How to Match Ties to Pocket Squares

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Knowing how to match ties to pocket squares is an essential skill every aspiring dapper gentleman should perfect. In this detailed guide, we cover how to match ties to your pocket squares based on color, pattern and fabric considerations.

Do you often wish that you had the perfect accessory to round off your suiting ensemble, whether you are strutting it with a tie or not? Something that could instantly add a splash of flair and panache with minimal effort? With the recent surge in popularity of pocket squares, we thought it would be a good idea to create a guide for the mixing and matching of ties to your pocket squares

After all, an accessorized man is often better dressed than one that is not.  And with more alternatives to mix and match colors, patterns, and fabrics, it is in our best interest to introduce variety to our wardrobe and create new, exciting and interesting ways to dress on a daily basis- ensuring that yesteryear stagnation is drowned out and replaced by excitement, novelty and our own individual creativity. 

The main rule to consider when matching ties to your pocket squares is that they shouldn’t exactly match!  While the colors should complement each other, replicating your tie pattern with your pocket square is a tried and tested way to mediocrity.  Just as the other pieces of your ensemble differ in pattern color and fabric (your suit, shirt and tie) so should your pocket square! 

1. Color

When matching pocket squares to your ties, a sure fire way to ensure you get the best color combinations is to use a color wheel. Try using either a complimentary (directly opposite), triadic (equilateral triangle) or analogous (adjacent) color scheme when you are first experimenting with color.

The Color Wheel

Complementary color scheme

Complementary colors sit directly across each other from the color wheel and create the strongest contrast.  Pair a blue tie with an orange pocket square, a red tie with a green pocket square (though it could risk looking a little too Christmasy!) or a purple tie with a yellow pocket square.  

While these combinations can be daring, they will ensure that you stand out without looking like a stand-in for Charles Barkley, as they will have you looking color coordinated.  

Complimentary Combination of Necktie and Pocket Square

Courtesy of

Triadic Color Schemes

Triadic Color Schemes are colors that are formed by creating an equilateral triangle.  Hence, blue, red and yellow form a triad color scheme as do green, orange and purple. 

While these contrasts are not as strong as a complementary color scheme, these colors accent each other wellTriadic color schemes create harmony as they create a balance between warm and cool colors.  A royal blue tie with a red pocket square or a navy blue tie with a maroon/burgundy pocket square will both help contribute towards a refined and elegant ensemble. 

Burgundy Foulard Silk Tie & Blue Silk Pocket Square

The Dark Knot's Berkshire Burgundy Foulard Silk Tie & Ellington Paisley Blue Silk Pocket Square. Courtesy of @giovanni_patiti

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's extensive range of luxurious, hand made silk ties

To view The Dark Knot's exquisite range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares, please click here.

Pocket Squares | Silk Pocket Squares | Linen Pocket Squares | Shop Pocket Squares | Buy Pocket Squares

Analogous color schemes

For color schemes that provide more harmony, analogous color schemes are your best bet. An analogous color scheme involves choosing colors that are adjacent on the color wheel.  Hence, while a true sense of harmony is not achieved (balance between warm and cool colors), an analogous color scheme does provide a sophisticated, yet muted look.  

Analogous color schemes generally involve choosing two warmer colors or two cooler colors. For example, one can pair a blue tie with a purple pocket square.  This scheme is soothing on the eye, as adjacent colors on the color wheel tend to create a sense of trust. Try a blue tie with a green or lilac pocket square, for example. 

Purple Foulard Silk Tie & Blue Foulard Silk Pocket Square

The Dark Knot's Shelton Abstract Foulard Silk Tie & Waterford Abstract Silk Pocket SquareCourtesy of @stevetillystyle

Neutral color scheme

If one of your two accessories (tie or pocket square) is a neutral color, then the other one can be any color that you like it to be.  Neutrals go well with any color.

Silk Grey Knit Tie & Black Linen Pocket Square

The Dark Knot's Ithaca Grey Wool Knit Tie. Courtesy of @runnineverlong

For a comprehensive selection of hand made silk and linen pocket squares with contrasting hand rolled edges, please click here


Please feel free to view this incredible video on Matching Ties To Pocket Squares by Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style:


2. Pattern

There are three possibilities when it comes to matching your tie to your pocket square should you decide to wear a pattern or print:

1.  The tie is a solid color and the pocket square is a neat pattern or print

In this case, it is best that one of the secondary colors in the pocket square is the primary color in the tie. For a more subtle, analogous look, you can opt for the same color of the tie in a different shade, that recurs throughout the pocket square. 

For an extensive list of exquisite, hand made solid silk ties with a double lining of wool and cotton, please click here.

        Solid Tie with Patterned Pocket Square

Silk Ties | Ties | Neckties | Extra Long Ties | Buy Ties | Shop Ties


2.  Both the tie and pocket square have patterns or prints.

If both the tie and pocket square have patterns or prints, it is imperative that the proportion and pattern spacing differ, even if the actual patterns do not.  If your tie has thin stripes, your pocket square could also be striped- but keep in mind that they should be thicker, block stripes. 

Similarly, a necktie with small checkered/squares pattern would work well with a dotted pocket square- provided that they are big, largely spaced polka dots versus pin dots.  A pin dot pocket square would work well against a wider striped tie.  The goal is to create visual contrast and this is best achieved through pattern spacing and proportion! 

For an extensive range of intricately hand made foulard/abstract silk ties, please click here

Blue Foulard Silk Tie & Purple Linen Pocket Square

The Dark Knot's Montville Foulard Blue / Red Silk Tie & Medford Paisley Linen Pocket Square

Courtesy of @runnineverlong

3.  Patterned tie and solid pocket square.

In this case, the same rules as the first combination apply (solid tie and patterned pocket square).  Similarly, the combination would be visually appealing if a secondary color in the tie is the main color of the pocket square.  

For an exquisite offering of printed silk ties that will add undeniable color and flair to your attire, please click here


3. Fabrics

Since the purpose of the pocket square is to break the jacket and to add some color, pattern, and textural variation to a man’s ensemble, it is suggested that the fabric of the pocket square differs from that of the suit.  Hence, a luxurious woolen suit can be worn with a silk or linen pocket square!  Or try wearing a linen pocket square with a seersucker suit in the summer! 

The Dark Knot's line of hand made, linen pocket squares with distinctive hand rolled contrasting edges can be found here.


Navy Silk Tie & Grey Paisley Linen Pocket Square

The Dark Knot's Millbury Foulard Navy / Coral Silk Tie & Baldwin Grey Foulard Linen Pocket Square.

Courtesy of @stevetillystyle

Pocket Squares | Silk Pocket Squares | Linen Pocket Squares

Summary of Rules of How To Match Ties To Pocket Squares

Alright, let's face it, that was a lot of information to digest. Here is our summary of rules for matching your ties to your pocket squares.

1. Use a color wheel! A color wheel provides the perfect foundation upon which to enhance your understanding of color theory. If you are just starting off with experimentation with regards to your style, it is best to opt for a neutral (e.g neutral colors such as grey or brown) or monochromatic look (e.g navy tie with a blue pocket square).

From there, you can work your way up to a similar color scheme (adjacent colors such as a purple tie and blue pocket square), a triadic color scheme ( colors such as a blue tie and red pocket square) or the BOLDEST of them all, a complementary color scheme (featuring colors diametrically across each other (e.g an orange tie with a blue pocket square!)

2. The most important consideration for Pattern Mixing is to make sure that pattern proportions vary. Therefore, a small pin dot pocket square with a polka dot tie is much more effective than an abstract /foulard tie and polka dot pocket square with the same proportions. Differences in proportions, which refer to the amount of spacing within the design (vis a vis the other design), is what helps to create the most amount of contrast with respect to patterns.

3. Fabric variation. Mixing fabrics, especially when season permitting, is an outstanding way to enhance the aesthetic of your ensemble! For example, pairing a linen pocket square with a silk tie is a great way to add some intrigue to your outfit during the spring / summer months!

And that's a wrap for this one! I hope you have had as much fun reading this article as I have had writing it!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's extensive range of silk ties, that come with recommendations for matching attire!

To view The Dark Knot's extensive Pocket Square Collection, that comes with embedded style advice for matching tie colors and patterns, please click here.


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