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Style = Confidence
Calgary, Alberta


Ensemble Style is a Calgary fashion stylist stylists personal shopper shoppers and wardrobe consultant consultants. Menswear styling and closet edits. Custom suiting for men. Made-to-measure suiting





A men's fashion/style blog, for the modern, stylish man. Personal shopping and styling in Calgary Alberta, Canada. New York fashion styling and consulting.

The do's and don'ts of pairing shirts and ties.

Lauren Larsen

If you work in an office with any kind of corporate dress code, you’ve by now no doubt built up a wardrobe filled with a variety of shirts and ties in different colours, patterns, and textures. But do you know how to pair them? Can checks go with plaid? Stripes with stripes? Purple with…a lighter shade of purple?

Paying close attention to the basic Do’s and Don’ts of how best to pair a shirt and tie will simplify the process of getting dressed, and take the guess work out of your look.

Note: this list is not exhaustive and, of course, not limited to the following… have more questions? Ask ’em in the comments below!

Patterns & Patterns

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Do: Pair a patterned shirt with a patterned tie as long as the patterns are not the same or similar sizes – i.e. a small check on the shirt with a large stripe or check on the tie or a small stripe on the shirt with a large stripe or check on the tie.

Don’t: Pair a shirt and tie with the same pattern, i.e. if the shirt is a vertical stripe pattern (large or small) the tie should not also be a vertical stripe pattern. Horizontal stripes or slanted stripes can work as long as they are of a different size.

Do: Pair solids with patterns, i.e. solid shirt, patterned tie, solid tie, patterned shirt.

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Don’t: Pair solid shirts with a tie of predominantly the same colour, even if it is a pattern, unless there is minimal of the same colour in the tie.

Don’t: Resort to layering solids on solids unless you’re pairing a solid white shirt with a solid black tie (or are aping Regis Philbin’s style from his “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” days)

Do: Feel free to branch out and try a pattern (like repeating bicycles or floral) instead of the go-to plaid, stripes, polka dots…then prepare for a copious amount of compliments.


Don’t: Let your shirt and tie blend together. Keep it in the realm of light tie / dark shirt or light shirt / dark tie.

Do: Play pastels off one another. Just be sure one “pops” more than the other.

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Don’t: Wear primary colours together if you don’t want to look like a kindergartener’s art project.

Do: Wear a black tie with a white shirt; it’s always a classic. But don’t turn it the other way around with a black shirt and white tie (unless you are attending a throwback party of sorts).

Do: Get creative when it comes to color. Look for shirt and tie pairings that bring out the small accent color(s) in each piece. Drawing attention to an accent colour is always a sure-fire win.

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As mentioned above, this list is definitely not exhaustive. If you have any other shirt/tie combination questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a message via the contact form! I always love {seriously I love it} hearing from you!

xo - Ensemble Style

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