Coordinating ties with black shirts is often tricky, especially against the backdrop of a black suit. Monochromatic outfits are easy to get wrong.
So, here are some great tie colors you can wear with a black suit and a black shirt:
But there’s more to it than a simple list, unfortunately.
We’re about to go through each of those tie color options in more detail (with pictures to boot). It’ll help you choose the right tie for the setting you’re dressing for.
To avoid underdressing/overdressing, read on.
8 Tie Colors You Can Wear With A Black Suit And Black Shirt
Ultimately, a black shirt and black suit combination should only be worn in smart-casual settings.
It works especially well for dressy evening social settings with a smart-casual vibe.
In truly formal or professional settings, a black shirt simply wouldn’t be appropriate.
But you’ll notice that some of the tie color options listed below look dressier and more elegant, while others look more casual and striking.
A black tie can be worn with a black suit and a black shirt for a fully monochromatic aesthetic. The combination is effortlessly sleek and sophisticated.
In many ways, this is one of the dressiest tie colors you could go for here.
The main risk, however, is that the tie is so similar in color to the shirt that it’s difficult to distinguish the two items from each other.
It’s sometimes hard to avoid this.
One way of doing so would be to choose a black tie made from silk or satin. The sheen of the tie would stand out against the black shirt.
Another option would be to choose a patterned black tie. For example, a black tie with subtle grey stripes would make it a whole lot easier to distinguish it from the black shirt.
Overall, however, a black tie would be a great option if you were looking for something more understated and you’re a fan of monochromatic ensembles.
Grey ties work well when wearing a black suit and a black shirt. The lighter the shade of the grey tie, the more it will stand out when worn over the black shirt and the more casual the combination will look overall.
When wearing this black-on-black suit and shirt combo, wearing a grey tie definitely has its benefits.
For one, a grey tie is much easier to distinguish from a black shirt than a completely black tie would.
The darker the shade of the grey tie, the more monochromatic the combination would look as a whole.
But even a dark grey tie (eg. charcoal) would be a whole lot easier to pick out against the backdrop of a black shirt compared to a black tie.
Choosing a grey tie over a black tie would allow you to stick to the monochromatic, grayscale color scheme while looking just as sleek.
A blue tie can be worn with a black suit and a black shirt in smart-casual settings. Ties in darker shades of blue such as midnight and navy blue look dressier than those in lighter and bolder shades.
Generally speaking, darker shades of blue are easier to pull off here.
They sync well with the dark overall aesthetic and don’t draw too much attention. The benefit of a navy tie over a black tie is, once again, that it’s easier to distinguish it from the shirt.
While you could wear a tie in a lighter shade of blue, be cautious.
Those in very light shades of blue (eg. cyan, aquamarine) can look a little awkward when worn with a black suit and a black shirt.
It’ll just pop out a little too much. It may look excessive and a little attention-seeking.
Medium shades of blue such as royal or admiral blue would be more reasonable alternatives.
Yes, they’ll stand out more than navy would, but they’ll still look stylish as opposed to excessive.
Red ties can be worn with a black suit and a black shirt in a variety of different smart-casual settings. Those in darker shades of red such as crimson, maroon, and burgundy are usually the best choices.
Dark red ties will always look more sophisticated against the backdrop of a black shirt than those in lighter and brighter shades.
A black suit, black shirt, and scarlet red tie combination, for example, is bound to turn heads.
It can look OK, but can sometimes look a little too comical or festive to be worn in more sophisticated smart-casual environments.
Dark red ties would just sync more naturally with the darkness of the black suit and the black shirt.
It’ll make more sense.
When wearing a black suit and a black shirt, consider a silver tie when looking to make more of a statement. The metallic and reflective tint of the silver will strongly contrast the black shirt and catch the eye.
You may have noticed how we’re getting pretty casual as we go down this list.
Silver is, ultimately, very similar to grey. In many ways, wearing a silver tie with a black suit and a black shirt could be labeled as monochrome and greyscale for this very reason.
The reason silver ties have a more casual look or feel to them compared to grey ties is the sheen.
The attention-grabbing contrast achieved between the silver tie and the black suit/black shirt combination isn’t appropriate in settings where there’s a risk of underdressing.
But if you’re looking for an option that stands out from the crowd, it can work well.
A gold tie can be worn with a black suit and a black shirt in casual and smart-casual settings. The “warmth” and boldness of the gold tie will draw attention when worn over such a dark and neutral suit and shirt combination.
Black and gold is a luxurious and eye-catching combination. It epitomizes glamor, but won’t be appropriate when you’re looking for something more sophisticated and subtle.
Much like the silver tie, a gold tie worn with a black suit and a black shirt is a good option when you’re looking to stand out from a crowd.
Green ties, especially those in darker shades (eg. hunter, forest, sage), work well when wearing a black suit and a black shirt.
In general, it’s best to avoid ties in lighter and bolder shades such as lime, mint, and chartreuse here.
They’ll often look awkward when worn over a black shirt. The contrast will be very high – too much, most would argue.
Those in dark and muted shades of green will add a nice splash of color to the black suit and shirt combination, while still keeping things dressy and sophisticated.
It’ll catch the eye, but not too much.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, low-contrast suit and shirt combinations look dressier here.
Ties in dark, muted colors are usually preferable when wearing a black shirt and black suit combination.
Green ones are no exception.
A purple tie can be worn with a black suit and a black shirt in a range of different casual and smart-casual settings. Dark purple ties such as those plum, mauve, and blackberry purple often work well.
The lighter the shade of the purple tie, the harder it’ll be to pull off without drawing too much attention.
When wearing a black shirt and a black suit, while it’s possible to wear light purple ties (eg. lilac), it can easily come across as too flamboyant.
Go for a dark shade wherever possible.
Purple ties signify rarity, luxury, royalty, and mystery. Combine this with the irresistible mystique of a black suit and black shirt combo and it’s hard to go wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s finish up by answering a couple of FAQs on the topic.
Can You Wear A Black Suit And A Black Shirt With No Tie?
It’s entirely possible to wear a black suit and a black shirt with no tie, especially when the setting is casual enough to make a necktie unnecessary.
Given how most of the events a black shirt would be appropriate for in the first place are “smart-casual” at most, ditching the tie altogether would usually be entirely reasonable.
In these cases, simply leave one or two buttons undone and fully embrace the smart-casual look.
Can You Wear A Black Suit With A Black Shirt And A White Tie?
In general, it’s best to avoid wearing a black suit with a black shirt and a white tie. The contrast will simply be too high, drawing unnecessary attention and usually coming across as excessive or flamboyant.
Ultimately, it would usually only be considered a reasonable choice when you’re really looking to stand out from a crowd.
It’s easy to become the center of attention when wearing a color combo as unusual as this. If this isn’t what you’re going for, strongly consider a different option.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.