First and foremost, ties are about colour.
The first thing anyone thinks of when deciding how to match a tie is:
What colour is it going to be?
What colour tie goes with this shirt?
What colour tie will go with my suit?
Simply choosing any tie is as dangerous as asking a four year old to ‘have a go at cutting my hair’ - sure, maybe they somehow create a work of art. But chances are, people are going to look at you strangely.
Choosing a tie is no different.
And there are many variables to choosing the perfect tie either for yourself or for a loved one.
Let’s run through the basics.
Matching a shirt
Of course, having a base colour to work with is key.
All colour matching starts with a base colour. Whether this be a blue shirt, a white shirt, or a pink shirt, we need a colour to start with. This will allow us to build a range of colours around that colour that either compliment, contrast, or highlight that colour.
Tailors or colour professionals can probably do this by eye, with years of experience looking at the millions of different tie colours on the visible spectrum.
Fortunately, these days we can ask our friends at Adobe for some technological assistance. The app is awesome also. Using this free tool, you can take a photo of the colour/s you want to match and then use their algorithm to layout options for your tie choice.
Adobe: Taking the guess work out of palette matching.
Our advice is to start with the monochromatic ‘harmony rule’. (You'll find the harmony rules to the left).
This will provide differing levels of lighter or darker variations of your base colour, and is a great way to begin selecting ties to match colours without getting too complex or audacious.
Keep with this harmony rule if you’re choosing for maybe a more conservative gentlemen, or someone who likes to look good but isn’t necessarily a flair guy.
A monochromatic blue blend.
A level up from the monochromatic is the analagous harmony rule. This will get your base colour you’re looking at, and choose colour variants that fit on either side of them on the colour wheel.
This is great for choosing ties or shirts for people who are looking to step out and bring in multiple strands of colour into their look. I
t isn’t overly complex, but because the hard work has been done identifying exactly which colours work on that wheel, you can rest easy knowing you’re selecting a tie which will 100% go with the shirt or suit you have.
Again, these will work for the more conservative, traditional guy, who is looking for an elegant classic look, take a look at the ORTC guys below for an example of taking the analogous tie selection route.
Dark blue, working with purple, working with marine greens.
When you start wanting to bring in more daring colours into your choice, we’ll use triadic colourways.
This is when the science of colour theory really gets amazing.
If you’ve chosen your base colour well, or you’re working with a colour he knows he likes.
Upload it to the colour wheel and select ‘triad’.
This will give you two other variations of colour of tie that fit perfectly apart from each other on the colour wheel. A perfect balance of harmony that will set you for success.
You now have a tie colour compass.
You now have a scientific answer to ‘Does this tie go with my shirt?’.
The triad colour rule will help you select a balanced colour theme for your look or loved ones look.
See below in the Peggy and Finn photos, how an orange tie looks good in a navy suit. This is why. In our opinion, keep the main colour of your tie one of the colours, and the secondary colour of your tie matching your shirt. Perfection.
From here we move on to complementary colours, these are colours that work perfectly together because they are perfectly opposite. This is one of the most striking looks you can have and therefore has its time and place. We’re normally choosing this colour combination when we’re in a social or more relaxed setting, rather than in a conservative business or more serious setting. These colour choices are optimised when you’re choosing a look that combines warm and cool colours because of the heavy contrast that it depends on.
For a twist on complementary, you can select compound colour, which will give you two sets of complementary colours around your base hue.
Compound colours - high contrast, hi reward.
Ties for work
As we’ve kind of alluded to when you’re thinking about colour matching, it’s not just the colour ‘harmony’ that you need to keep in mind, but try and imagine the situation it’s going to be worn in.
Not every tie is suited to every time or place. We’re not talking about dodging the Rick and Morty tie for the job interview, its more about colour psychology, and the effect it can have on those around you, and even you yourself.
The brain makes decisions, often biased and judgemental ones, all day, everyday. We subconciosuly look around us and make Yes/No/maybe/I trust, I believe, I like, I dislike, I agree I disagree, decisions everywhere we go.
Its how we've evolved to rule the planet right?.
So how things appear to us, at first glance, makes a big difference on how we consciously feel about a situation.
Colour plays a big part in this.
Putting those around us at ease, by choosing appropriate, balanced, attractive colours, improves your likelihood of coming up on top when those microdecisions are being made all around us.
And where better to present colour than smack in the middle of your body.
A beautiful tie, matched with a shirt or suit, is one of the great psychological hacks in the modern world.
Designers for hundreds of years have known this hack, now its yours.
What your tie says about you
How do we choose the perfect tie for someone then? Based on their personality? Shopping for ties is kind of like shopping for artworks. If you just go out and buy art because its beautiful, without thinking about if its going to suit the home its up in, you might run into problems.
Fact is, not every guy is going to like every tie.
Even our ties will have their objectors.
But its up to the buyer to really think about the guy they’re buying for, and if its you, go with your gut! But if its not, consider the workplace of the person, is it casual, is it serious?
Think of the persons level of comfort with stylish materials, not everyone is going to rock a recycled Jarrah wooden bow tie. Then again, if he’s kind of fashionable, and won’t say no to a trendy new look on an old favourite, perhaps its in his wheelhouse?
What we’re trying to say is, all guys aren’t all guys. Narrow down with your head, and pick with your heart.
Its hard to go wrong with our collections.
Summary: How to match a tie.
We covered a lot here, and choosing, let alone matching a tie can be kind of overwhelming if you thought maybe you’d just wait and see which one took your fancy. Just remember these key points and you’ll be fine:
Use a colour matching tool:
Choose your tie / shirt / suit colour set:
Sure the tool can tell you which colours will work well, but choose a harmony rule that suits the person. Starting out, try monochromatic, then analogous, then triadic, then complementary/compound harmony.
Trust us, you wont look back after using this tool. (Ladies, this isn’t just a tie thing)
Match a tie based on the person
When it comes down to it, having a suit, shirt tie combo that rocks isn’t worth it if the person doesn’t like it, and won’t wear it. We got ties for all kinds of guys, just keep in mind who you’re buying for and don’t be a slave to the colour wheel!
Match a tie based on their life
Choose a banging complementary item to their life, not just their shirt. A handmade, beautiful tie like these are probably going to be out of place if your Mr. works in a place where individuality is prohibited.
We chose our collection of ties because they inspired love in us.
We hope they can do the same for you.