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No man wants to go out in public looking like they got dressed in the dark, but it can be tough working out which colour shirt goes best with which colour of tie, suit or trousers. Sticking with one shade risks your entire outfit blending into one, go bright and you could look rather too clown-like for comfort, and then there’s the whole dilemma of which colours are truly complementary. Take the fear out of colour-matching your shirts with this simple, no-nonsense guide covering all you need to know on the subject.

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Go for One Bold Colour at a Time

Brightly coloured shirts can look amazing, whether ‘bold ‘ in your book is yellow, green, pink or a crisp stripe, and they can all be easily worn with blue jeans, black trousers or dark suits . If you absolutely have to wear a tie, it’s best to stick with a plain neutral colour which doesn’t detract from a brighter coloured shirt. Do remember, though, that the general rule is that ties should always be darker than shirts, regardless of shade or colour.

Build on Neutrals

Complete novices to fashion, or actually anyone who simply doesn’t want to invest too much time thinking about clothes, can’t lose by investing in a staple wardrobe of neutral coloured items. Black, grey, all shades of brown, navy blue and white are easy to jazz up with the splash of colour mentioned above.

White – Your Flexible Friend

A nicely cut white shirt from a specialist shop, such as Farah Shirts from, is likely to look amazing with pretty much any other colours you go for, and it’s also the perfect foil for a bold or brightly patterned tie.

Pick from a Shade Chart

Next time you are in a DIY shop pick up a paint colour chart for inspiration on how to best match two items from the same colour palette. The key is to have some space between them: for example, a violet shirt and deep purple will create an interesting contrast, while a dark brown shirt and similar colour tie will have no visual definition.

Once you get into the habit of colour matching clothes it will become second nature, but until then don’t be afraid to take the time to experiment.


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