Okay, let’s get straight to the point. Most of us men are pretty useless when it comes to putting together even the most basic of fashion ensembles even the good old shirt and tie. If we work in an office, the girls can probably tell which day of the week it is just by looking at our shirt and tie combinations, we’re that predictable. Yet by following a few simple rules we can become far more creative with our dress sense.
Suits won’t Hide It:
It’s no good thinking because you wear an office suit five days a week; shirt and tie coordination doesn’t matter. It does. Sooner or later, especially during the summer months, the jacket comes off, shirt sleeves are rolled up, and it’s down to business. So let’s get those shirts and ties matched for the event.
And you at the back, don’t sit there smugly thinking you’re okay because you have a small selection of plain white shirts, with a slightly larger selection of plain ties. That won’t cut it in the world of high fashion we’re about to enter. Check out these few tips, before coming in for your next suit.
Let’s be Creative – Slowly:
It’s always good to have at least a couple of crisp, plain white shirts in the wardrobe. They can be matched with almost any solid or patterned tie, but wearing plain white too regularly shows a distinct lack of bottle.
Starting off with a selection of solid light pastel shirts is the easiest way to advertise your new found fashion independence. Solid pink shirts are very popular at the moment as are light blues and light greens.
Point one. Solid colour shirts can be matched with solid or pattern coloured ties. Patterned shirts should only be mixed with solid coloured ties, until you’re totally comfortable with your matching.
Analogous – or Contrasting Colours:
When matching the same colours, the tie should always be the darker colour. For example, a pink shirt makes a great match with a light red, maroon, or even purple tie. A light blue shirt will look good with a dark blue tie. Virtually any light, solid shirt and tie combination can be used in this way, and they all look good. Beware though; going for the full-colour shirt and tie can sometimes be hard for the eyes to take. Choose shirts and ties a few shades off the full.
Contrasting, or complimentary shirt and tie combos, can require a bit more thought, but can be eye catching when matched correctly. Back to the good old white shirt, it will go with anything, and it’s still a cop-out. Let’s choose a blue shirt; this can be contrasted with a shade of red. Looking at a colour wheel can provide inspiration when trying to contrast shirt and tie matches.
Let’s Get Striped:
When the time comes to get a bit more adventurous, moving from solid colours to stripes is the obvious and safest route to take. With striped shirts the same basic rules as with solids apply. Solid ties, whether complimentary, contrasting, or of similar shade are the easiest match and can look impressive.
Remember what we said at the beginning about patterned shirts and solid ties? Well, now we’re revoking that, after all, you’re becoming more confident with your shirt and tie matching.
The classic small vertical stripe is still a big favourite. With the thinner striped shirt, a larger stripe should be used in the tie, preferably a diagonal stripe. If you’re going for a motif tie, then smaller stripes larger motif, larger stripes smaller motif, all the while bearing in mind the colour combination of shirt and tie.
As confidence increases, experiments can be carried out with geometric, polka dots, and paisley patterns, but for now let’s just stick with the basics as simplicity often speaks volumes.
The Greater the Confidence – the Greater the Range:
Once that confidence has grown, you’ll soon become the fashion icon of the office. Light blue check shirt and dark blue polka dot tie. Purple check shirt with diagonal striped lavender tie, or fine blue and white striped shirt with a charcoal-blue plaid tie. Just a few eye-catching combinations you can put together with your increased confidence.
Ties – Choice of material:
The type of material you choose for your ties is really a personal choice, and a mixture of both silk and knitted is probably best. As a rule, silk tends to look more businesslike, while knitted is more casual, going well with trousers or chinos and shirt.
Don’t Forget the Suit:
If your normal work attire is the standard dark suit, then these combinations will work equally as well with your suit, as with shirt and chinos or trousers. Get down to the outfitters this weekend. Get out the plastic. And be the first in the office on Monday to take your jacket off.