When choosing a tie to wear with a grey suit, the most important factors to consider are the shade of grey, the occasion, and your personal style preferences. While there are no absolute rules, some colour and pattern combinations work better than others for achieving a polished, put-together look. Here is a breakdown of the best tie options to complement a grey suit:
One easy option is choosing a tie in the same grey hue as your suit. Going monochromatic with different shades of the same colour is a classic, fail-proof move that always looks smart and coordinated. A charcoal tie paired with a matching charcoal suit is a standard business look. For slightly less formality, try a lighter grey or grey-blue tie with a mid-grey suit. Monochromatic combining allows the suit texture and pattern to stand out.
Pick a Strong Contrast
Alternatively, make your neckwear pop against a grey backdrop with a high-contrast tie in a deep, saturated colour. Bold red, navy, purple, and yellow are eye-catching complements to neutral grey that convey confidence. Just steer clear of ties that are so bright they clash. Deep, jewel-toned hues have enough richness to contrast while still coordinating.
Try a Muted Tone
For a more subtle effect, choose a desaturated, low-contrast pastel tie in the pink, blue, lavender, or sage colour families. Soft coloured ties work nicely for events where you want to look polished but not overly flashy. A pale pink tie gives warmth against a cool grey while still blending harmoniously.
Complement with Texture
Interesting tie fabric and textures, like knits, wool, linen and micro patterns, add visual appeal beyond just colour. Textured ties help bridge formality levels, making them extra versatile with grey suits. Pair a businessmen’s grey flannel suit with a casual wool knit tie for a smart business casual vibe. Or try a nubby silk grenadine tie for a touch of luxury.
Stick to Classic Patterns
Patterned ties combine the benefits of colour contrast and texture in one eye-catching punch. Yet with grey suits, restraint is advisable to avoid clashing. Classic patterns like stripes, dots, geometric and paisley, in a dark, neutral, or subtly bright colourway, are your best bets. Stay away from overly flashy prints and novelty themes. Traditionally patterned ties in silk, jacquard, or woven wool hit the right note of stylish – but not flashy – when sporting a grey suit.
The Dos and Don’ts
To summarize, DO choose ties with:
- The same grey shade as the suit for a monochrome look
- Deep, jewel-toned colours like royal blue or burgundy for contrast
- Muted pastel hues like sage green or lilac for subtle coordination
- Nubby texture like linen, wool, and knits to add visual interest
- Classic patterns like plaid, dots, stripes, or paisley for an accent
DON’T choose ties with:
- Jarring neons or extremely bright colours
- Brown tones that can muddy the grey
- Novelty themes or flashy prints
- Skinny width ties that shrink against a wide lapel
Following these guidelines helps build a polished, coordinated outfit where the suit and tie enhance rather than compete with each other.
The formality of the occasion should play into your tie choice and colour scheme. Darker, richer ties complement grey suits for formal business events, job interviews, funerals, etc. Light grey suits can take slightly more playful ties for creative fields, ceremonies, and relaxed occasions. Generally, the lighter the grey suit, the more flexibility you have for brighter, bolder tie choices. Use common sense based on the event mood and your profession.
Tie Colour Combinations by Grey Suit Shades
Refer to this quick reference table for well-matched tie and grey suit colour pairings:
|Grey Suit Shade||Best Tie Colours|
|Light grey||Pastels, deeper contrasting hues like navy, wine red, forest green|
|Medium grey||Deeper shades of blue, purple, green, patterned greys|
|Dark charcoal grey||Burgundy, dark red, dark blue, grey, black|
Factor in Skin Tone
Like choosing shirt and suit colours, your natural complexion should help guide your tie choice. Cool skin tones look great against warm colours, so experiment with brick reds, tans, and yellows. Warm toned men suit cool blues, greens, purples and greys. For dark or olive skin, rich saturated hues with blue undertones flatter best, while fair skin benefits from both warm and cool colours for contrast. Don’t be afraid to get colour swatches and test combinations to compare what complements your undertones.
Consider Tie Width & Collar Proportions
Beyond colour, a tie should conform to certain proportional rules for optimal aesthetic balance:
– Tie width generally ranges between 2.5-3.75 inches at its widest point
– Width should roughly match the lapel width; avoid skinny ties with wide lapels/collar
– Adjust knot size so tie ends hit the top of the belt buckle
– Collar gap should fit approximately two fingers between neck and collar
Following these elements of fit and proportion, while incorporating a well matched colour, results in a put-together tie and suit combo.
Add Pocket Squares
Once you’ve coordinated the perfect suit and tie duo, consider accessory accents like a pocket square. For grey suits, opt for a subtle pattern and colour that picks up an undertone from the tie. For instance, pair a navy tie with a white and light blue geometric print square. Alternatively, go for an unexpected but complementary colour like a muted green square with a purple paisley tie. Pocket squares provide the finishing polish to a refined outfit.
Tie Tips for Body Type
Certain ties styles and knot types can help minimize or balance your physical features:
- Skinny body types – opt for wider cut ties around 3-3.75 inches to add fullness
- Broad/muscular build – narrower 2.5-3 inch ties balance out the upper body
- Shorter men – longer tie lengths help extend the silhouette
- Long torso – wider knot styles like Windsor or Half Windsor add proportion
- Narrow face – bold, geometric patterned ties add width
- Round face – narrow stripes or dotted ties draw the eye downwards
So consider your body type when selecting a cut, length, and knot style. Details like adjustable ties are great for fine tuning the perfect length across different knot styles.
While mixing and matching colours and patterns provides tons of leeway for personalization, keep these guidelines for complimenting a grey men’s suit in mind:
– Match shades in the same grey tone family for an easy monochromatic look
– Use highly contrasting jewel tones like deep reds and blues for vibrancy
– Go with desaturated pastel ties for a subtle match with lighter grey suits
– Add interest with textured ties like wool, knits and patterned fabrics
– Stick to traditional tie patterns like dots, stripes and paisley
– Always consider the formality of the occasion when weighing colour and pattern choices
– Use ties to complement your skin tone and build your best palette
– Ensure proper tie proportions including width, length, knot size etc.
– Feel free to accessorize with a pocket square using complementary colours and patterns
– Think about your body type when selecting tie widths, lengths and knot styles
With the right complementary hues and patterns, you’ll master how to pair ties with grey suits for any occasion. Use these tips to look sensationally styled from workdays to weddings.