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What color tie to wear with a black suit?

What color tie to wear with a black suit?

When selecting a tie to wear with a black suit, the most important factors to consider are the occasion, your personal style, and basic principles of fashion and style. Black suits are versatile and can be worn in both formal and informal settings. The color and pattern of your tie should complement the suit while expressing your individual taste.

Formal Occasions

For very formal events like weddings, funerals, job interviews, or black-tie galas, traditional style rules dictate sticking with conservative tie choices in dark, muted colors. Solid black, dark grey, dark blue, and burgundy neckties are foolproof options. Patterns like dots, stripes, or subtle paisleys can add interest while still maintaining formality. Stay away from bright colors or loud prints at very formal occasions when wearing a black suit.

Business Attire

For a professional business look, you can expand your color palette slightly while still focusing on traditional tie choices. Darker tones of blue, green, purple, and red work well for business meetings and events. Ties with subtle patterns like grids, checked, or muted paisleys also look sharp with a black suit in professional settings. Stay away from overly bold patterns or novelty ties when aiming for business formal style.

Smart Casual Style

For events that call for smart casual or business casual attire, feel free to experiment more with color, texture, and patterns. You can wear ties in lighter shades of blue, gray, purple, green and incorporate textures like knits, cottons, or micro-patterns. Whimsical ties featuring stylish icons, geometric shapes, or nature themes can express your personality while still looking put-together and polished with a black suit.

After Hours Events

When attending cocktail parties, evening weddings, art gallery openings, or other creative black-tie optional events, you have free rein to have fun with your tie choices. Bright solids and bold patterns in colors like cobalt blue, scarlet red, metallic gold, or minty green can make a stylish fashion statement. Opt for silky fabrics, skinny ties, or unique materials like wool or linen for a touch of flair.

Factors to Consider

Here are some key considerations when selecting a tie to wear with black suit:

  • Occasion formality – formal events call for conservative tie colors and patterns
  • Your own personal style and comfort level – don’t wear a bold tie if it’s not your taste
  • Tie color – darker muted tones for formal events, brighter hues for going out
  • Tie pattern – solids or subtle patterns for formal and business events, bold patterns for going out
  • Tie texture/fabric – stick with matte solids or woven silk for formal events, play with shiny silks, knits, cottons, or wools for going out
  • Tie width – wider ties for formal business occasions, skinny ties for stylish nights out
  • Tie length – tie should come to middle of belt buckle
  • Contrast against your shirt – don’t match tie color exactly to shirt color

Recommended Tie Colors for Black Suits

Here are some of the most stylish, recommended tie colors to pair with a black suit:

Occasion Recommended Tie Colors
Formal Events Black, Dark Gray, Navy Blue, Burgundy
Business Events Navy Blue, Dark Red, Forest Green, Dark Purple
Smart Casual Events Light Blue, Light Gray, Lavender, Olive Green, Blush
Cocktail/Black-Tie Optional Cobalt Blue, Bright Red, Gold, Mint Green, Lilac

Tie Fabrics for Black Suits

These are good tie fabric choices paired with black suits:

  • Matte satin – Has subtle shine and drapes nicely. Great for formal events.
  • Grenadine – Made of thicker woven silk with texture. Excellent for business.
  • Knit – Casual texture. Good for smart casual and going out.
  • Cotton – Natural matte texture. Great for smart casual.
  • Wool – Subtle texture. Smart for business or evenings out.
  • Linen – Casual matte texture. Perfect for smart casual.
  • Silk – Drapes nicely. Good for any occasion from formal to nights out.

Tie Width Recommendations

Tie width ranges from skinny (1.5-2 inches wide) to extra wide (4-5 inches). Here are guidelines on pairing tie width with a black suit:

  • Formal occasions: Wider 3-3.5 inch ties
  • Business events: Mid-width 2.5-3.5 inch ties
  • Smart casual/going out: Skinny 1.5-2.5 inch ties

The key is making sure your tie is proportional to your body type. Larger men should avoid skinny ties, while smaller men can pull them off more easily.

Pattern Recommendations

These tie patterns pair well with black suits:

  • Solid – Always appropriate, especially in dark colors for formal occasions
  • Stripes – Thin stripes work for business. Bold stripes make a statement for evenings out.
  • Dots – Small dots maintain formality
  • Checks – Small checks or graph patterns work for business
  • Paisley – Subtle paisley can be worn formally. Bold paisley makes a stylish statement.
  • Geometric – Angles and shapes add flair for going out

When choosing a pattern, make sure it will stand out against your shirt color. For example, don’t wear a navy tie on a navy shirt, as the patterns and colors will blend together.

Length and Proportion

A properly tied tie should fall to the middle of your belt buckle. Make sure the tie doesn’t end above or below that point. Tie length is key for maintaining clean lines and proportions with your black suit.

Also pay attention to the tie’s width – a skinny tie on a tall man may look oddly proportioned. Similarly, a very wide tie on a petite man can overpower. Make sure to balance your tie’s width with your body type.


Choosing the right tie to wear with a black suit depends on many factors – the occasion, your personal taste, and basic style guidelines on color, pattern, width, and length. Dark, muted ties are best for formal events, while bold colors and prints make a statement for evenings out. Focus on well-coordinated colors, proportionate width, and a length to the belt buckle for an always stylish look. With the right tie choice, you’ll always look sharp and put-together in your black suit.