Home > Formal wear > Shirt and Tie Combinations For A Black Suit

Shirt and Tie Combinations For A Black Suit

August 2nd, 2010

black suit and a white shirt

I know, I know… You have this event and you’re clueless about what to wear. All you know is that you need a suit, a shirt and a tie. If it weren’t for your girl, you’d just walk up into the first store you can find and take the first thing the salesperson recommends.

Hey, I’d rather grab a beer too instead of dragging myself through dozens of stores to find something decent to wear.

But image is important. Whether we like to admit it or not, knowing to match our suit, shirt and tie is a must. The combinations are many but I’m going to save you the trouble and confusion you have when it comes down to this topic.

It all boils down to color and pattern coordination. That’s it! I’m going to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right combination. And for this I will simply use… pictures! It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie when it comes to style, all you have to do is model the pictures. Once you have the shirt and tie perfected, throw on your favorite cufflinks for an outstanding classy look.

It’s so easyeven a kid can do it

The basic rule is this: you start with the biggest piece of clothing all the way to the smallest one. (this goes for casual outfits too). In our case:

  1. The suit
  2. The shirt
  3. The tie

In this order.

Let’s assume you already have the black suit and that you want to get the right combination of shirt and tie. If you don’t have it yet, you need to do this first.

Word of advice: don’t buy your suit based on split second decisions. Suits are expensive so make sure you try on as many as you can before you spend your hard earned money on them.

OK, now that you have your suit color, let’s get right into the suit, shirt and tie combinations. Just scroll down to the suit color YOU have and use the pictures for inspiration.

Black suit + white shirt

The easiest combination is the black suit and white shirt. If you’re looking for something classic, this is the combination for you.

black suit white shirt

What tie to choose in this case? It’s all up to you. The vast majority of colors go well with black and white. For instance, they guy above is wearing a black tie.

The secret is for the tie to contrast well with the shirt. If it’s hard to distinguish the tie from the shirt, you just know something is wrong.

So, for a black suit and a white shirt, great tie colors are: red, gold, yellow and orange. Take a look:

black suit white shirt red tie

photo: jerrystuxshop.com

If you’re going to a more serious even (say, a funeral) you don’t want to wear ties in such bold colors. Go for a simple black tie, or for some other conservative nuances. For instance, a dark blue tie (solid color) is perfect:

men style ebook


black suit with a white shirt and blue tie

Patterns are great. Here’s why…

If you have a black suit like the guy above and a white shirt, you can definitely go for a tie with patterns. In fact, I think it’s a GREAT idea that you do.

Patterns are great when you don’t abuse them (i.e. wear too many of them). In this case, a pattern will fit perfectly into the outfit.

Patterns show that you’re style conscious and are a great way to lighten up any black suit.

What patterned tie would I wear if i were the guy in the picture above and I wanted to ditch the blue tie? One that has white on it. A red tie with white stripes, a blue tie with white stripes… anything in a bold color with white stripes.

Having the shirt color in the tie is not a rule. You can do very well without it. Here’s an example. Notice how the striped tie brings the entire outfit to life.

photo: fourinhand.com

photo: fourinhand.com

Ready for a colored shirt?

Before going for a colored shirt, make sure you’re you don’t choose a color that’s too bold for an occasion that is too formal.

Take a look at this, this is a great way to stand out in a business meeting:

black suit with a blue shirt

photo: cubicleclothing.com

And how about this yellow shirt? The yellow/blue combination is fantastic!

black pinstripe suit with yellow shirt and blue tie

photo: gallery.hd.org

If you looked carefully, you noticed that the suit above is actually a pinstripe suit. The stripes are not that obvious but this raises a legitimate question: what to wear with a black pinstripe suit?

Stripes. Pinstripes.

A pinstripe suit goes well with a striped shirt and a striped tie as long as the thickness of the strips differs. Here’s a great example of a guy who pulled it off (generally speaking, wearing more than 3 patterns at a time can be very tricky):


black pinstripe suit with striped shirt and striped tie

photo: wayless.com

Alright, Gents, now you have a very good starting point to match your black suit. Just remember to try as many combinations as you can. Enjoy!

Formal wear , ,



Or you can stay in touch with us by signing up to our RSS feed by clicking here or you can follow us on Twitter here or on Facebook here.

  1. jayesh
    June 25th, 2011 at 20:15 | #1

    how it looks when we have a black suit, shining sky blue shirts and dark shade tie of the sky blue

  2. June 26th, 2011 at 10:50 | #2

    Hi Jayesh,

    I would make a little more contrast between the shirt and the tie. I would also add some more colors and patterns to the tie.

  3. Gift ofem
    August 14th, 2011 at 16:40 | #3

    im about to get married and im wondering what colors to pick,i finally settled 4 yellow and gray but issue and my question is can a yellow and gray stripe tie match a gray shirt that is worn on a black suite?

  4. Vents
    November 11th, 2011 at 12:31 | #4

    how about black/black/yellow combination? I really like the contrast, but I can’t shake that LA drug baron feeling off me.

  5. Vents
    November 11th, 2011 at 12:34 | #5

    Also, how about suit or shirt being pinstriped? You know, so people can tell where one ends and other begins

  6. Abdul Rob
    March 3rd, 2012 at 19:01 | #6

    what coloured shirt would go with a gold tie and a black suit. but it can’t be a white shirt.

  7. Vish
    March 10th, 2012 at 10:12 | #7

    Bleh nothing really stands out; and as much as I hate to say it wearing white shirts is like finding the easy way out. White shirts just look cheap

  8. March 10th, 2012 at 17:43 | #8

    Vish :

    Bleh nothing really stands out; and as much as I hate to say it wearing white shirts is like finding the easy way out. White shirts just look cheap

    I disagree on the white shirts issue. I made some really cool outfits that incorporated them.

    For instance, white shirt, dark-green sweater, blue pants, dark-graish boots, navy pea coat and a green scarf. It looks amazing, I’ll place a pic pretty soon in a separate article.

  9. Jack
    April 11th, 2012 at 15:23 | #9

    Man, I don’t understand all the black suits. Watch any talk show, interview, newscast — every guy has a black suit. Why? Seems to me that makes all the black suiters sheep, followers. Come on guys! Be an individual, be different. Wear a blue suit, a grey suit, even a brown suit.

  10. April 18th, 2012 at 00:26 | #10

    Jack,

    Black suits are just an option. of course other colors will make you stand out more.

    You can make a black suit look good by playing around with the shirt, socks, shoes, tie, bow tie, pocket square, tie clip, cufflinks, scarf, watch etc.

  11. ameen
    April 30th, 2012 at 23:53 | #11

    hi,
    i bought a golden dark gray suit which in shining and solid pin striped one.
    bride wears a saree with dark sky blue colour and with boarder in dark pink colour also blouse is light pink colour.
    please suggest a colour for shirt and tie.
    if you want the picture of the suit i can send it

  12. Anthony
    August 1st, 2012 at 04:15 | #12

    Black thin pin stripped suit with a purple shirt. What color tie should i wear? Supposed to look stylish and dapper. GQ like.

  13. Bobette
    August 19th, 2012 at 18:08 | #13

    Can a solid black suit and white shirt be worn with formal accessories (cummerbund & bow tie & patten leather shoes)? Will this be OK as formal wear and not look foolish?

  14. Abhinav
    September 11th, 2012 at 12:14 | #14

    Why only black suits?? For a change, can’t we try beige suit with some light-coloured shirt (light blue, for e.g), and a striped tie?? Maybe, with beige trousers to match with the suit, and suede shoes?

  15. September 11th, 2012 at 21:55 | #15

    Hey Abhinav,

    Of course you can try them and I’m glad you think this way. I have lots of articles where I talk about the clothing items you mentioned. This one, however, is dedicated to the black suit, that’s why I talk exclusively about it.

  16. adewumi khunle
    September 20th, 2012 at 06:32 | #16

    Will a lilac bow tie go with a dark ash suit with plain white shirt……need ur suggestion people…thanks

  17. November 15th, 2012 at 23:37 | #17

    my fiance wants to get married in his Army issued navy blue uniform. My plans was to put the bridal party in either dark purple or light purple dresses. In order for the groomsmen to accentuate them I was wondering if the groomsmen could wear a navy blue suit with a purple shirt and maybe a navy blue tie?

  18. December 5th, 2012 at 07:14 | #18

    i have my black suit and lilac long sleeves, what color of necktie should i wear?

  19. December 8th, 2012 at 03:43 | #19

    luth s. saavedra jr. :
    i have my black suit and lilac long sleeves, what color of necktie should i wear?

  20. December 8th, 2012 at 10:51 | #20

    luth s. saavedra jr. :

    luth s. saavedra jr. :
    i have my black suit and lilac long sleeves, what color of necktie should i wear?

    Hey,

    It depends on where you want to wear it. If it’s a business meeting, try a purple tie (maybe one with black or white stripes or dots). If you’re going to have some white on the tie, you might as well add a white pocket square.

    If the encounter is more casual, how about a yellow/gold tie?

  21. David M
    December 16th, 2012 at 07:10 | #21

    U’m going to an interview for a branch manager position at a bank. I will be wearing a black suit wondering what color shirt and tie to go with.

  22. December 16th, 2012 at 11:49 | #22

    David M :

    U’m going to an interview for a branch manager position at a bank. I will be wearing a black suit wondering what color shirt and tie to go with.

    Please red the above article and look at the pictures.

  23. anil
    January 1st, 2013 at 19:29 | #23

    I have to attend my nephew’s marriage reception party. I have black suit and red tie. I am going to wear blue satin shirt. Will this be OK as formal wear and not look foolish?

  24. Abhishek Mathur
    January 17th, 2013 at 17:49 | #24

    I have black colored blackberry formal suit which i have to wear in my sister’s marriage. Please suggest what kind of shirt or tie will do….pls suggest me some colors

  25. Gerald
    April 14th, 2013 at 19:01 | #25

    Hi there. Can I wear a black shirt with a black suit or is white more appropriate (this is for my wedding. I have a white and silver waistcoat.

  26. bosri jowe
    June 2nd, 2013 at 15:11 | #26

    hey all you guys who dont know what to wear with your suits, if you dont know what to wear you shouldnt be wearing a suit, wear your pj’s and stay in bed !!!

  27. March 20th, 2014 at 12:31 | #27

    Gerald :

    Hi there. Can I wear a black shirt with a black suit or is white more appropriate (this is for my wedding. I have a white and silver waistcoat.

    Definitely no. You’d be wearing too much black, especially for such a happy event. Take a look at some of the shirt suggestions inside the article.

  28. chickencone
    July 6th, 2014 at 09:47 | #28

    @Gift ofem
    definitely, i have yellow and grey boxer shorts they go great with my black tie

  1. August 19th, 2010 at 03:37 | #1