Shirt and Tie Combos

With summer temperatures climbing—and your blazer, bomber or denim jacket increasingly likely to come off mid-workday—it’s more important than ever to have an arsenal of solid dress shirts at your disposal. Keep reading for five new styles to try (plus the ties to match) if you’re ready to transcend standard stripes and solids.

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Dapper men here at Nordstrom HQ have illustrated militaristic fall trends and noble Movember mustaches for you in the past. Today, we felt some shirt-and-tie inspiration for the summer months ahead might be in order.

Here’s Rory Arakaki from our Men’s Shop buying team, showing that a creative mix of colors and patterns makes as much sense with a beat-up jean jacket as it does with a suit—any day of the week:

Monday: Classic Prep. Navy blazer, khaki trousers, striped tie. (video tutorial on how to tie a tie) Every guy probably has a version of this in his arsenal already—but basing your combo on a micro-check gingham shirt, instead of plain white, will set it apart from the crowd.

Pro Tip: Rory nails the first rule of pattern mixing: Vary the scales. In this case, large stripes call for tight checks.


Tuesday: Smart Casual. Keep the fit snug and the color neutral, and a shawl-collar sweater can be spot-on for a laid-back day at work. Consider it a back-up for your favorite blazer.

Pro Tip: A button-down—inherently more casual than a point collar—is ideal when dressing down. Rory gets bonus points for using his purple shirt to pick up an accent color in his tie.


Wednesday: Vested Interest. Another great spring alternative to a suit jacket, a vest offers that much-needed third piece to tie your look together…while allowing you to push up your sleeves and get down to some serious mid-week business.

Pro Tip: This shirt’s pattern is fairly loud (especially in concert with Rory’s badass ink underneath)—so we dig how he calms it down with a solid knit tie.


Thursday: Purple Reign. Although this rig is boardroom-ready, Rory injects some signature personality through the addition of a pocket square, and by basing his shirt-and-tie combo in purple (it’s the new navy—embrace it).

Pro Tip: Rory’s on-point with his tie-clip placement. If you ever question your technique, GQ drew up a handy diagram.


Friday: Easy Rider. Rory gets an A+ on his blazer alternatives this week. Here, a classic jean jacket gets the job done on casual Friday—and was born-ready to hit the bars once 5 o’clock rolls around.

Pro Tip: A knit tie skews slightly more casual than a crisp woven one, but one thing doesn’t change: the flawless four-in-hand knot you should tighten up every time.


Work/Prank Balance: You might not have guessed it from his calm demeanor in the shots above, but Rory’s a bit of a live wire. This video shows him punking some fellow coworkers, by pretending to be a robot/cardboard box transformer possessed by funk—or something like that.



…And find ready-made combos, curated by our men’s team, here:
Shirt & Tie Combos


If you’re like us, you’d prefer to reserve all brain power for after you’ve made it to the office—which means picking out clothes in the clouded stupor of morning, that not only get the job done but also make a confident statement, can be kind of a drag.

That’s precisely why we created a category of ready-made shirt and tie combinations. We’ve thought it all out so you don’t have to: Paisley on stripes? Of course. Dots on checks? Simple. Keep a copy of this photo taped next to your closet, and you can concentrate on more important things each morning: Like breakfast.

Shop Pre-Made Shirt & Tie Combos

Or, Shop: All Shirts | All Ties