When you think of suits and formal wear, green isn’t the first color that jumps to mind. You think of colors like blacks, whites, greys, blues, and perhaps even reds and beiges, but green isn’t necessarily common. Green is an underutilized color when it comes to clothing as it can often come off as tacky as it’s easy to overwhelm the senses by going overboard.
Green has many different shades that are entirely complementary to other colors and work well as accents and focal points of attire. A green tie is an excellent way to incorporate the color into your outfit, but you’ll need to find an accompanying shirt to go with it.
The Color Wheel
To find a shirt that complements your green tie, you’ll need to pay attention to the color wheel to find suitable colors. Green is a secondary color that sits between blue and yellow. This complements the primary color red, with different shades of green complementing purple and orange hues.
This gives you a diverse color range to work with, as you’ll have hot and cold options. Green is directly opposed to red, so combining it with red and red-adjacent colors could be a potential avenue, but mixing with similar tones like blue might be another route to take.
Experimentation is always a good thing, so mixing and matching and trying out different colors together can be a great way to find out what works well for you. You can move clockwise around the color wheel as a general rule of thumb, starting at green and moving through blue, purple, red, yellow, and eventually back around to green.
Choosing Your Tie
Before looking at shirts, you have to consider the tie you’re working with. Sure, we know it’s green, but there are many shades and designs to work with.
Generally, if you have a tie with a brighter shade, a good match is a darker, muted shirt. Likewise, the inverse can be true. Look for a tie design that is both tasteful and can be put together well with the shirts in your closet. You also don’t want a tie too wide, as the width should be as close as possible to the width of your suit’s lapel.
Pickings Based on Complementary Colors
Green and green-adjacent colors are complementary to reds, purples, and oranges, as previously stated. Generally, these colors will be much deeper, as you’ll find plum purples, burgundy, and burnt oranges. These colors can all work nicely with brighter shades of green, such as mint or pistachio greens.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to match brighter greens with darker or stronger shades. Overloading on bright shades can become flashy and distracting, which, granted, maybe your goal as you’ll undoubtedly be eye-catching. However, generally speaking, you’ll find that matching brighter ties on darker shirts will be seen as more attractive based on contemporary fashion ideas.
The Strength of Similar Tones
Burnished orange and burgundy are indeed options, but they might not be everyone’s style. There is something to be said for wearing similar tones. Based on the color wheel, the closest tones would be yellow and blue.
Yellow is naturally a bright shade, and you generally won’t find many shirts of this color, so it isn’t the best of options. However, deeper blue is a great and popular option to pair with greens. With similar tones, you can be a bit more flexible, as you can match dark tones with dark tones or cross dark tones with light tones.
For example, a mint green or viridian green tie may match equally well with a navy shirt or a turquoise shirt. Experiment and try seeing which shades work best for you.
While matching with similar tones of blues might work out quite well, there is something to be said about matching green with green. A singular tone can be pretty fetching and attractive, but you have to be careful when going green on green.
It can be easy to wear too much of one color in an outfit, so having some breaks in the color can be significant. You’ll want neutral colors like white and black for this. For example, a brighter green tie on a black shirt with a green waistcoat or coat can work nicely. Likewise, a darker green coat and tie might fit well on a white shirt.
Green is a color with much association to nature, and matching it with earthy tones can work out quite well. Browns and beiges are colors that might instantly come to mind, but remember that you’ll generally want to go for deeper colors that either match your deeper green tie or make your brighter green pop a lot more.
Green is an often underutilized color that deserves more credit. It’s surprisingly versatile and can work with different tones based on the look you’re going for. Whether it be complementary with reddish oranges and purples or similar with blues, green is an excellent color worth your attention.