Ever notice that a tie is um, somewhat phallic looking?  That heavy knot at the base of the collar leading to down to a long splash of color.  They don’t call a power tie – a power tie for nothing. The tie though, is a great accessory, it can add splash, dash and pizzazz to an otherwise dull combo.  It signals to others that you are someone to be reckoned with.

What ordinary guys, who usually just toss their underwear on the floor have struggled with for generations is the challenge of matching a shirt to a tie. Seems like a trick that even David Copperfield can’t manage to figure out.  Google offers lots of info about color analysis and color wheel triads but who wants a class in the science of color when you are in a rush?  Follow our five easy steps and you’ll up your ante in any game because you will be that guy in that remarkable shirt and tie.

The two rules of never:  Never wear a tie that is a lighter color than your shirt. The other no—no, is to never wear a tie that is the same shade as your shirt. You need contrast.

Simple trick that always works:  Solid tie on a solid shirt.   A solid shirt makes an excellent canvas for a sharp look that is always perfect unless you choose colors that clash. Also refer again to the “ two rules of never,” above.  Keep the color of your suit in mind. You may not want to wear a pink tie with a pale brown suit.

Keep it in the family go for a monochrome look:   A solid pale blue shirt pairs nicely with a navy blue tie. The goal is classic contrast.  A dark green shirt with a lime colored tie will set you apart, but not in a good way

The challenge of patterns: This one is tricky.  If you are just in the beginning stages of exploring pattern, start with a solid color shirt and select a tie includes the color of the shirt in its pattern. So if you have a gray tie with a small yellow and blue dots you could opt for a pale yellow or pale blue shirt.   

Graduate to Pattern on Pattern:  Break it down.  Match a detail in your tie’s pattern to a  highlighted color in your shirt. The look should be harmonious, making you a style rock star.

Its all elemental:  Always keep one element solid.  A patterned tie, a patterned suit and a patterned shirt will create cacophony where you don’t want it.  It is one thing to stand out in the crowd but another thing to be a glaring fashion failure. When it comes to the knot in your tie, Windsor or half Windsor, sadly, size does matter. Don’ blow your appearance with a tie knot is too wide or too small. Use a wider knot with a wide spread color  and a smaller knot with a narrower collar.  The secret to a sharp loo is always in the details.