black Lapel,

    Any suggestions for a style/color tie to wear with a light blue and white wide-checkered dress shirt. I plan on wearing with black dress pants.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      The bigger the check the more casual the shirt is going to look, Chris. So the first question is, will you wear a tie at all?

      If you do decide to rock some neckwear, follow the combo#2 advice for a solid tie on a patterned shirt and choose a color that complements (like another shade of blue) with the light blue check in the shirt.

      To dress up a casual shirt opt for a not so formal looking tie, like a knit. They’re perfect for spring-like light blue patterns and won’t look out of place with a big check.

      Tie the whole look together by considering a change in pants. Black pants with a white and light blue shirt can clash. It’s like your upper body is going to a country club and your lower body is going to a night club. Try swapping out the black slacks for medium blue or gray pants. Chinos work, as do cords, and you can’t beat flannel for dressy winter warmth.

  297. Tom says:

    I’m wearing a black suit to a wedding on New Years eve. I’m seriously leaning towards a light blue shirt. Just wondering how light a blue should I go shirt wise, and what kind/colour tie & pocket square?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      There are, quite literally, too many good options to list here. When in doubt, simplify. Try the technique in combo #1 and wear a solid black tie (if you own a solid black suit, you ought to own one of those. To give this look a little texture you could try a black knit tie.

      As for a pocket square, the same basic rules apply. Don’t overthink it, but with the pocket square you can go with a pattern that has elements of black and blue, like this one.

      This somewhat restrained look will have you looking sharp without showing up the groom.

  298. Jay says:

    I have a mini solid checked navy shirt with white contrast collar, similar to this http://brookwindred.com/fathersday/imagesrev/Tarocash/05-133LS25_NVY_1.jpg, that my students got for me as a Christmas present and they want me to wear a tie with it. What colour tie would match this? It would be best if the tie didn’t have a pattern. (I’m from Australia)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’ve got some seriously cool students, Jay! Next time, tell them to come to Black Lapel when they want to hook you up.

      You’re on the right track with a solid tie. The pattern in this shirt could clash with a lot of patterned ties. We’d suggest keeping things simple with a solid blue tie like this one. To change things up a bit, try ties in non-traditional fabrics like denim (try this one from Men in Cities), corduroy (try this one from Armstrong & Wilson) or knitted silk (try this one from The Tie Bar).

      Any combination of these ties and this shirt will work and all of these ties will prove quite useful with other outfits as well.

  299. george says:

    thank you so much 🙂 now i can find a good combo to wear for my graduation 🙂

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We believe in education at Black Lapel, that’s why we make sure that all of our suits, jackets, shirts and ties pair well with a cap and gown. 😉

      Congratulations, George!

  300. Junior says:


    I need help here. i have 4 shirts to choose from (solid Black, soild white, solid red and a dark purple shirt with thin black stripes in vertical. Then when it comes to ties i have 3 chooses. Solid black, Red and black striped shirt and White and black striped tie. To round up i have a black vest and black pants. I am going night event so i need a good cambo. what to wear?

    PS! My skin color is light brown (Will smith type skin color)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds complicated, Junior. That’s because choosing between every possible combination IS complicated. Our advice is to simplify. Separate your shirts and ties into categories as we did above. Then you can mix and match the patterns and the solids.

      Or, if you’d rather just order the fish than learn to fish, then we suggest the simplest combo, the solid white shirt and solid black tie as a can’t miss option.

  301. EdmundD says:

    Black Lapel,

    I have a dilemma…My job started new rules on dressing and now requires us to wear the same exact sky blue tie to work everyday, 5 days a week.
    Here are several pictures of the same tie:
    Can you give me your some ideas for shirts that match this this tie? All designs and colors are welcome.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      What kind of draconian tie rule is that, Edmund?! We feel for you. Our advice, get yourself a good collection of solid white shirts, mixing in a twill and an oxford for cooler weather. Change up the collars (spread, semi-spread, button down) for variety as well. These will be your go-to shirts and the foundation of your shirt wardrobe.

      We like shirts that are multi-taskers. A shirt that you can only wear with one tie (even if you have to wear that tie to work everyday) is not nearly as useful as a shirt you can wear to work, to a wedding, to a party, or on a date. If you’re looking for something besides solids, try stripes. As long as the scale is different enough from the stripes in your tie, you should feel free to pair stripes and stripes. Try a subtle one like this White Pinstripe or a stronger one like this White & Blue Fine Stripe.

      And finally, Edmund, please send your employer a link to some more refined ties like this one that look great with any of the shirts mentioned here and would let you mix up your rotation once in a while!

  302. Alana says:

    I want to buy my boyfriend a shirt, tie, and sweater because he’s traveling with me to a cold place for the holidays (he’s from Australia. …he literally owns two sweaters) and after visiting three different stores, I’m so lost. I never thought men’s fashion would be more difficult for me than my own! I’m a pretty flashy person….sparkles and lace, etc….and he’s not. I really like the purple shirt/tie combo, but how can I complement that with a sweater for the winter nights, dinner dates, etc?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Take heart, Alana, menswear can be mastered if you think in terms of simple timeless pieces.

      Case in point, a chunky dark sweater like the shawl collar one we recommended in our Three Ways to Look Sharp This Thanksgiving story is one a guy can practically live in all winter long. It’s extremely versatile, doesn’t have to be pulled over his head to easily take off or put on under changing conditions, and won’t ever go out of style.

  303. Ismael says:

    I have winter formal coming up and I want to match my partner who is wearing a blue and black dress. What color shirt and tie or bow tie should I wear? I was thinking blue shirt with either black tie or bow tie but not sure how to combine. Also because of the cold weather I was thinking maybe wearing a grey quarter zip pullover but not sure with a tie or bow tie

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds oddly like Zack’s predicament, Ismael. We’d suggest complementing your date but not necessarily “matching” the dress (you’re a man, not an accessory!).

      As the temperatures dip we like heavier ties like the wool ones from Armstrong & Wilson and Everett that we featured in our Fall’s Favorite Ties piece. Try one like the Mr. Cord. with a solid white shirt (following the principles of Combo #2 above) and you’ll be good to go with or without the gray sweater.

  304. Coolhand says:

    What are your thoughts on black and blue? Is it ok to wear black belt and shoes with navy pants? I’ve looked around and seen differing opinions, although mostly people going along with traditional thinking and saying NOT! I’ve always struggled with the idea that brown and blue go together better? Thanks in advance for your opinion!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      “I’ve always struggled with the idea that brown and blue go together better.” You answered your own question, right there.

      Getting dressed shouldn’t be a struggle. If it is, people will smell it on you. We believe in dressing with confidence. Your clothes should make you feel good about the way you look, not hesitant about whether or not you’re following the rules properly. If you’re not feeling blue and brown no amount of information about pairing navy with darker browns (which we do advocate if you’re doing navy and brown) will be enough to convince you. So rock the blue and black with pride.

  305. Sharma says:

    I have a black suit and a solid royal blue solid shirt but I’m unsure whether I should get a tie or a bow.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Tie if you want the versatility of wearing this ensemble in almost any situation (think work, weddings, interviews, graduation, etc.) and bowtie if you’ve already got plenty of ties and are looking to shake up your wardrobe. Hope that helps Sharma.

  306. Shreyash says:

    I have a black tuxedo suit and a black grey check shirt, so what colour bow I should go for. Open this link and then tell me what should I wear


    I think I should wear the H-13 or H-17
    Can I go with it.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Shreyash, that’s going to depend on the scale of the checks on your shirt. Mixing patterns just require a bit of contrast in pattern scale so we’d lean towards H-17 but just make sure its not too similar to (ie. make sure its larger or smaller compared to) your shirt pattern scale. Hope that helps.

  307. Zack says:

    I have homecoming coming up. I was thinking to wear a blue shirt, white bow tie with grey quarter zip pullover (since it’ll be cold) and black pants and shoes. But also I had in thought a blue shirt, black tie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      A pullover and a bow tie is kind of odd, but kind of cool choice. A solid white or black bow tie, though, is a bit formal to wear without a jacket. We recommend a playfully patterned bow tie like these from Everett.

  308. Nathan says:

    I especially loved the “Dotted tie on pattered shirt” combination. Could you inform me where I can buy the exact blue patterned dress shirt with the dotted tie? I have looked for it, but didn’t find the exact same one.


    1. Black Lapel says:

      The shirt is our Light Blue Gingham.

      We’re big fans of that one too. Shhhh…don’t tell our other shirts or they may get jealous.

  309. Saeed says:

    I have a black suit and white shirt and black Croat, I now want to buy a shirt color and the other a Croat coat and pants to match, what color do you think is more appropriate black suit?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Would you mind clarifying, Saeed? When you say “Croat” do you mean a cravat?

      1. Saeed says:

        Oh sorry, I typed wrong, I tie my purpose was right!
        If needed I will post pictures of my suit for you

        1. Black Lapel says:

          So you’re looking for a tie to go with a white shirt and black suit? You could wear just about any tie with this basic shirt and suit combination but you only need three, a solid black tie for very formal occasions, a striped one in a darker shade like purple or maroon, and a black knit one with horizontal white stripes. These will get you through many situations in style.

  310. Milly says:

    Wearing black suit & white shirt. Should tie color match partner’s dress?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We say you don’t have to match exactly. You’re a person, not an accessory.

      If she’s really adamant about matching we’ll save you the couple’s therapy session and say compromise: wear a striped tie with one of the colors in her dress, but in a different shade. This will complement her look without giving the impression that you’re wearing a uniform to compete in a dance contest or a couples ice skating event.

  311. Haider says:

    Splendid job guys! for all my suiting problems i come to this site and to your representatives, and boy do i close the tab satisfied 😀
    Keep up the good work.(Y)
    PS. what do you think about a red tie, light pink shirt (plain i guess) and black suit with grey pinstripe mix-up? 😀

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We’re glad to be of service, Haider.

      We can get behind a pink shirt and red tie combo. It’s especially strong when the shirt is really pale and/or the tie is a deep maroon. We also might suggest a nubby wool tie that’s roughly the shade of the gray pinstripes in your suit.

  312. Annalisa says:

    My boyfriend is in his final year of studying to be a lawyer and has to get a suit for court appointments. He is going to get a black suit and a white shirt and wanted to know what color tie he should get. Like you’ve said, that’s a blank slate. My father always wore a suit and tie to work, but unfortunately, I live 2 countries away from him and can’t just raid his retired tie collection. My boyfriend is Hispanic (if skin tone or hair/eye color matters). I’ve suggested red for a bolder look, but I’ve also suggested black, gray, and light blue. Are there any other colors he should try out to see if he likes? (He’s a little upset about having to buy the suit as it is a big investment and currently wears a uniform to work, but the university is requiring a suit for his major; so a suit he must get. Basically, this tie is going to be a one time purchase to go with this suit…no shirt color/pattern changes or anything.)

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Sounds like it’s an effort to get your fella into a tie, Annalisa. If he’s only going to wear one suit we would highly recommend having more than one tie so as not to look like a one-trick pony. Wearing the same thing over and over again signals to anyone who sees him that he’s just phoning it in (not a good idea when you’re in court).

      Three ties, one solid in a strong color like purple, one striped like this one and one with a pattern that can be worn with anything, like this one would keep him looking sharp and not looking like he’s wearing his one tie all the time. If he’s dead against any more than one, go with a low-key solid gray that people won’t notice when he wears it over and over again.

  313. Desmond says:

    This is such an awesome article!! It helps a lot for my coming prom 😀 anyway, can I know what kind of combination can blend well with a khaki colored pants? I couldn’t use it at all since the first day I bought because I’m worry that it might look old for me. I’m 17 anyway. I would be glad if you can tell me how to match it for formal events and some less formal events

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Khaki pants are a preppy staple, in part, because their color is so neutral. Since they’re neutral they work with just about any shirt/tie/jacket combo. We like the ease of a solid white shirt.

      If you want to play up the traditional look, stick with a navy blue blazer, white shirt and a repp tie like this one from The Tie Bar.

      For a more modern look, try a white shirt, the Charcoal Blue Plaid Tie from Black Lapel and a gray/blue jacket like this Solid Charcoal Blue (pictured with khakis).

  314. nima says:

    Is this a better combination? Ash suit,lilac shirt and wine tie.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Not sure if we missed a beat, here Nima. Can you fill us in: Is this a better combination than what?

  315. Bernard says:

    Thank you thank you thank you. Starting my new job as a store manager for a major retailer next week and this article has been a massive help. Getting the colours and pattern right has been my worry but after reading this article i am beaming with confidence. Keep