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What color tie should men wear?

What color tie should men wear?

Choosing the right tie color is an important decision for men. Your tie can say a lot about your style, personality, and the image you want to portray. The color, pattern, and fabric of a tie should coordinate well with your suit, dress shirt, and overall outfit. Certain tie colors are better suited for specific occasions, whether it’s for work, a formal event, a date, or another special event. Here are some tips on what color ties men should wear for different situations.

Ties for Work

In most professional settings, you want to stick with more conservative tie colors and patterns. The most versatile ties that pair well with most suit colors are ties in navy, burgundy, gray, and dark green. These are traditional tie colors that will give you a professional, competent look.

  • Navy blue ties – This is considered the most versatile and safe tie color for work. A navy tie goes well with gray, blue, and black suits. Navy has a serious, professional look that is appropriate for lawyers, bankers, accountants, and other professions.
  • Burgundy ties – Dark red or burgundy ties represent power and authority. Burgundy works similarly to navy as a versatile basic tie color for professional settings. It pairs nicely with navy, gray, or black suits.
  • Gray ties – A gray tie has a refined, formal look that works with any suit color. The neutral gray tone allows the tie to match well without drawing too much attention.
  • Dark green ties – Forest, olive, and dark emerald green ties bring in some color while maintaining a professional vibe. Green ties pair nicely with navy or gray suits.

When selecting a work tie, it’s best to avoid overly bright, distracting colors or flashy patterns. Instead, look for subtle patterns like stripes, dots, or textured fabrics like grenadine. Stay away from novelty ties with distracting logos, characters, or graphics which don’t belong in a professional setting.

Ties for Formal Events

For formal daytime events like weddings, memorials, baptisms, or graduations, the most appropriate tie colors are more somber and conservative. Stick with silk ties in navy, dark gray, burgundy, or forest green. If you want to branch out slightly, you could also wear a muted purple or eggplant tie.

For formal evening affairs where a black tie is required, like galas, benefits, formal dinners, or black tie weddings, the traditional choice is a black bow tie made from satin or grosgrain. Alternatively, you could wear a solid black necktie made from a silk material.

Ties for Dates

When meeting a date, whether it’s a first date or an established relationship, you can have more fun with your tie selection. Opt for ties with brighter, lighter, or more whimsical colors and patterns. Some good date night tie colors include:

  • Pink – Goes well with a navy or gray suit. Youthful and eye-catching.
  • Red – Make a bold statement with a bright cherry or crimson red tie.
  • Purple – Sophisticated and charming color, lighter shades work well.
  • Yellow – Cheerful color that conveys confidence when worn well.
  • Pastels – Light blue, lavender, mint green for a springtime vibe.
  • Patterns – Go for stripes, polka dots, animal prints, or floral designs.

Don’t be afraid to wear a tie in a fun color or pattern for a date. You want to show off your personality. Just stay away from anything too outrageous or kitschy.

Ties for Other Occasions

Here are some other tie color suggestions for various events:

  • Job interview – Navy or gray
  • Networking event – Burgundy or navy pinstripe
  • Funeral – Black, dark gray, navy
  • Wedding (guest) – Light gray, navy, or pink
  • Prom – Black or match your date’s dress
  • Holiday parties – Red, green, gold, silver
  • Casual summer BBQ – Blue plaid or madras

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Tie

Here are some things to think about when selecting a tie for any occasion:

  • Suit color – Pick a tie color that complements your suit. Cool tone suits like navy, gray, or plaid pair best with warm colored ties like reds, pinks, oranges. Light or medium gray suits work with nearly any color tie.
  • Dress shirt color – Make sure the tie doesn’t match the shirt too closely. Go with a contrasting or complementary color tie. For white shirts, any color tie can work.
  • Skin tone – Men with warm, yellow undertones look best in green, yellow, or red ties while cool undertones pair better with purple, navy, or blue ties.
  • Hair and eye color – Brunettes can wear most tie colors. Blonds tend to look good in lighter blues, tans, pinks, or reds. Men with black hair stand out in lighter ties.
  • Personal style – Introverts may prefer conservative colors while extroverts can experiment with bright, flashy ties.
  • Tie width – Wider ties work well for taller/larger frames while skinny ties suit men with shorter/smaller builds.
  • Occasion formality – Formal events call for silk ties in solid, dark colors. Casual occasions allow for colorful patterns and fabrics like cotton or wool.


While there are no absolute rules, traditional guidelines suggest that men should stick with ties in navy, dark red, gray, and forest green for professional settings. Use black ties for very formal evening affairs. Bring in more colorful and playful ties for dates or less formal occasions. Coordinate your tie color with your suit, shirt, and skin tone. Feel free to experiment with different colors and patterns to find ties that express your personal style while still fitting the dress code.

Occasion Best Tie Colors
Work Navy, Burgundy, Gray, Dark Green
Formal Events Navy, Dark Gray, Burgundy, Forest Green
Dates Pink, Red, Purple, Yellow, Pastels, Patterns
Casual Blue plaid, Madras patterns