Ever dwelled on why men wear ties?

A popularly accepted dressing norm across the globe, apart from creating a sense of style, it serves no real purpose or does it?

While many date ‘La Cravate’ – French for necktie, back to the 17th century, during King Louis’s regime, where the Croatian mercenaries wore a cloth piece around their neck as a part of their uniform which gave way to mandatory dress code for royal gatherings by the King… some archaeologists actually date it back thousands of years ago to ancient Egypt, where Pharoahs were seen adorning broad ties with precious stones around their necks. From the 17th century Croatian Cravat, to the stock tie in the 18th century, to ascots and bow in the 19th century to a plethora of versions in the 20th including the much debated skinny, the infamous tie has nothing but evolved through the centuries and has been a symbol of class.


Commands respect, lends a distinguished air, some jobs demand it, and yes women do love a man in a tie!

However, with Power comes great Responsibility…. Wearing a tie is indeed an art.

After all it isn’t’ uncommon when you find yourself admiring a man’s suit and stop short aghast seeing an ugly tie. Well that could happen to you too!

Here is a quick Check-list to a perfect shirt-tie combination from Vitruvien.com.

The Right Shirt: Nothing looks more suave than seeing a man in a suit and tie…but nothing looks dowdier when ties are bought without keeping shirts in mind. Yes the type of shirt you choose goes a long way in establishing your sense of style. Formal shirts always over casual; with collars that demand ties: classic straight point, spread or wide spread collars.

The Right Colour: Solid on solid is always a safer bet when pairing shirt & ties. But it does get essential to rely on the friendly ‘Colour Wheel’ to get your combination right. Comprising primary, complementary and contrasting colours, it tells you the dos and don’ts of matching shirt-ties… Ideal are contrasting colours. Light blue shirt with a red or rust tie. Or a purple tie with a pink shirt. Try and keep the tie always a shade darker to the shirt.

All-time hits: Whites with all colours and patterns. A navy shirt with a black tie. A blue shirt with a navy tie.

Solid & Patterns are a great option too, provided the colour wheel is kept in mind. If it’s a solid tie on patterned shirt, just remember to match the tie colour to the colour family of the colours in your shirt. Say a bottle green solid tie matches the green stripes in the shirt. Similarly for a patterned tie on a solid shirt, match the colours of the tie with the colour family of the shirt.

The Right Pattern: Matching solid shirts with solid ties is easy if you keep the basic tenets of the colour wheel in mind. It is matching patterns on patterns that becomes while not an impossible task but challenging. If you get it right you end up lending it character. If you get it wrong, well you’ll be someone who looked like a print-crazy man on the loose.

So here are two things to remember.

Same colour family: Always choose the shirt first followed by the tie. Find the dominant colour of the shirt, and choose a tie with hues of the same dominant colour. A mauve gingham check custom shirt with a thick slanted lavender-charcoal striped tie.

  • Size matters: At any given point the size of the shirt pattern should be inversely proportional to the size of the tie pattern. Always try and stick to smaller patterns on the shirt while opting for larger on ties. But if you have a great combination in mind then vice versa works too.

For example,

A blue checked shirt teamed with a maroon & navy blue houndstooth tie.

A light brown checked shirt teamed with a broad striped tie with dark brown-maroon-grey stripes in it OR

You can also experiment a little with a blue houndstooth custom shirt teamed with a navy tie sporting a smart digital print. Or striped shirts worn with small mofit ties – polka dots, paisley and geometric designs.

Always remember the thumb rule on patterns: Don’t try patterns of similar sizes. And try and stick to just two and not a kaleidoscope of patterns.

You don’t want people losing their mind over you for the wrong reasons.

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