Mixing patterns and colours is partly art, partly science. When it comes to choosing shirt and tie combinations that mesh together harmoniously, many men give patterned dress shirts and more elaborately printed ties a wide berth, preferring to play it safe with neutral and solid colours.
Usually, gents should choose their dress shirt first and then select ties as a complement, not the other way around. These days, the modern gentleman not only has plenty of solid white and blue dress shirts in his wardrobe, but also has a spectacular array of dress shirts in vibrant colours and patterns ranging from hairline to Bengal stripes and graph to window pane checks. So, what is the modern man to do when he finds himself with a gift of a tie that isn’t the standard solid or variegated stripe so familiar to him? What to do when travelling in Europe, lured into elegant men’s boutiques – like the Philippe Perzi Vienna store in Vienna, who offer a wide range of beautiful shirt and tie combinations that step outside of the box. Well, with a few tips, you’ll be able to mix and match like a pro and be able to pull off a few advanced shirt and tie combinations with aplomb.
Above: A selection of patterned ties in the Philippe Perzi Vienna store and a couple of shirt and tie combinations worn by Philippe Perzi
Alan Flusser says, “in order to dress well, one does not have to brandish a tapestry of pattern…but if one wants to develop a unique and enduring dressing style, familiarity with the prerogatives of pattern is a must.”
So, we’ve sought to simplify a couple of the ‘prerogatives of pattern’ or the ‘rules’ as it were, when it comes to selecting shirt and tie combinations that are sure to excite and venture beyond monochromatic elegance.
Shirt and Tie combinations with the same design: stripes
When choosing shirt and tie combinations with two like-patterns, such as a striped shirt and striped tie, ensure the size of the stripes are as different from each other as possible. So, if your shirt has narrow stripes like the Philippe Perzi Vienna Herzschmerz dress shirt shown above, choose a tie which has wide thick stripes like the Pink and Yellow Candy Stripe tie from the Philippe Perzi Vienna collection – these two with a plain navy suit would be a match made in heaven. The more successful shirt and tie combinations are those where the tie is a similar tone or echoes a colour found in the shirt or in the suit. Below are a couple of examples of how striped shirt and tie combinations can work well following the above rule.
Image on right hand side courtesy of Peter Millar: www.petermillar.com
Shirt and Tie combinations with the same design: checks
Shirt and tie combinations involving two checks require a good eye for detail and is perhaps for those gents who are a little more daring. Similar to the rule concerning shirt and tie combinations involving stripes, when combining a checked shirt with a checked tie or indeed, if you are wanting to wear a suit with a houndstooth or tweed pattern with a checked shirt or tie, you should wear checks that are as different in size as possible. A good shirt and tie combination from the Philippe Perzi Vienna collection, for the rakish gents out there is A schilling for your thoughts with the Tartan Blue tie. As mentioned above, with the tie complementing the colour of the shirt, the overall look is one of bold elegance. Below we show examples of shirt and tie combinations incorporating checks that work well.
Image above left hand side courtesy of Me+My Bentley: meandbybentley.com
Bottom line: When selecting shirt and tie combinations that have the same patterns, ensure they differ in size or else you risk looking like an optical illusion – it’s not easy on the eye.
Shirt and Tie combinations with two different patterns
When selecting shirt and tie combinations with two different patterns, the rules are not so hard and fast. In general, when you have a dress shirt with a dominant pattern, you should select a tie with a design at least equal in scale; otherwise the shirt will overpower the tie. When in doubt about choosing a tie with a prominent pattern to match a shirt with a large or conspicuous pattern, always go for a larger rather than smaller design. As with the above rules regarding stripes and checks, the best shirt and tie combinations are those where the tie repeats a colour found in the shirt or in the suit (especially if you’re wearing plaid or tweed).
As with all rules, there are always exceptions. Shirt and tie combinations where both the pattern on the shirt and the pattern on the tie are particularly small, should really be avoided. If you place two small patterns close to each other, even if they are similar, the resulting combination cannot be guaranteed to impress. When selecting shirt and tie combinations where the shirt has a thin stripe or particularly fine check, choose a tie with a larger pattern. A great combination from the Philippe Perzi Vienna collection is shown above: Wild blue yonder shirt with Baroque tie. Below are a couple of examples that demonstrate the successful mixing of different patterns rule.
Image bottom right courtesy of Peter Millar: www.petermillar.com
Choosing shirt and tie combinations that involve mixing and matching patterns doesn’t have to be sartorial rocket science. Once you know the general rules, you’re good to go and well on your way to living up to your full dapper potential. Philippe Perzi Vienna prides itself on giving our customers an amazing range of shirt and tie combinations to choose from that step outside of the corporate monotone box – that’s not to say we don’t love simple pared back elegance – but we also love a man who’s not afraid to mix it up a little, liven up his wardrobe let his personality shine through.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask! We encourage all our customers to ask us if they need any styling guidance or help choosing shirt and tie combinations for any occasion or how best to enhance their natural colouring, even if isn’t from the Philippe Perzi Vienna collection. Some even send in photos to get our thoughts – so don’t hesitate: firstname.lastname@example.org
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