It’s become a favorite in the workplace due to its subtlety and versatility, but it can sometimes be difficult to pair with ties. So, what tie colors work best with a light blue shirt?
A light blue shirt can be worn with a dark blue tie for a monochromatic look, or a neutral-colored tie for a similarly subtle appearance. For more contrast, consider a “cool” colored tie (eg. purple or green) or a “warm” colored tie (eg. red or yellow).
Here’s a table summarizing it all:
|Color Scheme||Shirt And Tie Combination|
|Monochromatic||Light Blue Shirt With Navy Blue Tie|
|Neutral||Light Blue Shirt With Black Or Grey Tie|
|Cool + Warm||Light Blue Shirt With Maroon Tie|
|Cool + Cool||Light Blue Shirt With Forest Green Tie|
|Complementary||Light Blue Shirt With Orange Tie|
But there’s a whole lot more to it than that.
After going through some guidelines to follow whenever you color-match light blue shirts with ties, we’ll run through a couple of FAQs to finish up.
Let’s get to it.
Matching Light Blue Shirts With Ties – Key Principles
Consider all of these before picking your tie.
Go For Light Vs Dark Contrast
When wearing a shirt in a color that’s as light as light blue, consider wearing a dark-colored tie to contrast it.
In general, choosing a tie that’s darker than the shirt you’re wearing is a good rule of thumb to follow.
When wearing a light blue shirt, this isn’t difficult. Most ties are likely to be darker and they don’t even have to be all that dark.
But going for a tie that’s especially dark like navy blue, burgundy red, or forest green works even better due to the clear contrast between light and dark.
It isn’t essential, but it has a great effect.
Always Consider The Dress Code
The more formal the setting, the more likely it is that a monochromatic or neutral color scheme would work better. Consider wearing a light blue shirt with a tie in a different shade of blue, or a neutral color such as grey or black.
Monochromatic and neutral color schemes are considered more “formal” because they’re subtle and don’t draw too much attention.
While pairing the light blue shirt with a “warm” or “cool” color can work well (as you’ll soon see in the examples below), the combinations will tend to look more casual.
Consider The Fabric
A “light blue shirt” can look pretty different depending on what it’s made from. A dress shirt made from poplin or broadcloth will look different from one made from Oxford cloth or linen.
This might influence the type of tie you choose to wear with it.
To keep things simple, follow this rule of thumb.
The dressier the light blue shirt, the more likely it is that a tie with more sheen to it (eg. silk) would work well. The more casual the light blue shirt, the more likely it is that a knit tie would work well.
Dressier shirts tend to be wrinkle-resistant and have more sheen to them. More casual shirts have a rougher and more rugged texture. They also tend to be wrinklier.
Use The Color Wheel
The color wheel shows how colors relate to each other. It can be surprisingly useful when color-matching shirts with ties.
It’s often made more complicated than they need to be. Here’s what you need to know:
- It can be split into two halves – “warm” colors and “cool” colors.
- Warm colors include reds, oranges, and yellows.
- Cool colors include blues, greens, and purples.
- Pairing colors close to each other on the color wheel leads to less contrast while pairing those far from each other leads to more contrast.
Knowing that light blue is a “cool” color is useful when choosing a tie color. We’ll refer back to the color wheel now and again when going through the shirt and tie combinations.
5 Light Blue Shirt And Tie Combinations
Here are some great examples of tie colors you can wear with a light blue shirt, split into the main color schemes we mentioned above.
Notice how the monochromatic and neutral color schemes look more subtle and formal, while the other examples look more casual (but still blend well).
Examples of tie colors you can wear with a light blue shirt:
- Navy Blue
- Charcoal Grey
- Plum Purple
Monochromatic Light Blue Shirt And Tie
A light blue shirt can be worn with a dark blue tie (eg. navy or azure) for a monochromatic look. It’s a subtle combination that works well in formal and business-professional settings.
Example: Light Blue Shirt + Navy Blue Tie
Its appeal lies in its simplicity. Simply choosing a tie in a darker shade of blue takes the hassle out of color coordination.
It’ll always work and you don’t need to think twice about it.
While it could be seen as the “safe” option, it’s hard to deny that it’s versatile.
Wearing a light blue shirt with a dark blue tie would work well in formal, business-professional, business-casual, and smart-casual settings.
You could wear it to interviews, weddings, garden parties, conferences, funerals – the examples are endless.
If you wanted to add a bit more visual interest to the monochromatic shirt and tie outfit, consider a pocket square (if you were wearing a blazer/suit).
A neutral-colored pocket square (eg. grey or white) would be the simplest option, but a similarly “cool” color such as green or purple would also work well in more casual settings.
Light Blue Shirt + Neutral Tie
Light blue shirts can easily be worn with ties in neutral colors such as black or grey. The combination would be subtle enough to wear in both business-professional and formal settings.
Example: Light Blue Shirt + Black Tie
In many ways, choosing a neutral-colored tie is as simple as simply choosing one in a different shade of blue.
“Neutrals” are colors that blend into the background and are extremely easy to pair with practically any other color.
The true neutrals are whites, greys, and blacks.
While you could go for a white tie, it would generally look awkward and out of place with a light blue shirt.
In line with the guidelines we discussed earlier on, pick a tie that’s darker than the shirt.
Grey and black ties work especially well here.
Light Blue Shirt + Cool-Colored Tie
Light blue shirts can be worn with green and purple ties easily given how they have similarly “cool” undertones. The combinations work well in the winter and fall months.
Example: Light Blue Shirt + Plum Purple Tie
Refer back to the color wheel and take a look at the “cool” colors. These are the blues, greens, and purples. In general, cool colors have a calming and soothing effect.
The closer the color is to blue on the color wheel, the less contrast you’d achieve by combining them.
But in general, picking a tie in any “cool” color would sync well with light blue shirts.
While purples and greens in lighter and brighter colors are good options, choosing a dark and muted shade would usually look more professional.
Consider shades of green such as hunter green or forest green, and shades of purple such as mulberry, wine, and plum.
Light Blue Shirt + Warm-Colored Tie
A light blue shirt can be worn with warm-colored ties such as those in maroon or burgundy. The combination would have a more casual appearance due to the contrast.
Example: Light Blue Shirt + Maroon Tie
The “cool” undertones of the light blue shirt can pair well with “warm” colors such as reds and yellows.
These colors lie on the opposite half of the color wheel.
The contrast can work well, but will always look more casual than going for a monochromatic or neutral color scheme.
It’ll also generally look more casual and striking than simply pairing two “cool” colors together.
Light Blue Shirt + Complimentary Tie
A light blue shirt can be worn with an orange tie for an eye-catching, high-contrast combination.
Example: Light Blue Shirt + Marigold Orange Tie
Blue and orange are directly opposite each other on the color wheel (i.e complementary colors).
What this leads to is a whole lot of contrast. As a result, the combination is probably the most casual and striking on this list.
It wouldn’t usually be appropriate in formal or professional settings.
However, it’s a great option if you’re attending a smart-casual setting and want to wear a shirt and tie combo that makes more of a statement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to a couple of FAQs on the topic to really finish up in style.
What Color Tie With A Navy Suit And Light Blue Shirt?
A navy suit and light blue shirt works well with charcoal grey, burgundy, maroon, and forest green ties. Avoid wearing a navy blue tie as it would lead to too much of a monochromatic outfit.
The same guidelines and principles discussed earlier would apply.
Consider going for a neutral-colored tie or a “cool” colored tie for a simple, low-contrast combination.
If you want a more striking and eye-catching option, consider a “warm” colored tie to contrast the “cool” colored light blue shirt.
What Color Bow Tie With A Light Blue Shirt?
A light blue shirt can be worn with bow ties in a variety of different colors given how subtle and almost neutral light blue really is. Bow ties in shades of grey, red, and green work especially well.
Much like with neckties, it really just depends on how much contrast you want.
The principles are exactly the same.
Go for a monochromatic or neutral color scheme for a subtle aesthetic, or a “cool” colored bow tie (eg. greens or purples) for an eye-catching yet low-contrast combination.
If you’d prefer a more striking combo, go for a warm-colored bow tie (eg. reds or yellows) to contrast the cool undertones of the light blue shirt.
A light blue shirt has the benefit of versatility and can be worn with a wide range of tie colors ranging from neutrals to warm colors and cool colors.