Grey suits look good on everyone and can give you a sharp style as a businessman or a stylish vibe at your cousin’s wedding. Putting an outfit around such a versatile suit feels easy until you wonder if you can wear a purple tie with a grey suit. To solve this fashion puzzle, you need to learn what color tie you should wear with a grey suit.
A grey suit pairs well with many tie colors, including conservative, popular shades like navy blue and burgundy. The shade of grey in the suit determines what cool or warm-toned tie will match best. Another way to select the best color tie to wear with a grey suit is to pick a color based on the occasion, such as black for a formal workplace or pink for a smart-casual workplace.
In this article, you will learn the fashion rules that guide correct tie colors. You will discover ten tie colors that match a grey suit. Finally, you will find tips for choosing the right tie for occasions like a wedding.
Ten Tie Colors to Wear with a Grey Suit
A grey suit has a neutral tone that can match many different tie colors, but each color sends a slightly different fashion message. Learn how to choose from the top ten tie colors to wear with a grey suit here!
The most formal and traditional pairing to wear with a grey suit is a white shirt and black tie. If you work in an office with a professional dress code, you may want to stick to a crisp white shirt and black tie combo with your grey suit. Shirts come in many different styles, too, so make sure you pick a formal white dress shirt with features like French cuffs to show off your classy cufflinks.
In fact, any tie in a dark shade, such as red, green, or even bronze, can look quite formal when paired with a grey suit and white shirt.
Pairing any shade of dark red tie with a white shirt and grey suit also presents a classic look. For a more formal style, stick with a solid-colored red tie. But if you want to add a little whimsy to your outfit, look for a red tie in a diamond, check, or lightly striped pattern.
If you wear a patterned white shirt with your grey suit, you will need to match your tie more carefully. A white shirt with fine grey pinstripes that matches the grey of your suit can add a nice, less formal note to your work outfit. Look for a solid-colored tie in a contrasting shade like green or maroon to stand out from all the grey.
One of the most classic looks you can create with a grey suit is to pair a light blue shirt with a solid navy-blue tie. Light blue shirts often look best with lighter grey suits, giving a slightly less formal vibe overall. You can even go with a less dressy shirt style, such as barrel cuffs or a buttoned-down collar.
Blue shirts also come in many different shades and patterns, of course. The general rule of thumb is to pick a blue shirt in a lighter shade than the grey of your suit. This way, you get more of a contrast and can show off the crisp lines of the suit.
White and light blue shirts will look good with some of the same tie colors when paired with a grey suit. For example, you can wear a plum-colored or burgundy tie with a light blue shirt, and it will look smart (though a bit less formal) than wearing the same combo with a white shirt.
For a bolder style, try an orange tie with your light blue shirt and grey suit. Orange is the complementary or opposite color to light blue on the color wheel, meaning that it pairs well with blue and adds a bolder dash of color to your outfit.
A black or grey tie often looks best with the fashion-forward pairing of a black shirt and grey suit. Actually, you often see celebrities and movie stars rock this look by wearing a black shirt and grey suit without a tie or even with an open collar.
Wearing a shirt in a darker shade than your suit can look super trendy, and it can also look modern and less formal.
On the other hand, if you want to make the dark shirt look dressier, all you have to do is pick a shirt in a formal cut with a stiff collar and French cuffs. Then add a tie that perfectly matches the shirt or the shade of the suit. You could add a vest, as a three-piece suit automatically looks much more formal.
That said, choosing a black shirt with a grey suit is a less traditional. If you want a classic, smart style, stick with a shirt in a lighter color than the grey of your suit.
Grey Suit and Brown Shoes
Adding a spot of pale color, such as a pink tie, will help brown shoes match well with a grey suit. One of the great things about a grey suit is that you can match it easily with other neutrals like brown shoes.
Brown shoes always look less formal than black shoes, but they can add a warmer, more natural element to your outfit. For a light grey suit, look for lighter brown shoes, while a darker grey or charcoal grey suit will look better with darker brown shoes.
You want your pink or pale yellow tie to stand out from your outfit because grey and brown are neutral shades. Try matching these elements with a plain white shirt to provide a blank canvas to offset the three different colors of your suit, tie, and shoes.
You can also wear a navy tie with a grey suit and brown shoes or even a burgundy tie–though when you wear a red or yellow shade, you want to make sure it does not clash with the undertones in your brown shoes.
A dark-toned tie and a white dress shirt create a sophisticated look when worn with a charcoal grey suit. A charcoal suit looks almost as traditional and formal as a full black suit, but it often adds a little more texture and interest to your outfit.
Dark, silky ties in colors like burgundy, bronze, or navy blue provide the most classic contrast to this shade of suit. You can wear a formal outfit like this to an evening wedding, a cocktail party, or a formal workplace such as a lawyer’s office.
For a bolder and slightly more cheerful look, you could add a brighter-colored tie, like a bright red, or a patterned tie, like a plum tie with pale grey stripes across it. Keep in mind that darker, solid-colored ties look more formal, while brighter and patterned ties add a more informal but perhaps more fun note to your ensemble.
Dark Grey Suit
Dark grey suits look good with formal, dark-toned ties, but they can also look great with slightly less formal styles like a pale pink shirt and a patterned grey tie.
The traditional way to wear a dark grey suit is to treat it like a replacement for a black suit. This means you can wear it to a funeral or other super formal occasion by pairing it with a traditional white shirt, cuff links, and a dark-toned tie.
On the other hand, you can also get a dark-grey suit in a more interesting fabric, such as a classic flannel suit, and create a more modern outfit by using light-colored pastels to contrast the dark grey of the suit. Add a pastel pink, pale grey, or light blue shirt to offset the dark grey of the suit. Then layer on a tie in an interesting pattern, such as a pale grey plaid or a silky pink.
If you go with a pastel-colored shirt, remember that adding a tie in a darker shade of the same color often looks good. So you can also try pairing a pastel pink shirt with a slightly darker, silky pink tie and your grey suit.
Light Grey Suit
Light grey suits often look best with a colored shirt rather than a white shirt, meaning that you need to match your tie to the color of the shirt. A light blue shirt paired with a navy tie will look classic and elegant, while a pastel pink shirt and a grey or darker pink tie will look more fashion-forward but still smart.
Because a pale grey suit presents such a bland, neutral background to the shirt and tie, you can also go for a bolder color choice, like a violet or green tie.
Light grey suits look less formal than medium or dark grey suits, so you have more room to play with the color and texture of the tie in this context. You can look for patterned ties, for example, or even pick a tie in a complementary shade to the color of the shirt.
Alternatively, for a much less formal look, you can mix things up with a patterned or striped shirt and a pale grey suit. Patterned suits do make matching a tie more difficult, it’s true. One easy trick here is to match the tie to the primary color in the pattern on the shirt. For example, try wearing a shirt with lavender stripes with your light grey suit. Then add a lavender tie in a solid, silky tone to complete the look.
A silver suit almost always looks best when worn with a matching silver tie. A silver suit is a less-common variation on the grey suit, as it has a slight, metallic sheen to the fabric. This makes it best suited to special occasions rather than everyday wear or a formal workplace.
You might see a movie star style a silver suit and a black shirt with a silver tie on the red carpet, for example. A good-quality silver suit also makes a popular choice for wedding parties, often paired with white dress shirts and silver ties.
Silver suits can easily look too trendy or even cheap if you don’t look for high-quality fabric and good tailoring, though. One easy way to make the bold suit choice look classy is to wear a pale grey tie that pulls the outfit together.
Patterned Grey Suit
You can match many different colors of ties to a patterned grey suit for a more casual, man-about-town appearance. But patterned suits come in a wide spectrum of designs and types of fabric, so consider a few style tips as you pick the best tie to go with this type of grey suit:
- First, the type of pattern in the suit itself can help set the formality of your outfit. Larger patterns like bold plaids look less formal, while smaller patterns like a fine plaid, a check, or houndstooth will look less informal.
- Second, don’t mix patterns. If you wear a patterned suit, wear a solid-colored shirt. You can then add either a solid-colored tie that matches the suit, such as a darker grey tie to match the plaid pattern in a light grey suit, or you can add a patterned tie to contrast the color of the shirt.
- As always, a colored shirt is less formal than a white shirt. If you wear a pastel pink shirt with a patterned grey suit, you will look pretty casual. Good ties for this casual outfit include a slightly darker pink than the shade of the shirt, a grey that matches the suit, or even a green shade as the complementary color to pink on the color wheel.
Three-Piece Grey Suit
A three-piece grey suit always looks quite formal, making traditional ties such as a knit navy blue or silky burgundy the classic choice. Of course, the best tie color also depends on the color of the shirt you wear with your three-piece suit.
For a formal workplace, you probably want to stick with a white dress shirt with a three-piece suit. The previously mentioned navy or burgundy tie will go perfectly with this outfit.
For a wedding or special occasion, you may want to wear a black shirt or even a navy blue or silvery grey shirt instead. In this case, you can dress up your outfit with more color. Try a bright red tie, a silver tie, or even a mustard-colored tie, depending on the color of the shirt.
Finally, you can also match the tie to an element in the vest of the three-piece suit. For example, if the vest has embroidered details in silver, try adding a silver tie. If the vest has a plaid pattern or fine black pinstripes, add a black tie.
How to Choose a Tie Color for a Suit
Choosing a tie color for a suit, and for a grey suit in particular, is more of an art than a science because you can select so many perfect options. That said, you can follow these guidelines to help you pick a suit that expresses exactly the level of formality or celebration you want for a particular occasion.
- Consider the fabric of the tie first. A silky tie looks fancier and more formal than a knit or wool tie. Remember that informal does not mean bad–sometimes you want the warmer, more textured feel of a wool tie!
- Your tie should almost always have a darker shade of color than your suit unless you have a black suit. For a grey, green, or checked suit, look for a tie with a darker grey, red, or whatever color you pick to stand out.
- If you wear a patterned suit, you can wear either a patterned shirt or a patterned tie, but not both. You do not want three competing patterns in your outfit! You will generally find it easier to match a plain shirt and a solid tie with a patterned grey suit.
- While you want to match the tie to the shade of the suit, you also need to match it to your dress shirt. An easy way to match a tie to a colored shirt, such as a pale blue, pastel pink, or lavender, is to go with a tie in a slightly darker shade of the same color, such as a lilac tie with a lavender shirt. These options all go well with a light grey or dark grey suit, too!
- You can also match a tie to a highlight color in the pattern, either of the suit or the shirt. For example, if you wear a white shirt with a plum-colored paisley print, add a plum-colored tie to highlight the pattern and match the shirt.
Finally, you also want to get a handle on the concept of complementary and contrasting colors of ties. You can use a complementary or contrasting color scheme to match a tie to a suit or to match a tie to a dress shirt.
Looking at a color wheel can help you quickly pick the best tie color for your outfit. Here is how it works:
Any color next to the color of your shirt or suit will look good with it. These neighboring shades, or similar colors, match nicely. For example, if you have a yellow shirt, you can wear a green tie.
Complementary colors lie across from each other, or opposite to each other, on the wheel. These colors go well together, too. For example, you could take your yellow shirt, look to the other side of the color wheel, and pick a purple tie to go with it. Complementary colors look much bolder because they contrast each other, so make that choice only when you want your outfit to pop!
Contrasting colors, somewhat confusingly, do not mean the same thing as complementary colors. Contrasting colors have three colors between them, spacing them about a quarter of the wheel apart from each other.
To match these, you typically pick a darker shade of the color for the tie and a lighter shade for the shirt or suit. For example, if you have a light blue shirt, you could move three colors over and pick a lilac shade of purple for the tie.
What Color Tie to Wear With a Charcoal Suit for a Wedding?
The most traditional color of tie to wear with a charcoal suit for a wedding is a black or matching grey tie. This sets a formal tone that goes with the crisp, formal outline of the dark grey suit. You typically pair this outfit with a white dress shirt and black dress shoes.
As a wedding guest, you can also use your best judgment to assess the formality of the wedding and choose a slightly less formal tie style if it seems appropriate. In this case, any dark-toned tie will go well with a charcoal suit and a white shirt. You can go for the classic burgundy or bronze, for example.
To look more trendy, try a black shirt with your charcoal suit, and add a black tie to complete the look.
Finally, for a morning or afternoon wedding, when you do not want to look stiff and formal, you can mix things up and wear a brighter red, hunter green, or even purple tie with your charcoal suit.
What Color Tie Goes with a Grey Suit for an Interview
Solid, dark tones like navy blue or black look best with a grey suit for an interview. You want to match this outfit with a white shirt and black shoes for a smart, traditional look.
Of course, you don’t want to look exactly like a cookie-cutter model of every other job applicant, so you could also go with a tasteful patterned navy tie or a grey tie that matches your suit. However, unless you know that the workplace prefers informality, you should stick with a white shirt rather than a colored shirt.
Wearing a grey suit to an interview is a pretty standard choice. Grey tends to look calm, analytical, and professional. For increased formality, go with a dark grey or charcoal grey suit rather than a light grey suit.
Best Color Tie for Grey Suit
The best color for a grey suit overall is a navy blue or burgundy tie that pairs well with most shades and styles of grey suit. The best color tie for a formal occasion is typically either a black, matching grey, or navy blue tie. That said, you can successfully match many different colors of ties with a grey suit because of its neutral tone that matches so well with many colors.
Because grey pairs well with so many different colors, one easy way to narrow down the best tie for your outfit is to match your tie to your dress shirt. This way, you can pick the perfect shade of darker pink to go with a pastel pink shirt or the exact color of hunter green to match the paisley pattern in your button-up shirt. Just keep in mind that your tie should generally have a darker shade of color than the shade of grey in your suit.
What method do you use to match a tie to a suit? Have you ever worn a grey suit and tie before? Leave a comment below to let us know!