Color-coordinating ties with grey suits and black shirts can be extremely frustrating. This is mainly because of how dominating the shirt can be. Fortunately, there are certain specific tie colors that tend to work well.
So, here are some great tie colors you can wear with a grey suit and a black shirt:
But you’ll need more.
Yes, those colors will generally work well. But it’s no secret that specific shades of those colors tend to work better than others.
Let’s dive into each of those tie colors and talk through how to wear them with this specific suit and shirt combination in the most effective way possible.
7 Tie Colors You Can Wear With A Grey Suit And Black Shirt
Here, you’ll find descriptions and pictures of these combinations to help you choose the perfect one for your specific circumstances.
A black tie can be worn with a grey suit and black shirt for a dressy monochrome and greyscale color scheme. The combination is sleek, sophisticated, and effortless to coordinate.
It could be argued that this is the easiest tie color to wear with this specific suit and shirt combo. It’s hard to go wrong here.
The main reason for this is that having a tie color that’s darker than the shirt you wear it over often has a more natural look and feel to it.
It’s impossible to wear a tie that’s darker than a black shirt, but you can at least choose one that’s as dark.
The main risk when wearing a black tie over a black shirt is that you choose two items that are so similar to each other that they’re impossible to distinguish from each other.
In other words, it won’t even be clear that you’re wearing a black tie at all.
One solution would be to choose a tie that’s close to black but not quite – a charcoal grey tie would do for you quite nicely.
Another solution would be to go for a patterned black tie so it stands out against the backdrop of the black shirt.
A grey suit and black shirt outfit can easily be combined with a red tie in a variety of different dressy smart-casual settings. Ties in dark shades of red such as burgundy, maroon, and crimson tend to work best here.
The benefit of wearing a red tie is that it’ll always stand out against the black shirt.
It’s also a great way to add a touch of warmth and color to the greyscale combination of the grey suit and the black shirt.
While you could go for a brighter and bolder shade of red such as scarlet, ties in darker and more muted shades of red are usually the better option.
They sync well with the ultra-dark black shirt without popping out too much.
A bright red tie will stand out a little too much in comparison, sometimes looking awkward or out of place.
Sure, it would work well as a statement piece.
But if you’d prefer a more elegant aesthetic, go for a dark red tie when wearing a grey suit and black shirt.
Consider a blue tie when wearing a grey suit and a black shirt. While a tie in a light shade of blue would stand out more, those in darker shades such as navy or midnight blue often look more sophisticated in this outfit.
Dark blue ties would be the dressier option here. The benefit of one over a black tie, for example, is that it’s easier to distinguish it from the black shirt you’re wearing it over.
Navy and midnight blue ties are always going to be more vivid and eye-catching than black ties when wearing a black shirt.
At the same time, they’re subtle, muted, and understated.
Compare this with wearing a cyan or aquamarine blue tie over a black shirt.
Sure, it’ll stand out way more, but it’ll also look less dressy and probably draw unwanted attention.
Darker shades of vivid colors are often more effective when wearing a black shirt.
A pink tie can be worn with a black shirt and grey suit when you’re looking to add a warm pop of color to the monochrome combination.
Once again, darker or more muted shades of pink would usually be best, as bolder and more vivid shades tend to draw too much attention due to the contrast.
So, consider a more muted shade such as salmon pink, or a darker shade such as mauve.
In general, it’s best to avoid lighter or more striking shades such as hot pink or fuchsia.
While you’ll sometimes see it attempted, it rarely ever looks stylish. The contrast between the shirt and the tie is just too high.
It’s worth mentioning here that it’s wise to consider the shade of the grey suit you’re wearing as well.
A dark grey suit worn with a black shirt would look more subtle and low-contrast, while a light grey suit would look more striking when worn with the same black shirt.
Either option would work well, but when wearing an already-striking pink tie, you may want to keep things more subtle with your grey suit by going for one in a darker shade.
Purple ties work well when wearing a grey suit and a black shirt. Consider a tie in a dark shade such as plum, aubergine, or blackberry purple. They sync well when worn over black shirts.
Purple is eye-catching enough to always pop out effectively against the backdrop of a black shirt. Yes, even dark shades of purple.
But the outcome is often more subtle and understated than a pink or red tie would be here.
Purple is a “cool” color, while pink and red are “warm” colors.
Cool colors tend to look more laid-back and relaxed, while warm colors are often more vibrant and energetic.
This is true to the extent that you could wear a grey suit and a black shirt with a tie in a lighter shade of purple (eg. lilac) if you wanted to.
You’d probably get away with it. Purple is usually subtle enough to allow you to.
But as you can see from the image above, ties in darker shades of purple tend to work better as they’d simply sync better with the darkness of the black shirt behind it.
A green tie can be worn with a grey suit and a black shirt in smart-casual settings. Ties in darker or more muted shades of green such as sage, olive, forest, and hunter green are usually the best option when wearing this outfit.
Green is a “cool” color like purple. It has a similar laid-back and relaxed aesthetic to it.
Green ties can be worn with black shirts very effectively, but try to stick to those in darker shades.
Consider the opposite and you’ll soon appreciate how difficult it can be to pull off. Think of a mint or chartreuse green tie worn with a grey suit and black shirt.
The contrast would be way too much.
So, keep it dark.
White ties can be worn with a grey suit and black shirt if you were looking to make a statement. The ultra-high contrast between the shirt and the tie would turn heads.
This would really only be appropriate when there isn’t much of a risk of underdressing.
The white tie would really be hard to miss when wearing a black shirt underneath it. It’s worth considering, but only as more of a statement piece.
It works well in settings where you’re meant to be the center of attention. For example, if you were attending your own birthday event or even your own wedding reception.
In settings where you’re hoping to blend into a crowd, however, it wouldn’t be encouraged. Go for one of the previous tie color options instead.