The concept of color matching continues to stump even the most stylish of men. But the problem you have with combining shirts and ties is that, unless you want your work wardrobe to be very, very dull, you will at some point have to tackle the issue of color – getting to grips with it once and for all. The color wheel  offers you a visual representation of every shade and, more importantly, the similar, complementary and contrasting colors of each. It’s all very simple really: the sections on either side of the color in question are similar, directly opposite is complementary and contrasting hues are separated by three sections of the wheel.

For example, red is opposite green, making it a complementary color; purple and orange are either side of red, making them similar colors; and both yellow and blue are three sections away from red, making them contrasting. Yet, even armed with this knowledge, combining colors is easier said than done. 

Complementary colors are harder to match because wearing them full strength is sometimes too much for the human eye to bear. The key here is to vary the shades, such as a light blue shirt with a burnt orange tie. Of course, this will already be second-nature to you because your tie should always be a darker shade than your shirt, without exception.

While choosing a tie avoid anything too shiny or smooth. Textured and matte finishes make ties much easier to wear and help deflect attention to your outfit as a whole.


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