Suit, Shirt & Tie Ideas

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Suit, Shirt & Tie Ideas
The right combination of suit, shirt and tie is key for a business or evening attire. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Whether formal attire is your everyday "work suit" or an option for special occasions, you must ensure its components (suit, shirt and tie) blend naturally. It is a challenging task to find the perfect combination, especially since every occasion (work, party, formal dinner, funeral) demands different colours and suit styles. However, simple "fashion rules" can help you match your suit, shirt and tie and draw people's attention for all the right reasons.

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Where to Start From

Start "building" your formal outfit from the suit. Not only is it the basic component (it's unlikely you own a tie without a suit), but it's also the most difficult to replace; you can easily buy a new shirt to match your suit, but not a new suit for a shirt. However, consider buying a new suit when you discover you own lots of shirts or ties you incorrectly combine with current ones.

Choosing the Suit

The main factor you must take into consideration when choosing a suit is where you want to wear it (at work, at formal parties, both). If you intend to wear the suit at work, a safe choice is a dark grey or charcoal suit with notched lapels. On formal occasions, such as dinner parties and weddings (as a guest), choose the classic black suit with peaked lapels. However, notched lapels are also acceptable since you don't wear a bow tie.

Matching the Shirt

Solid colours are a safe option, as they give you the opportunity to match a number of tie colours and patterns. White, cream and light blue match with all dark suits. You can go for a dark blue or red shirt as long as you can match it with an easily distinguishable tie. Avoid different patterns between the suit and the shirt, as they both draw attention and you can't match them with a tie.

Adding the Tie

The tie is the smallest component of formal attire but a wrong choice can ruin your whole effort. Matching the colour is the main issue when choosing a tie; the same colour as the suit is suitable when you don't seek to draw attention (at funerals or at the office, for instance), but you must ensure there is a contrast between the shirt and the tie. Patterned ties match with solid suits and shirts, while if you wear the "standard" black suit-white shirt outfit, you can choose between any tie in the store.

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