Buying a tie and shirt for your boyfriend but not sure where to start? Then here are a few hints to help you make your choice.
Context and message
When looking for the perfect shirt and tie combination for your boyfriend, consider the context in which he’ll be wearing them and the message he wants to portray. If you’re making the purchases on the assumption, he’ll wear them to work, then understanding the culture of the office is a must. So peruse his current wardrobe or take note of what his colleagues are wearing if you all meet up from time to time.
Choose the shirt first
Rather than pick a tie that immediately stands out to you, choose the shirt first, then pick a tie that complements it. If you’re unsure about colour or pattern, then choose a plain shirt – a classic, good quality white number is difficult to beat. Consider the collar too, the larger the tie knot your boyfriend prefers, the wider the collar will need to be.
Though from season to season, fashion dictates different tie widths are ‘in’, it’s best to pick a tie that suits your boyfriend’s proportions. If he’s larger in build, then a wider tie will look better, if he’s tall and willowy, then he’ll carry offer a slimmer tie, for those of us who are average, then look for an average tie that’s about 8-9 cm wide, at the broadest section. Another rule of thumb is to look at the lapels of the jacket he’ll be wearing and match the width of the tie to the width of the lapel.
Using a classic white shirt as your base gives you a variety of choices when it comes to tie colour. Many people team a white shirt with a black tie, but light blue is a winning combination for a subtle summer look. Step up to navy for a more formal look that’s not as harsh as black or try burgundy for another top combination.
Colour wheel coalitions
Generally speaking, when it comes to shirt tie combinations it works to choose colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel, these complement each other, creating a contrast that sings.
Exceptions to the rule
However, rules, as they say, are made to be broken, so don’t feel you have to follow the colour wheel rigidly. There are combinations of colours that are close on the wheel, which work well together – like a pale blue shirt with a darker blue tie. In fact, pale blue shirts are another versatile choice that can be teemed with both light and dark coloured ties. Alternatively, if the shirt you’ve chosen is patterned, then pick a plain tie.
So there you have a few points to consider when choosing a shirt and tie in combination. Try an outfitter with a wide range of shirts to find the right one for your boyfriend, or if you’re really stumped, choose a pair of trousers instead.