Printed silk tie with a gray suit

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 25.8.2015 in General

For guys who wear a suit for work 5 days a week a printed silk tie could be claimed as a wardrobe staple. This kind of a tie is an easy way to bring a little contrast and variation to your rotation. They work nicely with plain navy or gray suits as well as they do with more relaxed sport coats or blazers. Small pattern printed silk ties are perfect business ties. If you happen to like them, there are a few things that are good to keep in mind.

Gray business suit and printed silk tie by Berg&Berg

Blue printed silk tie – how to wear

In terms of buying new ties the first thing you should think about is how you are going to match the tie. How you can combine it with your current selection of shirts, sport coats and suits. Never buy a tie just because it looks great. But buy such ties that are of the right proportion for your body (in terms of width for example) and feature color and pattern that works well with your shirts, blazers and suits.

When it comes to patterned ties there are naturally various different options to choose from. Many – myself included – most of times go for polka or pin dots or stripes when they want to add a little pattern to their ties. That’s partly reasonable (and wise) as these patterns are in general much easier to combine than bolder and more striking patterns. However my personal opinion is that both of above-mentioned options, dots and stripes are more business- or formal wear-oriented. On the other hand printed silk tie with small pattern such as small floral print you can easily wear with casual sport coats or blazers as well.

Patterned suit with white shirt and blue printed floral tie

Keep it simple

Regarding colors and patterns – the same basic rules as usual apply also here. If you are not sure what colors to go for or you don’t yet own many patterned / printed ties it’s best to play safe. Tones of blue and brown are always good. They are not only the most easiest but also the most viable shades to combine with a grey suit such as the one I am wearing here for example. And the same of course applies with suits and jackets in blue or darker shades of grey.

In addition to the main color of the tie you also should pay attention to the the contrast colors. With that I mean the other colors used in the tie for the pattern. These colors – such as lighter blue, brown and red here – are good colors to match the colors that are repeated in your suit fabric or for example in your pocket square. This also helps you to balance the colors of your outfit. And it helps to avoid bringing too many different colors into one ensemble.

You can also read more about combining ties and pocket squares from my earlier post.

Grey checked wool suit with a blue printed silk tie and woolen pocket square

Small pattern printed silk tie with a grey suit

When combining a patterned tie with a shirt and suit, make sure that the pattern is not already present in the clothing. With printed ties this is usually quite simple. You don’t really want to wear floral or other small patterned shirts with a suit. Secondly – as already mentioned above, ensure that the colors are in balance and do not clash. When you wear a grey suit, blue, dark brown or darker shade of grey are appropriate choices.

For the outfit here I chose to go with a small pattern printed silk tie in navy blue with blue and brown cornflowers. And I paired it with a gray wool suit featuring a subtle brown / blue overcheck. And as the pocket square also features a pattern I chose to go for a plain white spread collar shirt. This keeps the amount of different patterns in three.

This is how you should do it - patterned gray business suit and blue printed silk tie
White shirt keeps the whole outfit in balance. As you can see, there already are three different patterns in play with the suit, tie and pocket square.


Printed wool pocket square Drake's London
Woolen pocket square featuring shades of blue, bottle green brings a little contrast in terms of textures and repeats the colors shown in the tie.


Blue floral printed silk tie details.
Close-up details – untipped and unlined printed silk tie.


Alfred Sargent Moore toe-cap oxfords

Cognac colored oxford shoes - Alfred Sargent
Chestnut brown / cognac colored cap-toe adelaide oxfords by Alfred Sargent. I’ve had these shoes for almost 4 years but they are still looking like almost new.

Sum-up – printed silk tie goes well for business

As a conclusion, printed silk ties are good ties for basic office days. Especially as the dress code at our office is not really that strict or formal. This kind of ties you can also wear not only with suits but also in casual combinations with sport coats and odd trousers.