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Formal wear

Shirt and Tie Combinations For A Black Suit

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I know, I know… You have this event and you’re clueless about what to wear. All you know is that you need a suit, a shirt and a tie. If it weren’t for your girl, you’d just walk up into the first store you can find and take the first thing the salesperson recommends.

Hey, I’d rather grab a beer too instead of dragging myself through dozens of stores to find something decent to wear.

But image is important. Whether we like to admit it or not, knowing to match our suit, shirt and tie is a must. The combinations are many but I’m going to save you the trouble and confusion you have when it comes down to this topic.

It all boils down to color and pattern coordination. That’s it! I’m going to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right combination. And for this I will simply use… pictures! It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie when it comes to style, all you have to do is model the pictures. Once you have the shirt and tie perfected, throw on your favorite cufflinks for an outstanding classy look.

It’s so easyeven a kid can do it

The basic rule is this: you start with the biggest piece of clothing all the way to the smallest one. (this goes for casual outfits too). In our case:

  1. The suit
  2. The shirt
  3. The tie

In this order.

Let’s assume you already have the black suit and that you want to get the right combination of shirt and tie. If you don’t have it yet, you need to do this first.

Word of advice: don’t buy your suit based on split second decisions. Suits are expensive so make sure you try on as many as you can before you spend your hard earned money on them.

OK, now that you have your suit color, let’s get right into the suit, shirt and tie combinations. Just scroll down to the suit color YOU have and use the pictures for inspiration.

Black suit + white shirt

The easiest combination is the black suit and white shirt. If you’re looking for something classic, this is the combination for you.

What tie to choose in this case? It’s all up to you. The vast majority of colors go well with black and white. For instance, they guy above is wearing a black tie.

The secret is for the tie to contrast well with the shirt. If it’s hard to distinguish the tie from the shirt, you just know something is wrong.

So, for a black suit and a white shirt, great tie colors are: red, gold, yellow and orange. Take a look:

photo: jerrystuxshop.com

If you’re going to a more serious even (say, a funeral) you don’t want to wear ties in such bold colors. Go for a simple black tie, or for some other conservative nuances. For instance, a dark blue tie (solid color) is perfect:

Patterns are great. Here’s why…

If you have a black suit like the guy above and a white shirt, you can definitely go for a tie with patterns. In fact, I think it’s a GREAT idea that you do.

Patterns are great when you don’t abuse them (i.e. wear too many of them). In this case, a pattern will fit perfectly into the outfit.

Patterns show that you’re style conscious and are a great way to lighten up any black suit.

What patterned tie would I wear if i were the guy in the picture above and I wanted to ditch the blue tie? One that has white on it. A red tie with white stripes, a blue tie with white stripes… anything in a bold color with white stripes.

Having the shirt color in the tie is not a rule. You can do very well without it. Here’s an example. Notice how the striped tie brings the entire outfit to life.

photo: fourinhand.com

Ready for a colored shirt?

Before going for a colored shirt, make sure you’re you don’t choose a color that’s too bold for an occasion that is too formal.

Take a look at this, this is a great way to stand out in a business meeting:

photo: cubicleclothing.com

And how about this yellow shirt? The yellow/blue combination is fantastic!

photo: gallery.hd.org

If you looked carefully, you noticed that the suit above is actually a pinstripe suit. The stripes are not that obvious but this raises a legitimate question: what to wear with a black pinstripe suit?

Stripes. Pinstripes.

A pinstripe suit goes well with a striped shirt and a striped tie as long as the thickness of the strips differs. Here’s a great example of a guy who pulled it off (generally speaking, wearing more than 3 patterns at a time can be very tricky):

photo: wayless.com

Alright, Gents, now you have a very good starting point to match your black suit. Just remember to try as many combinations as you can. Enjoy!

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George Lavas

George is dedicated to fashion and style for men. Based in the UK, George enjoys writing about lifestyle and fashion from both sides of the pond. George created BeStylish.org to help readers create a strong sense of style with minimum effort believing that everyone can look and feel good, all day, every day.

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