Wearing a solid shirt with a solid tie is easy. Learn the art of mixing patterns though, and you’ll demonstrate sartorial mastery. One rule: the shirt and tie patterns should differ in scale. A shirt with smaller checks looks best with a tie that has either bigger checks or broader stripes. The reason? Patterns of similar sizes will compete with each other. Giving each one its own platform tells people you’re different… But that you still know how to dress.
When you’re picking colours, you can match or you can complement them. If you’re drawn to classic pieces, make sure your tie picks up on a dominant colour from your shirt; a predominantly green shirt needs a tie that contains a similar shade. If you’re a more adventurous type, seek out complementary colours. For example: yellow works well with blue, olive looks nice on red and charcoal adds a natural shade of contrast to tan.
Tie fabrics such as silk, linen, wool and cashmere are gaining popularity and make it easy to add tactile contrast to your style. Experimenting with neckwear conveys a message to your superiors; you’re creative and open to new ideas. You wouldn’t break these out at a black-tie event, but they’re entirely appropriate at cocktail hours or in an informal work setting.