Simpleton's guide to: shirts and ties. Part 2

Shirts and ties can be a bit of a mine field. It is easy to get the combination right and it is easy to get it wrong. My absolute rule for shirts, is never wear a check. This is my own personal taste, I just cannot stand checked shirts. Plain shirts, essential. Self weave shirts, a blessing. Striped shirts, divine. Checked / plaid shirts, HELL NO. I cannot explain why I have this aversion, but I have never seen a checked shirt that looked good with a suit. Also, one of my many terrible character traits, is that when I decide I do not like something… is set in stone… going back… have been warned!

So! In my previous post I rambled on about colour. In regards to the shirt and tie combo, to achieve a good partnership, ‘conversation’ needs to happen between shirt, tie and suit. In all of my selections, be it for suits, styling, the home or the garden I always choose a colour, that ‘marries’ the other colours involved together. Take a look at the photo below as an example of what I mean!

brown linen suit


Do not be afraid of mixing patterns together, if the colours get along then, the patterns should follow. To keep an even keel with patterns, balance with a plain, otherwise the patterns could get overwhelming. As you can see below, Steven is wearing the same navy pinstripe suit, but with two combination choices. However, on the left I have chosen a self twill weave blue shirt and a patterned tie, all in a tonal scheme. On the right, I kept the tonal blue striped shirt but added a harmonious green plain tie.

Bespoke pinstripe suit

Steven owns a lot, A LOT, of shirts and ties. This is because he wears a suit 5 to 6 days a week, but is also because it means he can wear a certain suit, but change the look of the outfit with the shirts and ties. Ok, yes, Steven also has A LOT of suits. But, he does have favorites and so likes to dress them up in various combinations. There is one particular suit that is a favorite of his, it is a mid grey H. Lesser and sons cloth. It is one of those suits that is appropriate for all uses, so abides well to various shirt and tie combos. See photo below for proof!

Grey bespoke suit.

Next week will be accessories. You know…..cufflinks, pocket squares and the ever challenging tie pin. ( Steven is a serial tie pin wearer! ) Also natter on the perks of owning a dumb valet.

Toodle Pip! Celia.

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