The Art of Dressing your Shirt with the Right Tie

By Adam Tuesday 26th Sep, 2017

Finding the right tie for your dress shirt is indeed an art.

A gentleman’s Tie is one such piece of clothing that needs consideration – fun and simple, but don’t be fooled by its appearance. It is true that, a tie can either break or rock your ensemble. Finding the right tie is not as easy as finding the perfect watch or pair of sunglasses. It’s tough!

Always Match the Tie to the Dress Shirt & not Vice-Versa: The most integral aspect of finding the right tie. Ties should be bought with an agenda in mind. In this case the dress shirt. It should never be an impulsive buy to be matched later. The Dress Shirt allows you to select the tie of your choice on the basis of colour and pattern. So the following points are important to consider:

Colour: Always remember to look to the Colour Wheel.

It’s split into warm and cool colours, which allows you to create a perfect ensemble that is in colour sync with each other. Solids on Solids-Dark against Light variations: Or what is called Solids on Solids-Adjacent Colours on the Colour Wheel: The Analogous colour scheme, mixing up the warm and cool colours. Pink shirt with a red, burgundy or purple tie. A purple tie with a blue shirt. Perfect combinations for work places and social settings.

Solids on Patterns: The above colour theory stays, just work a purple tie on a minute-checked shirt (white base with mauve checks) or a charcoal tie on a lavender striped shirt.

Contrasting colours. So if you’re opting for a white shirt, match it with a navy tie, or a pink shirt offset by a burgundy tie. Always a safe bet even for beginners.


Just like colours, it’s important to contrast the tie pattern with the dress shirt pattern. Things to remember in this are – Proportions of Similar Patterns: Make sure the proportion of the pattern are different for similar patterned ensembles. For a vertical narrow striped shirt, opt for a thick/wider striped tie keeping the above colour theory in mind Pattern on Pattern: A pin-striped shirt with a polka dotted tie. Or match a detail in the tie with the colour of the shirt that stands out. Light Blue Gingham shirt with a navy tie with white dots, the navy offsetting the light blue. Tie Proportions: Now this happens to be also an integral aspect of the tie selection


Ties come in different cuts, lengths and width. It’s important that you choose wisely. A thumb rule for proportions is to ensure that the width of your tie ranges between 3-3.5inches and or matched with the width of the shirt’s lapel. One should also keep in mind the built & height of the person when selecting the tie. A big built or heavy set man would look better with a wider and longer tie. Whereas a slim-built man should look for slimmer & shorter ties. For the average built man buy a tie ranging from 3-3.75 inches in width.

Tie fabrics

Fabrics can be chosen for its appeal, stature, occasion and seasons. While Silk is the all-rounder adapting itself to formal and business settings, there are other fabrics worth exploring. Within silk, you can choose from prints, woven, with the former being perfect during spring and summer. Linen and Cotton are perfect summer ties given their light properties, but here it’s important to remember that these ties have a proper lining as they tend to wrinkle. Finally, the woollen ties, earthy, warm woollen weaves for the winter months, especially with a dash of colour ranging from browns, olive green, mustard yellow, burnt rust etc. Cashmere ties are also a favourite for the winter months.

This ready reckoner prepares you to combat the real world… However, an important element of the selection process is your personal style. So choose wisely…