A first impression means everything. Everyone wants to believe their personality, skills or expertise will make the difference in a meeting. However, a person’s judgment of how we look can alter that feeling.
Does blue go with black? Should I wear a patterned shirt with my single colored tie? Brown shoes with a black suit?
These are questions all of us have. The subtleties of coordinating a suit can go beyond just appearance. Wearing a carefully crafted outfit can alter a person’s impression of you. It can make them feel the emotion you are trying to express.
This can become overwhelming. A task most guys would rather not deal with. We are like you, we want to get up in the morning; throw on the first suit, shirt and ties we see, grab our coffee and head out the door.
However, the importance of the wardrobe goes beyond that. This is why we put together this easy style guide for you to learn the basics of matching a suit. Whether you’re in the early stages of building your wardrobe or have a closet full of clothes, this will help simplify the process.
The Tie Should Compliment The Suit and Shirt.
The tie should match your shirt and suit. Let’s think about this gents. You are spending a few hundred dollars on your suit. Anywhere between $50 and $100 for your shirt. Why make the least expensive piece of clothing the foundation of the outfit.
The key is work from the outside in. The suit should be first. Followed by the shirt. Then finally the decision of which tie. Ties come in all different patterns and colors. Starting there can be an overwhelming process.
Most men have a dozen or so ties. A handful of shirts. But most men only have a few suits or sports jackets. Look into your own closet for the perfect example of this. The suit is the baseline for the outfit. It is the grounding piece. The item that begins the process in preparing a perfect decision for the outfit of the day.
When you decide on the suit, your options for shirt possibilities will decrease. If your decision for the day is the navy-blue windowpane suit, this removes the windowpane shirt from the decision process. You see where I’m going with this.
The tie should be the last piece of clothing added. It should complement the colors in the shirt and suit, not clash with them. It should add that little pop the outfit needs. Maintaining a conservative suit and shirt choice invites the opportunity for spice by way of a well selected designed tie.
Proportion is Key
So now you have the suit, shirt and tie for the day. The next is to make sure the proportions are matching. Nothing says I just grabbed anything, like a large tie that overlaps the lapel. To be safe keep the tie width within the 3 to 3.5-inch range. This is the safe zone. You’re in luck too, since it is the average size for most ties. Remember keeping things simple is the name of the game here. No one wants to run late to the meeting with wardrobe malfunction excuse.
Does this mean you have to keep your measuring tape on you when you go shopping? No. This isn’t your local hardware store. No one wants to look like the weirdo measuring ties in the store.
Pro tip: is if you have a dollar on you fold the dollar in half and there is your guide.
You may need to do this a few times before committing it to memory. Don’t worry, doing this a couple times will be all you need to get your gauge.
Next up, the ratio of the lapel and tie width matching. These should be similar, if not exact. The last thing you want is to match everything perfectly, put on your attire and then notice the skinny tie you selected takes away from the large lapel.
With a tie in this range you can purchase standard suits and eliminate the possibility of this happening.
Also, keep in mind your body type. Just because something is trendy, doesn’t mean it works for everyone. If you are a larger guy with broad shoulders, a skinny tie may not be the best option. It will expose a lot more of the shirt and leave a Bermuda Triangle size space between the tie and the lapel.
On the other hand, if you are a more compact guy, don’t purchase a large tie that can double as a scarf when it gets colder. Keeping things in proportion will help make you stand out as a well-dressed man of character.
Patterns That Pop
No one wants to be the guy with the plain suit, white shirt, and solid color tie. If you do, more power to you. But you didn’t come here for help with your wardrobe if that’s you.
The options for patterns are endless. The key with patterns is not to have similar ones next to each other. You don’t want to have a vertical striped shirt underneath a diagonal thin lined tie. It is not appealing on the eye.
Wearing a striped shirt with a paisley tie, even in the same color tree can make both items pop. Pattern matching is vital for the creation of your daily outfit.
- The patterns you are wearing should not match exactly.
- The colors should have similar tones.
- The pocket square pattern should not match the tie pattern.
Don’t fall for those all-in-one offers that may make shopping easier.
50 Shades of Pairing
Suits, shirts and ties can come in every shade imaginable. Keeping your color scheme simple makes wardrobe choices easy. The main colors; blues, grays, reds, greens, make coordinating easy.
You may have some more exotic colored clothing items, which are great for showing your personality. Keep in mind those colors are a harder to match and make the decision process longer.
Pro tip; have a big presentation on your calendar? For your next presentation, try a red, orange or gold tie. These colors will draw attention to your neck and face, which will keep your audience focused on what you’re saying. What better way to do then draw their attention to your face?
Ties with animals, animations, and logos are great for a less formal engagement. They can show your individuality and also function as good conversation starter. Wisely limit these, as you don’t want to become the eclectic tie guy. Nobody wants to be that guy.
A good place to start is with classic staple, such as the standard silk tie. Once you have a solid variety, you can begin to implement cotton, woven and wool ties. The material of your tie can add the finishing touch to your well-orchestrated outfit.
Always follow your gut when it comes to material.
Putting It All Together
Balance is key when establishing your wardrobe of formal wear. Having too many outlier styles can overly complicate your daily clothing decisions. Staying with the basics with help simplify the choice and still have you looking sharp every day.
Whether you are just starting out or looking to revamp your style, getting back to the basics is always a great place to begin. Do you have questions about your outfit options? Do you have an upcoming event, but unsure what to wear? Send us an email Vincent@winnerscirclefc.com or DM us on Instagram and Facebook with your questions.