It is an age old dilemma for men, finding the right ties to match every shirt in the wardrobe. Here’s a primer that cuts through the confusion, with the help of shirts and ties from Ermenegildo Zegna.

The Solid Shirt

The Solid Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Solid Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Solid Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Solid Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Solid Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Solid Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna

Solid shirts are the easiest to work a tie with, since they can be paired with most colours and prints. But if you want to stand out and make an impression, try contrast colours: a blue shirt with a red tie, or a navy tie with a pink shirt.

The Checked Shirt

The Checked Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Checked Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Checked Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Checked Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
Green Knitted Woolen Tie, Ermenegildo Zegna
Green Knitted Woolen Tie, Ermenegildo Zegna

Buying ties to match checked shirts is always tricky. Follow some basic rules:

  •  The colour of the tie should ideally be from the same palette as the shirt. If you prefer a  contrasting colour, use the colour wheel to make the right choice.
  • The colour of the tie should always be darker than that of the shirt.
  • Solid coloured ties are the safest, but if you are the adventurous kind, make sure that the checks and stripes on the tie are larger and thicker than those on the shirt. Between the tie and shirt, there should not be more than three colours on your person.
  • The different texture a knitted tie provides works very well with checked shirts.

The Striped Shirt

The Striped Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Striped Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Striped Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
The Striped Shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna
Blue Burgundy White Silk Diamonds Tie, Ermenegildo Zegna
Blue Burgundy White Silk Diamonds Tie, Ermenegildo Zegna

The rules for pairing ties with striped shirts are essentially the same as those listed above for checked shirts, but two points are worth repeating: the pattern on the tie should be different and bolder than those on the shirt, and secondly, if you want to combine stripes with stripes, make sure that they are in contrast — large stripes with narrow ones and vice versa.