Mixing & Matching Your Shirts & Ties

By now, you should know what type of shirt collar is appropriate for you, how to tie the perfect knot, and of different kinds of shirt patterns. Now let's put everything together to find combinations that work. We can approach this in just two easy steps:

Step 1. Find Your Color
Whatever color you pick for your shirt, find a tie that has that same color somewhere in its pattern. A tonal match is very easy on the eyes, and immediately brings your shirt and tie together.

Step 2. Properly Proportioned Patterns
Just remember: big pattern, little pattern. You always want to easily discern between the size of your patterns. For example, if your shirt is gingham, pair it with a boarding-stripe tie. Or if your shirt is a shadow stripe, consider a tie with a paisley or dot pattern.

See how easy it is? Simply keep your colors coordinated and proportions on point, and you can do no wrong.

Polka Dots, Stripes, and Plaids

Shirts come in such a wide variety of patterns to choose from, it's often overwhelming for those used to dressing in solid colors to branch out. This short guide should help dispel any mysteries surrounding pattern types.


Dots
Dot patterns are, of course, exactly what they sound: a series of evenly-spaced colored dots against a complementary solid color. You'll generally find dot patterns in two different styles: polka and pin.

Polka Dots
A whimsical and lighthearted pattern, polka dots are often wide in diameter and placed close together. Usually seen as white dots against a solid bright color, the polka dot brings the perfect spring/summer vibe.

Pin Dots
Pin dots are smaller in diameter, and often placed in tighter concentration than the polka dot. Also known as the Churchill dot after Sir Winston Churchill adopted the pattern as his personal trademark, pin dots are most commonly found on ties, often in understated hues of navy and grey. More formal than the polka dot, though not entirely without a sense of adventure.

 

Stripes
What's a tiger without his stripes? Long considered a necessary staple in any collection, the classic striped shirt comes in a number of different widths and color schemes - almost too many to list here. The following are three of the most common stripes that you'll find here at Well Suited.

Pin
Pinstripes are thin, sometimes broken, vertical lines of the same color set between wide gaps of usually white or cream. The most subtle and formal of the stripe patterns, it is often worn for wedding, presentations, and interviews.

Barcode
The barcode patterns is exactly how it sounds - stripes of varying width and color (often different tones of the same hue) that sit close together to mimic a barcode. Frequently implemented by designer brands such as Bugatchi and Paul Smith, the barcode stripe is designed for a night out on the town when you really want to turn some heads.

Shadow
Shadow stripes fit somewhere in between the pin and barcode styles. Made of a multitude of colors, shirtmakers place two stripes of high-contrasting colors adjacent to each other, to give the illusion of a shadow on one or both sides of the stripe. Depending on color, shadowstripes can be a smart, dressy addition to your outfit, or give a light, carefree attitude.

 

Plaids
In recent years, checked patterns — also referred to as plaids — have taken over where stripes once reigned supreme. This is due to their versatility of style and near-limitless range. Here are some checks to watch out for.

Gingham
The gingham check is the new standard. It is made of a uniform series of medium-weight vertical and horizontal stripes that cross over each other on a white background. The perfect balance between formal and casual, this will quickly prove to be your favorite shirt.

Tartan
Made famous by the Scots and their kilts, the tartan plaid is most commonly seen on flannel. Manufacturers such as the local Pendleton are especially fond of this pattern. While typically a casual look, when worn with a suit and tie, the right tartan can create a look that is functional and smart.

Windowpane
The windowpane check is a series of wide-set horizontal and vertical stripes against a solid background, resembling its namesake. This pattern is bolder than its cousin, the gingham, and is also found sport coats and suits.

 

There are many more patterns and styles to choose from, and we have them all right here at Well Suited. Now that you have this handy guide, you will be much more equipped for your journey down the road of men's style. Stay tuned next week when we will show you how to mix and match your new patterned shirts with patterned ties.

Getting Knotty - How to Tie a Tie

In our last post, we showed a few ways of picking a shirt collar for your face shape. But did you know those three collar types will also best accommodate certain tie knots?

This week, we're seeking help from the Internet's authority on ties, Ties.com.


Four-in-Hand
The four-in-hand is the simplest style to tie. With its slimmer knot, it works best with Pointed Collars. Perfect for giving your look a more casual bent.

 

Half-Windsor
Quick, classy, with a touch of casual, the Half-Windsor is best worn with the Semi-Spread Collar, giving you a truly well-rounded look. Great to wear to interviews, special events - even grocery shopping!

 

Full Windsor
The ultimate statement. For when you really want to show off, there's the Windsor. Worn best with a Spread Collar, this is most refined (and most complicated) of the three knots. Best for launching your business or exchanging your lifelong vows.