As you explore the elegant nuances of wearing a suit, the color combinations for the shirt and tie become essential.
In fact, the shirt and tie colors determine how the suit will be perceived.
Color matching is also important to blend in with the occasion.
So, the prerequisite here is an understanding of the color wheel.
Basic Color Schemes from the Color Wheel
The color wheel combines the various color tones displayed in a circular pattern. Primarily, it indicates a relation between colors.
First, there are two color sections: warm and cool.
Warm colors are vibrant and energetic. In menswear, these are red, orange, brown, maroon, etc.
Then come the cool colors, which are cold and calm. Blue, purple, greys, and most greens are examples.
Mixing these colors together is the best way to create combinations that blend perfectly.
Monochromatic Color Combinations
If all items of an outfit have shades or hues of a single color, it is considered monochromatic.
One of the most common monochrome examples is wearing a navy suit with a light blue shirt and a darker blue tie.
Another example is wearing a grey suit with a light grey shirt and a charcoal tie.
In menswear, a monochromatic color combination is considered a rudimentary style approach.
Analogous Color Combinations
Analogous colors are similar in warmth, close/adjacent to each other on the color wheel, and feature a common color.
For example, pink shirts and purple ties will be analogous. You can mix these with a navy or maroon suit to achieve a full analogous combination.
Analogous colors often have a slight contrast and look very pleasing to the viewer.
Triadic Color Combinations
Triadic is a three-color scheme, all equally spaced on the color wheel. These often have an appropriate contrast and therefore look harmonious.
An example would be red, blue, and yellow, all primary colors.
Similarly, purple, orange, and green are also triadic colors.
My advice with triadic colors is to pick just two and mix them with something analogous or neutral, like white.
Complementary Color Combinations
Complementary colors are opposite to each other on the color wheel. As a result, they provide the maximum possible contrast.
Some examples will be red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and violet.
This contrast is very bold. As a result, it takes quite an effort to style these colors together.
Navy Suit Color Combinations
The navy has a universal acceptance as the most versatile suit color.
It has an innate charisma of making a person youthful while effortlessly blending formality and style.
There are myriads of outfit opportunities with different shirt and tie combinations.
Generally, dark or midnight blue, grey, brown, pink, and red are matching colors for a navy suit.
However, all of them can’t pair in the same outfit, so these can vary to fit the occasion.
Navy Suit and White Shirt
A white dress shirt is a classic horseman for any suit. It tones down the navy outfit, adding room for ties.
You can narrow down your options with a navy suit and white shirt into two.
The first is a full business look. It’s for corporate gentlemen who want to spray confidence.
A navy and white repp tie will be a timeless addition.
Also, diagonally striped ties mean business and pair well with a navy business suit. I suggest brown, navy, and grey for striped ties.
A brown tie will also provide a modestly elegant business look.
You can also pair the navy suit with a solid burgundy, navy, or charcoal tie for a statement-making outfit.
The second option is to wear a white shirt and navy suit combination as a playful choice for cocktails, dates, and weddings. It’s when you can add personality to the outfit.
You can style up your outfit with a black bow tie if it’s a wedding.
A red tie with white polka dots or a solid navy tie will also match the look.
The light blue silk tie with some micropattern is another suitable yet lively option.
Navy Suit and Blue Shirt
Replacing the white shirt with light blue adds color complexities to the navy suit. The outfit will be appropriately formal, but it will remove the strict business look paradigm.
Thus, I would consider this a dressed-up business-formal look.
For the ties, I don’t recommend anything flashy; rather subtle and elegant.
A dark green medallion tie is also great. It’s because green and navy are often challenging to pair.
A mid-blue and a burgundy tie are also excellent options for a blue shirt and navy suit.
For something youthful, I suggest a deep red polka dot. You can also try a rusted orange tie.
The look completely changes if you replace the light-blue shirt with blue denim. This outfit is not for every navy suit and, obviously, not for everyone.
However, it could be a subtle way to try something different in everyday wear. A dark textured tie will complement this look.
Navy Suit and Pink Shirt
Wearing a pink shirt is a great way to style the navy blue suit for festive events, such as weddings and cocktail parties.
In this outfit, pink and navy floral ties will be great, as they’ll embellish the pink tone in the outfit.
Note that when a navy suit is paired with pink, the shirt is the outfit’s centerpiece.
Thus, you can use a more robust color in the tie to draw attention away from the shirt.
A red foulard tie is an example. Overall, this outfit will be very authoritative.
A navy blue tie with pink textures or patterns is another suitable option. This analogous color palette will add depth to the outfit.
You can also choose contrasting colors like pastel green and yellow for a vibrant shirt and tie combination.
Blue Suit Color Combinations
If a navy suit seems too formal, try a more vibrant shade such as royal or true blue.
Blue is a phenomenal suit color for semi-formal events such as weddings and parties and is often a statement-making item.
The color-matching, therefore, should complement these inherent characteristics of blue suits.
Red, burgundy, pink, orange, and brown are some contrasting colors with blue.
In comparison, violet and navy are analogous to blue color. And all of them pair well with the blue suit.
Blue Suit and White Shirt
The white shirt deems to provide a somewhat cliché look with the blue suit.
However, if you pay attention, you can completely alter the outfit merely by changing the tie.
An example is wearing a red tie with a blue suit. This ensemble is serious and predominant even among many US presidents.
Similarly, a navy or black tie with a blue suit conveys a serious message and is appropriately formal.
But switching the tie with something vibrant, like green, pink, or mustard foulard, will completely alter the look, a nonchalant vibe for dates and cocktails.
You can also wear a paisley tie with this outfit to give your look a casual and vibrant feeling.
Blue Suit and Light Blue Shirt
There is only a little pop of color in the combination of the monochromatic blue suit and light blue shirt.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t style it. In fact, this combination can work as regular wear.
It’s an effortless ensemble that makes you look like you’ve been wearing suits for years.
For the ties, a textured light-red will be a pertinent choice. You can also choose a blue medallion tie.
A navy and lemon polka dot tie is another good choice to pair with this suit and shirt.
For something vibrant, I would suggest a mustard foulard or orange tie.
You can also wear a blue suit with a blue striped shirt.
Opt for these with the solid-colored ties mentioned above for a distinctively stylish look.
Blue Suit and Pink Shirt
You have two vibrant colors in a blue suit and pink shirt combination. This means the attire is buoyant without needing to add any spark.
To wear this outfit as a dressed-up look, go with a tie that accentuates already prevalent colors.
Navy blue, purple, and burgundy are my favorite tie colors to complement the blue suit and pink shirt.
It’s also great to have some patterns or dots in the tie. Floral ties with prominent designs are also acceptable in this outfit.
In comparison, wearing a more cheerful tie color adds warmth to an otherwise jolly outfit.
These would be bottle green, light blue, rusty orange, and brown.
Black Suit Color Combinations
A black suit is considered the most formal. In most cases, it’s only one step below the tuxedo.
Therefore, neutral colors go better in the outfit.
Grey, navy, burgundy, and red will look harmonious in the suit.
Also, the black suit is not very versatile; therefore, don’t experiment with the color palette.
Black Suit and White Shirt
A white shirt with a black suit is a formal color combination, great for black-tie ceremonies and significant moments in life.
Usually, people attending award ceremonies and grooms opt for this utmost formal ensemble.
All ties look great in this combination. But some standard options include solid red, navy, charcoal, or burgundy polka dot ties.
A white striped tie also fits well in the ensemble.
You can even go for floral ties. Keep in mind that the outfit will be slightly less formal and more cheerful.
Similarly, the black suit and white shirt combination is the standard for funerals, usually paired with a solid black necktie tie.
Black Suit and Blue Shirt
A black suit and a blue dress shirt are more business-oriented color combinations.
The blue hues in the shirt allay the black. Therefore, the suit has a minimal domineering effect and feels welcoming.
Note that the shirt color should be light to mid-blue. Anything darker will look monotonous and dull.
For neckties, solid or polka dot ties are the best bet. The dots’ size usually doesn’t matter.
If the tie has an orange tinge, this will act as a complementary color to the blue in the shirt. As a result, the tie will be the center of attention, and the black suit will feel less formal.
Contrastingly, a solid black or navy tie will be more serious and conservative.
A black and tan check tie is another good choice in this color combination.
You can appear in this outfit in the same events as in a white shirt and black suit.
In addition, this outfit can be more easily worn as a routine.
Grеy Suit Color Combinations
Grey suits themselves can have many shades. Medium grey is usually the standard.
It makes them a great and adaptable variant of the black suit.
The grey suit blends efficiently with many colors.
For example, red, maroon, navy, blue, brown, and other neutral colors are excellent matches of grey.
Grеy Suit and White Shirt
The grey suit and a white shirt are an elegant combination timely for office wear, weddings, job interviews, and lavish dinners.
As far as the shade of grey goes, a white shirt suits them all.
But it almost feels inevitable with darker shades such as charcoal and medium grey.
While a light-grey suit and a white shirt might feel a little monotone, you can counterbalance it with dark-color ties, such as navy.
Generally, a solid black tie is the most dressed-up option. Additionally, you can add depth to the outfit by some textures in the tie.
A dark striped tie in navy will be a good choice for business wear.
The earthy tones of the brown tie make the grey suit stand out.
The red and burgundy pin dots also mix well with grey in almost every shade.
Grеy Suit and Blue Shirt
The grey suit and a blue shirt are the modern business wear staple. James Bond loves to style this look.
In addition, the combination is flamboyant yet genuine; you can also wear it throughout the year.
There aren’t any specific preferences among the grey shades with a blue shirt.
However, charcoal grey and light blue make the best business outfits. It provides an effortless look that looks stylishly grown-up.
On the other hand, the light grey suit has a jaunty flair. It’s less formal and ideal for summer daytime weddings.
The good tie options will be textured black or navy with some patterns. The dark green regimental tie is another good option.
My recommendations for something less formal are burgundy polka dots and a light blue foulard tie.
A solid peach tie is another excellent match with a grey suit and blue shirt. This combination is a standout for weddings and dinner parties.
Grеy Suit and Black Shirt
You’ll often see celebrities pulling off this look at movie premieres. It’s a very fashion-forward look.
Note that grey and black have the same tint, just a different shade, according to the color wheel.
Therefore, this combination can feel monotonous, especially to classic menswear fans.
In terms of suit shade, charcoal grey works best here.
To complete the look, I would suggest a solid black necktie. A dark grey tie can also do the job.
Choose a solid red tie if you want to add a flair of color.
A black and grey repp tie will have matching colors with the ensemble.
However, I suggest bypassing the tie with this color combination to avoid the unnecessary spotlight.
Brown Suit Color Combinations
Brown suits are refined and very noticeable.
They might not be as formal as grey and navy, but they are still classic.
Additionally, you can easily get away and can try many shirts and tie colors.
Burgundy, deep-red, navy, dark green, and black are good colors to match with a brown suit.
Brown Suit and White Shirt
A white shirt and brown suit make an outfit of ascended formality.
You can wear this to work, parties, dates, and weddings. I consider this a dressed-up option for spring and summer.
A simple yet classic way to match the suit and shirt is to wear a solid black necktie.
A brown and white striped tie is another good choice. These tie colors will match the suit and shirt to make an office-appropriate attire.
In comparison, a deep navy blue tie will nourish the casual brown tones, suitable for everyday wear.
Other suitable tie options are crimson red polka or pin dots.
For summer, you can incorporate bold colors and patterns.
Yellow foulard, burgundy paisley, and light-blue floral ties can be the preferences.
Brown Suit and Blue Shirt
A brown suit and a blue shirt offer several outfits.
The first is a semi-formal look that combines a dark navy tie with a light blue shirt.
The outfit becomes office-appropriate as blue becomes more prominent, especially with a three-piece suit.
An alternative option is to emphasize the brown suit with a similar tie shade, like light brown or dark stripes.
The other option is to introduce a third color in the tie, often burgundy or red. Again, textures in the tie/patterns will be crucial here.
For a statement-making look, replace the classic light blue shirt with a blue striped shirt.
You can complement this look with a striped tie that has some shade of red in it.
Lastly, sprinkle some light colors in the outfit for a summer look. An example is a pink micropattern tie.
Maroon & Burgundy Suit Color Combinations
Maroon and burgundy combine darker shades of red with purple overtones.
Due to the same primary color, these two are of equal formality and are often mistaken as the same color.
Maroon and burgundy suits are modern and festive; reasonably suitable for social occasions.
Color matching the shirt and tie can have plenty of possibilities.
For example, you can complement the dark rich burgundy tones with navy, black, brown, and red.
Alternatively, have a contrast with some pastel shades in pink and yellow.
Maroon / Burgundy Suit and White Shirt
A white shirt in a burgundy or maroon suit provides maximum contrast, creating a very sharp outfit.
It’s a cheerful suit outfit you can wear to cocktails, weddings, and other formal parties.
A navy tie is also a good match with a maroon and burgundy suit. You can wear everything from a solid navy to patterns like stripes or dots.
A solid black is another good option. It neutralizes the red hues of maroon and makes the shirt pop out.
Similarly, a brown glen plaid will make another good shirt and tie combination. As the brown earthen the outfit, the pattern adds playfulness.
Also, if you want liveliness in the outfit, go with a light-blue pin dot.
Maroon / Burgundy Suit and Black Shirt
Maroon and burgundy suits with black shirts might be perceived as monochromatic.
But the overall mode of color looks harmonious, and therefore, you can easily pair these together.
This outfit will be suitable for festive occasions, especially nighttime events.
The most suitable tie there will be a solid black. It will keep the color definition in all elements of the suit.
Although skipping the tie altogether is probably the best call.
Maroon / Burgundy Suit and Pink Shirt
The red base in both pink and burgundy adds visual interest to the natural yet playful look for spring and summer.
Thus, cocktails, weddings, and summer parties are good occasions to show up in a pink shirt and burgundy suit.
I would suggest navy, maroon, or light-brown ties for a rather serious look.
For something jolly, choose paisley or floral tie patterns. Pink and blue are recommended colors for these patterns.
Tan & Khaki Suit Color Combinations
I consider these shades great semi-formal summer suit colors that provide a good number of color-matching possibilities.
With a brown base, you can easily match those that could go with an actual brown suit: navy, burgundy, dark-green shades, and black.
Plus, you have additional matching options like teal, light blue, and pink.
Tan / Khaki Suit and White Shirt
A tan or a khaki suit with a white shirt is a classic and timeless summer look.
For the ties, every color will match somehow. However, my favorites are navy and brown ties.
The reason is these tie colors provide appropriate contrast with the shirt and match the nonchalant aura of the suit.
Also, tan or light brown in both stripes and plaid provide good shirt and tie combinations.
Finally, pastel peach is a rare but good tie for this suit.
The color combination is so effortless that you can’t go wrong despite trying. Moreover, it works exceptionally well for young gentlemen.
Tan / Khaki Suit and Blue Shirt
An oxford blue shirt provides a very breezy outfit with a tan suit.
However, it slightly dresses the suit down, but overall the outfit remains classic.
In addition, unlike some other suit colors, you don’t have to try hard to match colors here.
So, everything from the tones of blue to the hues of brown will fit well.
Matching the blue tie will be a perfect example.
The blue shirt will act as a ridge connecting the earthy tones of khaki to bright blue hues, making the outfit will feel very harmonious.
The same effect applies to a dark brown tie.
An orange stripe tie is another good choice. It’s because orange complements the blue shirt, which causes the suit to stand out.
You can also wear blue striped shirts with a khaki suit. However, the stripe should be narrow.
Finally, you can also match blue paisley or a floral tie.
Tan / Khaki Suit and Pink Shirt
The light neutral tones of these two colors create a relaxed yet dressy outfit. Plus, a diverse color palette blend with them.
This color combination will work for almost all festive events, from going to a wedding and attending a party.
However, it’s not the most business-appropriate suit. Therefore, choose your ties accordingly.
In my opinion, navy, blue, pink, and burgundy ties will be some suitable colors for the khaki and pink color combination.
In addition, a green striped tie will layer well on the pink shirt.
Lastly, as with other shirt colors, you can also try a brown tie.