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Guys, I've recently picked up a few new suits which look great, but I'm struggling with the tie and shirt combinations (according to my mates!). Are there any general rules that I should follow when matching? I've got a blue chalkstripe, a grey birdseye and plain light blue suit.

Any tips would be appreciated....
 

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Not match but complement. I would look for ties with a color pallet that complements the suit. For the blue suits try something like green or lavender. As for the gray suit, that's a blank slate and you can have at it.

Some pictures might help.
 

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pt4u67 is right about the grey, with a white shirt the sky's the limit on ties (within reason). I'd have to see the blues to make specific suggestions. Check out Andy's articles on color co-ordination on the home page.
 

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Guys, I've recently picked up a few new suits which look great, but I'm struggling with the tie and shirt combinations ...

Any tips would be appreciated....
What do your "mates" like to see in combinations?
Andy has that color wheel for reference, but then the rest of the choices come down to what you are trying to do with your wardrobe.

If you are confident, contrasting colors will do very well between suit and tie, especially with a plain white shirt. I suggest never going out of a very tame, timid range of shirt colors in order to simplify and dignify the suit-tie combo. White, cream, pale yellow, pale pink, pale blue, are good shirt colors.

So a blue suit with a red-maroon tie is good, but you don't want something screaming out "STOP SIGN". Complex patterns might work well if the suit is a simple and broad pattern or plain. Then you can use a pocket square to work with secondary colors in the tie.

If you want to settle back and be a wall flower, use a tie-suit combo which is in a family of similar colors: blue suit, light blue shirt, deep green tie. You can also negate patterns as much as possible to fade you back in space. Yesterday I wore a brown pinstripe suit with light blue shirt and a deep maroon-purple (plain) silk tie, and a medium grey silk pocket square. Very nice, but very retreating for a day where I didn't feel confident or social.

I think one of the biggest problems most guys have in fashion combinations is that they see everything alone and grab the wildest colors, like Magpies on crack. Then they get a relatively decent suit, but have a bright, french blue shirt (maybe even with a WHITE collar!) and some neon orange or green tie, and wonky cuff links that reflect light into people's eyes because they are like chrome hubcaps. Then they top it off with some anachronistic hat and strut the roads while desperate men run up to them asking for an hour with one the women he pimps.

It's probably better to start from as low a point as possible, dress down, and then add something bright and attractive to see how it works with the very dour suit/shirt combo. You'll then see how a nice tie will pop out your whole image and bring you forward in space through a clever use of color and pattern.
 
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