Ask Oscar: How to match your shirt and tie

06 March 2015

"It’s simpler than you think and soon you’ll be looking sharper than a pin factory in an earthquake"

Dear Oscar,
 
I have real trouble matching my patterned shirts with my ties. I see guys in my office do it successfully, but I’m too embarrassd to ask them for advice and too clueless to do it myself. Please help. 
 
Dan  (via Facebook)

 

Dear Dan,
 
You’re not alone in your plight when it comes to putting patterns together in a way that works—just look at the Spring Racing Carnival. But never fear, it’s simpler than you think and soon you’ll be looking sharper than a pin factory in an earthquake.
 

 

Lesson One:
Look at this man. This is exactly how not to match patterns. Got it? Good. Now it’s smooth sailing from here.

 

Lesson Two:
Stripes are bloody simple. There’s only two things to remember: A thinly striped shirt (where the stripes are uniform and close together) should be worn with a large patterned tie. Polka dots, paisley and bengal stripes (think schoolboy) are perfect as long as the dominant colour matches that of the shirt stripe. If wearing a shirt where the stripes are less densely spaced, wear a tie that enhances the least dominant coloured stripe of the shirt. Got that?

Lesson Three:
Checks are your mate. Just remember to graduate your checks out from in: With smaller checks on the shirt, go larger on the tie–and if you’re daring enough–even larger on the suit. Perfecto!

Lesson Four: 
Have fun experimenting in the mirror and if you’re unsure, trust your gut or enlist the help of a friend who is constructive-yet-brutally honest. Vary the weights of patterns and match similar patterns with larger ones, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be the master of all things patterned. And maybe then you could impart some wisdom to dear old, Sir Elton.