It can be a little tricky to match a shirt and tie along with your suit. Choosing the right colors can make your style look rich, elegant and presentable.

First impressions usually last. Reading my guide in men’s suits is a great starting point, since fitting your suit is essentially important.

So is the color combination between the suit, the shirt and the tie.

Actually, the color of the suit is the first thing someone will notice – even before the brand, the cut, number of buttons etc.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common colors used in suits and how to match them with shirt and tie. Keep in mind that the season, weather and the occasion play a crucial role in choosing a color.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is the foundation of all color combinations. Understanding it can lead to exploration of different styles and concepts.

Hence, the color wheel is divided into two sections: warm colors and cool colors. First are vibrant and warm, the latter is calm and cold.

The Color Wheel

Using this color wheel, we can create combinations that will match together perfect. I have listed below the exact patterns and schemes that we can use to achieve the best match.

Keep in mind, however, that this is only informative. Mastering the color combinations will come from experience.

One Color Shades Scheme

One-color scheme: Navy suit, soft blue shirt and a blue tie

This color scheme will lead to the same color combination of your suit, shirt and tie. It’s the easiest scheme to achieve and is usually a starting point for every suit wearer.

Matching darker variants of one color to its lighter variant can lead to nice color combinations. Take the navy suit, soft blue shirt and a blue tie as an example.

Analog Colors Scheme

Analog colors scheme: Pink shirt and red tie color combination

This scheme matches colors that are similar to each other. Based on the color wheel, similar colors are considered colors that are next (adjacent) to each other.

This color scheme usually means that the tie will be slightly warmer than the shirt and the suit. Color combination that is pretty acceptable to the human’s eye and (almost) never leads to a mistake.

Contrasting Colors Scheme

Contrasting colors scheme: Blue suit and a red tie

Contrasting colors match colors that are three slots apart on the color wheel. This color scheme combination can bring harmony to your appearance, but is quite often hard to match.

One example of contrasting colors are red and blue. No wonder why red ties pair so good with soft blue shirts and dark blue or navy suits. Thus, the best practice involves pairing a darker tone of each variant.

Complimentary Colors Scheme

Complimentary colors scheme: Navy suit dark orange tie color combination

These colors are opposite to each on the color wheel. They are hardest to match them together and usually requires a lot of sense and experience to pull off a stylish appearance.

To properly match these colors together on a suit, match a tie that has a darker tone (shade) from the shirt. As an example, match a grey suit, orange tie and a soft blue shirt.

Navy Suit

Navy is oftentimes referred to as a foundation color for suits, perhaps due to its commonality. In fact, it seems that there are no situations in which a navy colored suit would be viewed as inappropriate.

It is often considered an elegant and traditional choice. Play with the clarity of this hue and choose blends that are classic.

Navy Blue as an Alternative to Black

There is never going to be a perfect replacement for black other than navy. For people that need to stick with a dark color, but still want to make a more exclusive impression, then navy blue is the way to go.

A very functional color just by design, it has the right amount of color in it. Thus, leaves a first impression that lasts for a lifetime.

The hint of color really makes a difference for the overall appearance. Outfits can be built around navy blue and still be appropriate since it is a primary color.

Navy blue suit, light blue shirt, blue tie mixed with brown shoes

Navy blue suit, light blue shirt and blue tie

This covers all circumstance, celebrations and business events alike. Navy blue can also accentuate youth depending on the wearer.

A feature that may or may not be important. It is a color that has a high preference among suit wearers, and one that’s easy to plan around when the time is short.

Navy Suit & White Shirt Color Combination

It was proven that white pairs excellent with navy, just like any other patches of blue. In fact, a navy suit and a white shirt are one of the best combinations from my experience.

Match this combination with a solid color tie like red, orange or violet. Alternatively, choose a dark color foulard tie and you will get a perfect result.

For instance, you can try putting on a navy suit with a brown tie.

Navy suit, white shirt and brown tie color combinations

Navy suit, white shirt and brown tie

In addition, to come up with a modernized look, you can choose a skinny tie, experimenting with one of the slim type tie knots.

Best Choices

Perry Ellis slim fit suit in navy colorSlim fit white shirt by Calvin Klein
Shlax & Wing foulard tie in brown color Kissties men's striped tie in red color

Suit: Perry Ellis slim fit navy suit.
Shirt: Calvin Klein slim fit white shirt.
Ties: S&L foulard solid brown tie or the KissTies solid red tie.

Navy Suit & Pink Shirt Color Combination

To have an edgier twist, why not combine a pink shirt with your navy suit? This is if you want to get attention.

Pink automatically attracts attention. if you want to achieve an authoritative type of look, match it together with a red tie.

Navy blue suit, light red shirt and red tie color combination

Navy blue suit, light red shirt and red tie

Navy tie is considered a great option as well. As an alternative, however, you may want to go for a purple or a silver tie.

Consider striped and foulard ties as a primary option for this suit & shirt color combination. Go for solid and dotted only if you have to.

Best Choices

Calvin Klein slim fit wool suit in dark navy colorButtoned down tailored fit shirt in pink color
Elviros solid tie in dark red colorBows&Ties striped tie in dark blue (navy) color

Suit: Calvin Klein navy slim fit wool suit.
Shirt: Buttoned-down tailored fit light pink shirt.
Ties: Elviros solid dark red tie or the Bows n’ Ties striped blue tie.

Navy Suit & Blue Shirt Color Combination

Matching a navy suit with a light blue shirt is familiar territory for many celebrities and regular gents alike. The secret is to match the suit with a lighter variant of blue and add a tie with an eye-catching pattern.

These two additions will brighten up the suit and increase the power and representation it carries with him. Try to choose a soft variant of blue for the shirt. This way you can diversify the overall appearance.

For the best and smoothest look, go for foulard or striped ties. Regarding the color, go with more characteristic variants of red (such as crimson) or striped white and blue tie.

Navy suit, light blue shirt and red tie color combination

Navy suit, light blue shirt and red tie color combination

This color combination is perfect for both formal and casual events, leaves a strong impression and makes you look sharp and smart. At the same time, creates a clean and relaxed finish. Touche!

Best Choices

Calvin Klein slim fit wool suit in dark navy colorSlim fit light blue slim fit shirt by Amazon Essentials
Kissties men's striped tie in red colorBows&Ties striped tie in dark blue (navy) color

Suit: Calvin Klein navy slim fit wool suit.
Shirt: Amazon Essentials slim fit light blue shirt.
Ties: KissTies solid red tie or the Bows n’ Ties striped blue tie.

Charcoal Grey Suit

Charcoal grey is a really great color that you can choose for a suit, especially if you want to go for a more classic suit type.

Additionally, this suit color is a great option for formal events, including meetings and weddings. It seems that you can never go wrong with a grey colored suit; it is perfect for any occasion.

Charcoal Grey over White

Charcoal grey can be the bane of a suit wearer’s existence because of the many variations. If white is a bit too bright to wear, charcoal grey is the perfect color to use instead.

The problem with this color is its variety. There is a light charcoal grey and a dark charcoal grey – and the spectrum can be huge.

Deciding the tint and shade is a pure taste or opinion, not a fact, as they are all (almost) equal.

Charcoal grey different shades of suit, shirt and tie combinations

Finding out which is better is simply a matter of looking within the closet and finding the current tone of clothes.

Do you own mostly light suits? Then go with a dark charcoal grey for variation. Reverse this if the closet is full of mostly dark clothes.

It should cover a good amount of options for any wearer. The entire debate over the shade of charcoal gray will never end. Make the choice you feel most comfortable with.

Grey Suit & White Shirt Color Combination

Both grey and white are neutral colors. Thus, you can mix this combination with almost every tie. Well, sort of.

Grey suit and white shirt can be matched with a black or navy tie to demonstrate formality. Darker red tones will be a great choice as well.

Grey suit, white shirt and blue tie color combination

Grey suit, white shirt and blue tie

To achieve a little less-serious and informal look, match a grey suit with a white shirt, along with a grey tie. You can blend them with a brown belt and brown shoes.

Another option is pairing your charcoal gray suit with a blue and black repp striped tie, together with black accessories.

Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice that James Bond simply loves the grey suit and white shirt combo. He usually matches it with a grey or black tie.

Best Choices

Slim fit light grey suit by Tommy HilfigerSlim fit white shirt by Amazon Essentials
British-striped navy blue tie by RetreezFoulard solid grey tie by Kissties

Suit: Tommy Hilfiger slim fit light grey suit.
Shirt: Amazon Essentials slim fit white shirt.
Ties: British-striped navy-blue tie by Retreez or the Foulard solid grey tie by Kissties.

If you prefer a regular fit, my suggestion will be:

Modern fit charcoal grey suit by Tommy HilfigerRegular fit white shirt by Van Hausen
Solid navy blue tie by Pierre CardinSecdtie Striped navy, white and black tie

Suit: Tommy Hilfiger modern fit charcoal grey suit.
Shirt: Van Heusen Regular fit white shirt.
Ties: Solid navy tie by Pierre Cardin or the Striped navy, white and black tie by Secdtie.

Grey Suit & Pink Shirt Color Combination

If you feel that the resulting ensemble of the grey suit is a bit “dry”, then a pink shirt will change your point of view.

I suggest matching this combination with a slightly darker variation of pink or violet tie.

Grey suit pink shirt color combination

Grey suit, pink shirt and burgundy tie color combination

One of the several reasons making grey a perfect choice for a pink shirt is that, based on the shade, it can easily be matched with either blue or black tie.

Additionally, you can go with other dark tie colors, such as maroon.

Best Choices

Slim fit grey wool suit by Calvin Klein Slim fit pink shirt by Calvin Klein
Solid black tie by QBSMStriped navy-pink tie by Elfeves

Suit: Calvin Klein slim fit wool grey suit.
Shirt: Calvin Klein slim fit pink shirt.
Ties: Solid black tie by QBSM or the striped pink-navy tie by Elfeves.

Grey Suit & Blue Shirt Color Combination

Matching a grey suit and a light blue shirt will lighten your overall appearance. Go for a soft blue shirt, because too bright blue shirt can ruin the elegance of the combination.

In my personal opinion, the best choice for a tie is either navy or blue. However, you want to distinguish the shirt and the tie by adding a significantly darker shade of blue tie.

James Bond wears grey suit, light blue shirt and blue tie

As an alternative, you can combine a grey tie, a shade that is similar to the shade of the suit. The darker shade is also good, which leads us to another possible option – black tie.

Regardless of the combination, it will give you that bold and intelligent appearance. Perfect for formal events and business occasions.

Best Choices

Modern fit charcoal grey suit by Tommy HilfigerSlim fit light blue shirt by Kenneth Cole
Blue dotted grey tie by S&LSolid navy blue tie by Pierre Cardin

Suit: Modern fit charcoal grey suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
Shirt: Kenneth Cole slim fit light blue shirt.
Ties: Blue-dotted grey tie by S&L or the solid navy tie by Pierre Cardin.

Grey Suit & Black Shirt Color Combination

Another shirt option for the grey suit is black. It can be matched together with a grey tie for a fine look. A black tie will work just as good, too.

Grey suit, black shirt and black tie color combination

Grey suit, black shirt and black tie color combination

The point here is that a suit with a charcoal gray color is completely versatile and may easily be paired with almost any kind of ties. As long as your clothing is fitted and well-tailored, you are good to go.

It might come as a surprise to you, though, that my advice to you is to avoid this combination. Especially if it makes you insecure, even the tiniest bit. The reason – everything else is remarkably better!

Best Choices

Slim fit medium grey suit by Kenneth ColeSlim fit black shirt by Kenneth Cole
Solid black tie by QBSMSecdtie Striped navy, white and black tie

Suit: Kenneth Cole slim fit medium grey suit.
Shirt: Kenneth Cole slim fit black shirt.
Ties: Solid black tie by QBSM or the striped navy, white and black tie by Secdtie.

Black Suit

Black is, by all means, considered to be principal color when it comes to suits. It carries a reputation of being authoritative and serious.

Black suits are suitable for every occasion, formal and casual alike. If you have a black suit paired with a white button-down shirt, you can choose a tie that has patterns on it. A dotted tie will be just as fine, too.

Unless you prefer to be acknowledged as “formal”. In that case, go for a regimental striped or foulard ties.

Black Suits are Classic

There is something about black suits that make them stand out. Most of the people wear a black suit than any other color.

That makes sense though, since black suits are considered to be the most traditional wardrobe in the business world. In fact, every man should have at least one of them.

But the best thing about these suits? They match with (almost) everything and it is nearly impossible to mess up the coordination of the mixed shirt and tie.

Black and white suit, shirt and tie color combination

One thing to be careful of is to avoid wearing suits, shirt and tie that are all of one color. Especially black.

A “one-color-everything” outfit can only be done by high ranking people in the fashion industry.

When a big celebrity wears all in one color, the attention comes from being a rebel rather than coordinating colors.

Black Suit & White Shirt Color Combination

Black suits and white shirts were once the perfect color combination. In my opinion, the same qualities that once made black & white combo perfect, still hold true.

Besides, it’s a very easy color combination to pair anything up with.

Red, blue and grey are oftentimes considered as the traditional options for ties that go along well with a black suit and a white shirt.

Black suit, white shirt and blue tie color combination

Black suit, white shirt and blue tie

Other good matches include a black suit with striped or foulard gold, black or brown tie. In fact, the spectrum is so huge, that even plaid and paisley ties match just fine.

A thing that you can keep in mind, though, is that black suits are mostly made of wool, a heavy fabric. Your option for both shirts and ties should complement this very well.

Best Choices

Black slim-fit suit by DKNYSlim fit white color shirt by Kenneth Cole
British-striped navy blue tie by RetreezKissties men's striped tie in red color

Suit: Black slim-fit suit by DKNY.
Shirt: Kenneth Cole slim-fit white shirt.
Ties: British-striped navy blue tie by Retreez or the solid red tie by Kissties.

Black Suit & Pink Shirt Color Combination

To match a pink shirt with a black suit, choose a more soft and light shade of pink. Too bright and you will ruin the harmony.

Match this combination with a striped pink & dark color tie, like black or navy. Or bring neutrality with something grey or navy. Additionally, you can put a red or darker shade of pink tie.

Black suit, pink shirt and navy-pink tie color combination

Black suit, pink shirt and navy-pink tie color combination

Pink shirts can like quite good on a black suit, especially if you bring some another element in the combination. It can be a striped or a dotted tie, striped suit or different shirt’s collar color.

I love this suit & shirt combination. Pink is very adaptable color and goes along with black just fine. Feel comfortable to try it on!

Best Choices

Alan Dupetit slim fit suitTailored fit light-pink shirt by Buttoned Down
Striped navy, white and black tie by SecdtieStriped navy-pink tie by Elfeves

Suit: Black slim fit suit by Alan Dupetit.
Shirt: Tailored fit light-pink shirt by Buttoned Down.
Ties: Striped navy, white and black tie by Secdtie or the Striped navy-pink tie by Elfeves.

Brown Suit

Is brown an option? Yes, and based on the fabric can make anyone stand out. Brown suits are a natural earth tone that looks best even when going into the darker colors like chocolate.

The fun thing about this color is that it can quickly alternate between professional and casual. There were times when older gentleman may not agree with brown being a professional color. But, times have changed.

Brown Suit & White Shirt Color Combination

Brown suits are warmer than all other suits. But that doesn’t mean they are strictly casual. In fact, the white shirt fits so well with a brown suit, that I even recommend it for formal or business events alike.

Match this combination with a black, brown or yellow striped tie and you’ve got a lovely overall appearance.

Brown suit color combination

Alternatively, you can combine it with a white-dotted brown tie with a darker shade or a slightly lighter analog color solid tie to enhance that warm look of your brown suit.

Best Choices

Slim fit brown suit by Kenneth ColeKenneth Cole slim fit in white color
Striped browh with white tie by Scott AllanShlax & Wing foulard tie in brown color

Suit: Kenneth Cole slim fit brown suit.
Shirt: Kenneth Cole slim-fit white shirt.
Ties: Striped brown with white tie by Scott Allan or the solid foulard tie in brown color by Shlax & Wing.

Brown Suit & Blue Shirt Color Combination

At last, but not least, a very introvert, yet powerful color combination: a brown suit and a light blue shirt.

Try matching this attire with a striped navy tie or a dotted or solid blue tie. As a matter of fact, it all depends on the warmth of the brown. But you’ve mastered colors by now and will get along just fine… right?

Brown suit, light blue shirt & navy tie color combination

Brown suit, light blue shirt & navy tie color combination

The contract between the warm brown and the coolness of the blue is evident, balanced and in perfect harmony. Don’t hesitate to try it on you.

Best Choices

Trim fit brown suit by Tommy HilfigerSlim fit blue shirt by Tommy Hilfiger
Solid navy tie by the Tie BarBows&Ties striped tie in dark blue (navy) color

Suit: Trim fitted brown suit by Tommy Hilfiger.
Shirt: Blue slim fit shirt by Tommy Hilfiger
Ties: Solid navy tie by the TieBar or the striped tie in light blue and navy color by Bows & Ties.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Having a variety of colors is a way to avoid getting stuck with nothing to wear. Suits variety is important for any closet.

A wardrobe that lacks even the basic foundation colors will have nothing to fall back on. Start with the base colors. Then, work to mix and match the foundational colors for the best effect.

Different Suits & Ties color combinations

Brown is no longer just casual and can be used in the business world. Navy blue and charcoal gray are fantastic choices for every occasion.

One thing to notice is that all these colors are just the tip of the iceberg. Thus, they make a great starting point for figuring out the personality within the suit.

If there is a combination that makes you uncertain, skip it through. Go with something certain and already proven.

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