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Home > The Necktie Lounge > Dropping the Solid and Using Combination Patterns: Matching Ties and Shirts

Dropping the Solid and Using Combination Patterns: Matching Ties and Shirts

Dropping the Solid and Using Combination Patterns: Matching Ties and Shirts

Dropping the Solid and Using Combination Patterns: Matching Ties and Shirts

One of the major things to understand is that balance is the key to success when it comes to coordinating patterns between your dress shirt and your tie. Just because you have chosen patterned ties doesn’t mean you need to always wear a solid shirt. When matching a patterned shirt with a tie, you need to look for a way to contrast the two different patterns; otherwise you will end up with two bold patterns that compete against one another, which never looks good.

However, if you match the patterns too much, say a vertical striped shirt with a vertical tie pattern, you will end up looking dull and washed out. Remember that if you have more than two to three patterns, it can become overwhelming to the eye, which completely negates any stylish look you were going for.

How to Match a Patterned Shirt and Tie?

Since there are so many options out there for dress shirt colors, you are going to want to start slow with one or two patterns to begin with.
  • Step One: Pick out the shirt that you want to wear with your outfit. Pick a color that contrasts your pants, as all one color can look too formal.
  • Step Two: Identify the most noticeable color in the shirt. If you have a patterned shirt, then look for the color that stands out or is the easiest to match too.
  • Step Three: Choose patterned ties that either match or complement the main color of the shirt. With a tie that has a pattern you are going to want it to have at least one color that is in common with the shirt — most often the color that stands out, but this is where you can experiment with shades.
  • Step Four: For ties that have patterns you are going to want to choose one that has a contrasting design to the pattern on the shirt.


Remember that when it comes to matching a pattern with a pattern, you want to have either a contrasting or complementing pattern that always matches the main color of the shirt of choice.

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