How to pair shirts and ties - The Inside Pocket


Pairing shirts and ties shouldn’t have you in knots.

If you work in an office, chances are you’ll need to wear a shirt and tie at least some of the time and will be familiar with the morning struggle of matching them up. And if you don’t wear a shirt to work, you’re still going to have to figure out which tie to wear with your shirt when you go to a wedding or other similarly dressed-up event.

Whatever’s in the diary, there are a few solid styling rules that will help you pair shirts and ties with confidence. Here are five ways to get it right.




A floral tie will work brilliantly for a wedding, of course, but it’ll also brighten up the boardroom when handled elegantly. To do this, forget coordinating with the main shade of your tie, and instead choose a shirt in the same shade as your tie’s accent colour. 




Most of us will probably reach for a crisp white shirt to set off a bolder tie, but a pale grey shirt is just as easy to wear and will go with pretty much any colour, yet takes your styling from amateur status to something much more sophisticated.




The trick is to pulling off a pattern clash is to aim for patterns in complementary shades and scale. Too similar a pattern and it’ll all merge into one, but too different and nobody knows where to look as the focus is lost. This simple trick will master daring looks in any hue – just remember your tie should always be darker than your shirt.




Textured fabrics are a subtle way to liven up formal looks. Mirror the texture of a basketweave shirt with a woven silk tie and keep your colours and patterns on the simple side for an overall considered finish.




If you’re going to a particularly formal event you’ll probably have to roll out a double cuff white shirt and dial your styling down a bit. That’s not to say you can’t add some colour though, and you really can’t go wrong with a classic pairing like blue and white. Try a delicate pattern like this navy floral tie and sneak some bright blue cufflinks in for good measure.


And finally, now you’ve got the tie to set off your shirt, here’s a reminder on how to tie it properly.