If you’ve been keeping up with the Astor & Black style log, you are now familiar with our custom dress shirts, our favorite ties for the season, and the basics of talking about clothes. Now it’s time to start putting it together. Here’s a run down of the best practices for pairing shirts and ties.
A solid shirt is a tie’s best friend. A white shirt is a blank canvas. It can virtually go with any tie. But when worn every day, white can be boring. So opt for a solid pink or blue with a nice patterned tie. Let your shirt pull the highlights out of your tie. For example, if you’re wearing a berry colored tie with small bits of blue in the pattern, wear a light blue shirt draw attention to that detail.
Think of your ties as a masterpiece and the shirt as a frame. By wearing a nice light colored solid shirt, and balancing it with a darker tie with a hint of your shirt color, your shirt makes your tie look fantastic.
Above all, remember the law of ratios. Majors and minors. A subdued shirt belongs with bolder tie. Your tie should break up the pattern rather than get lost in it. The opposite applies as well. With bold-patterned shirts (plaids, multiple checks, bold stripes, etc.) go with a quiet tie. Solid, twill, and knit ties are all strong options for pairing with a louder shirt.
The same thing goes with suits. Solid and subtle suits oblige you to turn things up with your tie, while more intricately patterned suits require a subtler tie.
Make a bold and clear statement; don’t dilute it with competing arguments.
Trust your instincts. If there is question in your mind as to whether an outfit is too loud, then it’s probably too loud. Your clothes should look like you intentionally selected each item and cared about every detail, but became an afterthought as soon as you walked through your front door. This is what we like to call “sprezzatura.”