If you are a man, then you will know that there are very few outfits that look smarter than a full suit. Sure, pants and a shirt will look smart, but there is something about a full suit with shirt and tie that cannot be beaten.
You might be led into believing that a suit is boring, but this really isn’t the case. There are lots of different ways that you can jazz up your suit, but one of the best ways to do this is through the shirt and tie that you wear with it.
Not only should your suit fit well to look good, but it needs to be a good color combination too.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best color combinations for a man’s suit, including the shirts and ties that you can wear with it. So if you want to find out more, keep on reading!
What Does The Color Wheel Say?
When it comes to color combinations, the color wheel is a great tool to use.
At the heart of all color combinations lies the color wheel, and using it can allow you to unlock color combinations that you may never have thought of before.
When you were in school, you might have been taught about the basic color wheel. This color wheel is made up of 6 different colors: 3 primary and 3 secondary.
Opposite yellow, you will find purple, opposite red you will find green, and opposite blue, you will find orange. These are the ideal color combinations on a very basic level.
When it comes to clothing, a much larger, more complicated color wheel is used to pair clothing together.
In terms of suits, there are 4 different routes that you can go down, let’s take a look at what they are.
Single color schemes for suits mean that you will wear a single color throughout your suit.
So, the suit itself and your tie will match each other perfectly. You could even go whole hog and wear a shirt of the same color too.
However, we would usually recommend pairing your matching suit and tie with a shirt of the same color, in a slightly lighter shade.
For example, you could pair a navy suit and tie with a light blue shirt, or a charcoal suit and tie with a white shirt.
Some might say that this color combination is playing it safe, but sometimes you can’t beat plain and simple. This color combination is a testament to that.
Alternatively, you could go down the analog color route. This color combination rule allows you to match colors that are similar to one another.
In terms of the color wheel, this means matching colors that are located adjacent to each other.
The analog color scheme usually means that you end up pairing warm colors with cold colors.
Some people expect this combination to cause the colors to clash, but in reality, it doesn’t.
Instead, it creates a color combination that is actually very pleasing to the eye.
Most of the time, the colder color will be the suit itself, and it will be paired with a shirt and tie in a warmer shade.
For example, a light gray suit with a red tie and pale coral shirt. These sorts of color combinations require a bit of thinking, but when executed well, they look amazing.
One of the most popular color combination rules is the “complementary colors” rule.
Earlier we mentioned how colors opposite each other on the basic color wheel are the ideal color combinations.
The complementary colors rule works on this premise.
So, if you want to match complementary colors, you will need to choose colors which are opposite one another on the color wheel.
When you look at the basic color wheel, it is easy to pair these colors.
But, on an advanced color wheel, it is a lot trickier to find a combination that works, simply because there are so many different colors on the wheel.
Finding complementary colors is tricky, but if it is executed well, there really isn’t a color combination that will look better.
A great example of this is a pale gray suit paired with a light blue shirt and an orange tie.
The blue and orange complement each other perfectly, and as the gray is a monotone color, it doesn’t clash.
Like we have said, complementary colors will always be one of the best color combinations for your suit.
Finally, contrasting colors are great when putting together your suit. Complementary colors are really difficult to pair, but contrasting colors are easy.
If you have the color wheel to hand, all you have to do is pair one color with the color that is 3 slots away from it, and you will have your contrasting colors.
If you are somebody who loves bold colors, then contrasting colors are definitely the best option for you.
This color combination is perfect for those who are interested in fashion because you can really create some head turning outfits with these colors.
One of the most popular contrasting color combinations is red and blue. You have probably seen someone wearing a blue shirt with a red tie before, and this is an example of a contrasting color pairing.
If you have seen this color match before, then you will know just how good it looks. So why not try out contrasting colors next time you buy a suit?
If you are wearing a suit during the summer months, then one of the best options is a light gray suit.
While this color suit can be worn all year round, there is something about the summer months that really makes this color pop.
But what color shirt and tie should you wear with a light gray suit?
Well, one of the best things about a light gray suit is that it matches so many different colors.
This suit makes a great base, allowing you to pair all sorts of different colors with it. Let’s take a look at some of the best combinations.
If you want to play it safe, then a white shirt works perfectly with a light gray suit.
The colors are similar to each other, but just that little different which creates a great base for the rest of your outfit.
If you pair a white shirt with a light gray suit, then you have a lot of freedom over the color of tie that you wear, simply because there is nothing for the tie to clash with. But what color tie is the best?
For a simple option, you could just wear a gray tie. The gray will tie the outfit together, and it is the perfect choice if you are wearing a suit in a business scenario where you cannot be bold with your outfit.
However, sometimes bold is best. This is why we would recommend pairing a colored tie with your white shirt and light gray suit.
There are so many different colors that go with this color combination, but our favorite will always be red. So why not give it a try?
Alternatively, if you are feeling bold, then you could throw caution to the wind and pair a pink shirt with your light gray suit.
Pale pink shirts look incredible, and they really pop against a light gray suit. But what color suit is best to go with this color combination?
When you pair light gray with pink, then you can’t play it safe with your tie. Instead of choosing a white or gray tie, you should always pair a colored tie with a pink shirt.
You could pull the outfit together with a pink tie, or complement it with a red or purple tie.
The options are endless, but no matter what color you choose, you can’t go wrong with a pink shirt and light gray suit.
Light gray suits work well in the warmer months, but for the rest of the year, you might find yourself wanting to wear something a little darker.
There are lots of shades of gray, but a mid-tone gray works well all year round, and it is very smart too.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best color combinations for a gray suit.
Just as a white shirt goes with a light gray suit, it goes with a mid-tone gray suit too.
White shirts go with almost all suits, and they are the perfect option if you want to make your tie the centerpiece of your outfit.
You could tie your outfit together with a gray tie, or contrast it with a black tie. Alternatively, you could add a pop of color to your outfit with a colored tie.
You could choose a shade of blue (navy or pale blue), or a dark shade of red will work well too.
Or, if you want to throw caution to the wind, you could wear a bold patterned tie. All of these color combinations will look incredible.
But the best color shirt to wear with a light gray suit is a blue shirt. There is just something about the color combination of blue and gray that is unbeatable, and the same principle applies no matter what shade of gray you are wearing.
The best shade of blue to wear with a gray suit is a pale blue. Mid-tone gray suits tend to be considerably darker than light blue and the contrast really allows your shirt to pop.
To make these colors pop even more, you can add a light blue handkerchief to your shirt pocket too.
Then all that is left to do is choose a tie.
There are lots of different colors of tie that will go well with a gray suit and light blue shirt, but our favorite choice will always be a blue tie.
Choose a darker shade of blue and this will really help pull your outfit all together.
If you want to push the boat even further, consider adding a patterned dark blue tie to your outfit, and this will look incredible.
Dark Gray (Charcoal)
The final shade of gray that you might purchase a suit in is dark gray, or charcoal. Charcoal suits are an incredibly dark shade of gray, and because of this they look incredibly smart.
If you have a work event or a big family event (such as a wedding), then charcoal is an excellent option.
As has been the case with the last two shades of gray that we have looked at, both pink and blue shirts work incredibly well with charcoal suits. However, for us, the best color option will always be white.
There is something about a white shirt and charcoal suit that just screams “professional”.
For one reason or another, this color pairing really does look a lot smarter than some of the other color combinations that we have looked at. That is why it will always be our favorite.
One of the other things that makes us love this color combination is the fact that it gives you a lot of freedom when you are choosing your tie.
Both charcoal and white are monotone shades, meaning that pretty much any color will go with this suit.
If you want to stick with the color scheme, you could add a gray or black tie to your suit.
Or, if you want something a little different, you could wear a brown tie. Alternatively, you could add a pop of color to your suit with a red or blue tie. The options really are endless.
We couldn’t include a section on charcoal suits without including a special shout out to the patterned shirt.
There are very few colors of suit that go with a patterned shirt, but charcoal is one of them. So, it is definitely worth giving this color combination a try.
If you are somebody who loves fashion, then a patterned shirt is definitely the best option for you.
We’re not saying that you should rock a Hawaiian shirt underneath your suit, but a subtle pattern really can look great.
In particular, something subtle, such as a pinstripe shirt will look amazing. Alternatively, if you want to be bolder, you could opt for a paisley or checkered shirt.
Sometimes you have to take a risk, and if you do this with a patterned shirt and charcoal suit, then it will definitely be worth it.
You have probably seen blue suits featured in TV shows and movies, but you might not have the courage to wear one yourself.
Blue suits definitely aren’t the safest option, and they do attract attention.
In addition, they are often very difficult to make an outfit out of because there are few colors that look both good and professional when paired with blue.
However, when it is done right, this color combination can look incredible. So, let’s take a look at what you should wear with a blue suit.
When it comes to blue suits, we would always recommend wearing a white shirt first and foremost.
Usually, you can add a pop of color to your suit with the shirt that you wear, but a blue suit doesn’t require this.
A blue suit is already colorful, so it is best to wear a shirt and tie that complement this color, rather than clash with it. That is why white is so perfect.
As blue suits are tricky to pair colors with, the options for your tie are fairly limited. Most people who wear a blue suit choose to complement the blue of the suit by wearing a blue tie.
Both light and regular blue ties will go perfectly with a blue suit, but we would recommend staying away from navy as this might be a little too dark.
Alternatively, if you want to add a different color into the mix, then a red tie is perfect. Perhaps the best color combination when it comes to a blue suit with a white shirt, and a red tie.
The colors really pop against each other, and you will end up looking really smart while also maintaining a sense of individuality too.
But, a white shirt isn’t the only shirt that looks great with a blue suit. If you want something a little more colorful, you could opt for a pink shirt instead.
When we say a pink shirt, we don’t mean a bright neon pink shirt, instead we mean a very pale pink shirt.
You could wear a bright pink shirt, but the chances are that it won’t match very well with your blue suit.
In contrast, a pale pink shirt complements the blue of your suit perfectly, allowing you to add even more color to your outfit, without drawing attention away from the blue of your suit.
If you are already pairing a color with a color, then you should really throw caution to the wind and add another color into the mix.
It might come as a surprise to you, but a red tie looks incredible when paired with a pale pink shirt, so why not give this a try?
Alternatively, a patterned tie will also look amazing with this color combination. Especially if you choose a pattern that has both blue and pink in it.
When you wear a blue suit, you are already choosing to be bold, so adding more color to the mix will only make your outfit look better.
If you love the color blue, but don’t feel brave enough to wear a blue suit, then you should consider a navy one instead.
This dark shade of blue allows you to wear a little more color than if you were to wear a black suit, but also allows you the security of not wearing something too bold.
Navy suits are perfect for days when you have little time to plan an outfit. Just like black, navy looks great when worn with a variety of different colors, meaning you don’t have to worry about creating an outfit that simply doesn’t work.
This means that you have a lot of freedom over what color shirt you choose to wear.
Outfits that are made up of a single color can look amazing, and the fact that blue shirts work well with navy suits is a testament to this.
The trick to pairing a navy suit with a blue shirt is to choose a very pale shade of blue.
Both the navy in your suit, and the blue in your shirt will have similar tones, and this is what makes this color combination work.
A navy suit is one of the best options if you want to create a whole outfit using a single color.
As well as wearing a pale blue shirt and navy suit, you could wear a blue tie to stick to this theme.
You could go with a solid navy tie, or make your outfit pop by wearing a tie that has a blue pattern on it.
There are very few colors that work when you make an entire outfit using just one color, but blue is one of these few.
Of course, if you don’t want to feel too blue, you could switch your outfit up by wearing a tie that has a different color in it.
Above all the other colors out there, we would recommend wearing a red tie. As we mentioned earlier, blue and red work incredibly well together, and the same goes for navy and red too. So, if you want to add more color to your outfit, look no further than red.
If you don’t want to wear blue, then you could wear a white shirt with your navy suit, but instead we would recommend a pink shirt.
Once again, you should opt for a very pale shade of pink when putting together your outfit. A bolder shade of pink would simply be too much.
Once again, we would recommend pairing your pink shirt with a dark red tie and handkerchief. The three colors complement each other splendidly, creating an outfit that screams authority.
Alternatively, you could play it safe by wearing a navy tie to match the rest of your suit. Or, you could push the boat out even further and pair your navy suit with a silver or purple tie.
As we have said, navy suits go with lots of different colors, so why not experiment next time you are heading into the office?
We mentioned earlier that light gray suits were seemingly made for the summer months, the same principle applies to tan suits. Tan suits aren’t for everybody because they are a very bold choice.
But, when styled correctly, a tan suit screams youth and sophistication. However, this color suit is notorious for being difficult to style, so let’s take a look at how to do this.
If you want to, you can wear a colored shirt with a tan suit. However, we would always recommend sticking with white.
A white shirt really is the perfect match for a tan suit, and even without a tie, this clothing combination looks incredible.
There are other color shirts that go with a tan suit, but none look as good as a white shirt.
Our favorite thing about the tan suit, white shirt combo is that it looks incredibly crisp. This outfit combination always looks fresh and new, even if you have owned your suits for many years. You can make this outfit even more your own by choosing a tie.
There are a couple of different tie colors to choose from, including navy, blue and gold.
However, we would always advocate for a dark brown tie. Pair a dark brown tie with a brown handkerchief, and your suit will look even more stylish than it did before.
Finally, we couldn’t write this without discussing the classic black suit. Everybody should have a black suit in their wardrobe because these suits are timeless.
More so, they are extremely simple to style too, so if you are in a rush, look no further than your black suit.
There is no color combination that will ever beat a black suit with a white shirt. When you picture a suit in your mind, this is likely the color combination that will come to mind, simply because it is so timeless.
If you want to, you could simply pair your suit with a black tie and it will look great. However, if you want to be a little more stylish, we would recommend choosing a colored tie instead.
In particular, a red or blue tie will really make your suit pop. Add a tie pin into the mix, and your entire outfit will look incredibly professional. This look is really timeless.
Alternatively, if you want to be very bold, you could wear a black shirt with your black suit.
This shirt and suit combination works best when you decide not to wear a tie. Even without a tie, this suit combination can look very smart.
Black on black is a bold choice, and it won’t work for everybody. But, if you are somebody who likes to take a risk when it comes to fashion, then this could be the perfect choice for you.
Summary: Finding the Perfect Match
You might expect the task of putting together a suit to wear to be incredibly easy, but in reality it isn’t. Especially if you are working with a colored suit.
That being said, once you know what works, it is incredibly easy to experiment with different colors until you find exactly what works for you.
In this guide, we have taken a look at some of the most common suit colors, and paired them with different colors of shirt and tie to give you an idea of what colors work best.
Thank you for reading!
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