Paisley is a classic pattern that rose to popularity in the ‘60s, but since then it’s made a major comeback and you might be wondering just how to wear a paisley tie. You might not fancy looking like John Lennon or like you’ve crawled out of an all day peace and love fest, but with the right ensemble you’ll look way more hip than hippie. Because paisley comes in so many different incarnations, from large colorful patterns to smaller shapes and muted colors, choosing an outfit is highly dependent on the type of tie you’ve purchased. There’s no safe bet that your look will go with every paisley tie in the world, but there are some clothes that will look better than others.
If you’ve got a big bold pattern on your paisley tie, it’s a good idea to tone down the rest of your outfit. Nix the pastel suit you’ve been wanting to pull out of storage and choose a navy or black suit. If your tie is a darker color with cool tones, you can even go for a lighter gray suit, which still channels a tinge of vintage while looking more modern.
Paisley ties have the capability of being completely out of this world – at least color wise. Whether your tie is a vibrant red or a cobalt blue (or maybe even both), you might want to show off the color by matching it to your shirt. A white shirt is always a safe standard for any kind of tie, but if you’re not wearing a blazer, try wearing a deep burgundy shirt with a tie that has red accents or a light blue shirt with a tie that has blue accents. You can even layer a navy blazer over a white shirt to play off the blue in your tie.
A paisley tie doesn’t have to be bold and bright. It can have a small pattern in a muted color like brown, gray or black. These kinds of ties are best for layering and adding texture to an outfit. Try mixing different textures in one outfit by pairing a gray paisley tie with a lightly pinstriped suit jacket. You can also mix different kinds of fabrics for a greater play on texture. Pair a silk paisley tie with a textured wool blazer or a chambray shirt. Wool and chambray both have major texture but act as a neutral, especially when paired with a tie or other non-neutral articles of clothing.
While you’re probably wearing a tie with your suit or with a button up and slacks to dress up, you can wear your paisley tie to add some interest to a casual outfit. Choose a light colored button up shirt in a neutral, like a gray, white or light blue and pair it with a darker, subdued paisley print tie. Finish the look off with dark blue or black skinny or fitted jeans and wingtip shoes for a look that’s appropriate for both a chic restaurant and the office.