There is nothing sexier than a man in a tie. Why? Done right, it usually means that man has showered, washed and groomed his hair, had his shirt pressed, and might even be wearing a suit. That, my friend, is a series of All-Star moves in a lady’s eyes.

Plus, as most of America has moved casual Friday to casual all the time, adding a tie to your button-down is an easy way to lift yourself a notch above the pack in your workplace and your social scene.

Here are two simple keys to winning the game of pairing your ties with your shirts (and making Carmelo Anthony proud). 1. Always do the opposite of your shirt. 2. Try not to match patterns of the same size or type. So if you have a…

Solid Shirt: wear a striped, patterned or dotted tie. Anything but a solid color, basically, unless it’s a solid skinny tie. That’s hip and looks cool with every shirt.

Plaid Shirt: wear a solid dark tie or a simple striped tie that shares a color with your plaid shirt. Keep it simple since the shirt is busy enough.

Striped Shirt: wear solid tie, a patterned tied, or a striped tie as long as the stripes aren’t identical in size to the shirt.

Check-Patterned Shirt: combine with anything but a check tie. You’re not Craig Sager.

Here are five ties I love that, provided you match the shirt right, will score points for you all night. Go get ’em, sharp-dressed man.

Bright-stripe tie, $69.50,


John Varvatos Star USA Woven Silk Tie, $49,


Sun Spot Woven Tie, $105,

Lellet Plaid Classic Tie (also comes in lots of solid colors at a great price point), $26,


Finesse Silk Tie, Red Edition, $159,

Lauren Schugar is Made Man’s style expert. With more than 13 years of experience in the fashion industry, including wardrobe styling, prop styling, merchandising and personal shopping, she knows everything from headgear to footwear. Learn more at