Color on Color: The Tie and Shirt edition

Color on Color: The Tie and Shirt edition


Color on Color Shirt and Tie

Most men tend to stray away from wearing the same color tie with a matching color shirt because they do not want their shirt and tie to look like one piece of clothing. Pairing similar colors in ties and shirts can be simple and add some depth to an other wise “safe” look. The key to making the double color work is mixing patterns with the shirt and tie.

Tie by Christian Dior. Shirt by Alfani

My personal rule of thumb is that when you wear a checked shirt a solid, pindot or polka dot offers the perfect contrast and makes the outfit standout. The same notion can be applied to striped shirts as well. You may be asking yourself, “what if I want to wear a stripe on stripe combo, what do I do?”. When pulling together a striped tie on striped shirt you will want to consider a few variables;

  • The width of the stripes on the shirt and the tie should be different sizes, preferable large stripes on the tie than the shirt.
  • Complimenting the shirt to tie may be a better choice than completely matching the colors.
  • Changing up your tie fabric from the traditional silk to something like a wool or cashmere to give you outfit some zing that sometimes get lost with in the silks (knits are also a great tie to pull into your wardrobe).
  • Don’t be afraid to mix multiple patterns as long as you pay attention to details like their relation in size and color to one another.
Sabir M Peele

Sabir M Peele

Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man.As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at

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  • Chris Dels

    I often prefer the “safer” look, because I’m pretty sure I’ll look like a fool going dangerously haha. I stick to complementing colors, but i have a couple questions…

    Stripes is a general issue for me. What about direction of stripes (eg vertical stripes on a shirt vs. diagonal on the tie)? How can that affect the look?

    Shades of coloring.. I’m sure it’s one of those things that you would have to see to make suggestions, but are there any rules of thumb for color combos? Any distinct no-nos?

    • mensstylepro215

      With stripes on a tie in conjunction with a shirt vertical shirt to diagonal stripes are the norm. Typically you would want one set of stripes to be thicker than the others. You can get away with wearing a variety of stripes if the sizes compliment each other and and if some of the colors are muted. More often you want the colors to compliment each and not completely match (ie, red and white striped shirt and grey and maroon striped tie). Shading and coloring really depends on the outfit and how conservative or liberal you are with your style.

  • Florent

    Great advice there mate !

    Great point and the illustration you give is rather relevant !

    Greetings from France !

    • mensstylepro215

      Thank for Reading Florent,

      I hope to continue to bring you useful men’s style tips.



  • Awacyclorry

    I love! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thanks you for your work.

    Best regards