“A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.”

I don’t know who said that, but I whole-heartedly agree.  There’s just something about a man in a suit, right?  Not only do they look good, but all of a sudden they have this swagger that comes from putting it on (like my husband Zack and his BFF Chris in the pic above).  You can tell they feel good when wearing a nice suit.

Choosing a suit is the (somewhat) easy part:  Invest in one that fits really well and wear it for years (our favs are linked below).  The hard part, however, is finding inspired shirt & tie combinations.  So we sat Zack down (he has an seriously uncanny knack) and had him pull his favorite shirt-and-tie combos for navy, black, and gray suits from the insanely huge shirt-and-tie collection at Nordstrom.

Here are our favs…..

What To Wear With a Navy Suit


Featured Suit:  BOSS Trim Fit Wool Suit (navy)

1. White Dress Shirt & 2. Medallion Silk Tie  – Jazz up a boring white shirt with a bright blue-on-blue patterned tie.  Any pattern would work, the key is to get a combo of blues for a fresh, modern look.

3. Sharp Fit Check Dress Shirt & 4. Gold Silk Tie  – There’s something casual and fun about a bright yellow tie.  Keep the vibe with a gingham shirt in a super-saturated blue.

5. Stretch Cotton Plaid Shirt & 6. Textured Tie  – The burgundy and navy are a perfect combination for fall.

7. Traditional Fit Check Shirt & 8. Dot Silk Tie  – Mixed prints work when everything is in a similar color palette.  Vary the size of the patterns, too.


What To Wear With a Black Suit


Featured Suit:  BOSS Trim Fit Wool Suit

1. Trim Fit Gingham Shirt & 2. Gray Solid Silk Tie  – A range of monochromatic grays is just so cool, and helps to soften the severity of a black suit.

3. Slim Fit Plaid Shirt & 4. Woven Silk Tie  – I like the graphic lines in this shirt.  Pair with a black tie to really bring out the detail in the shirt.

5. Trim Fit Geometric Shirt & 6. Dot Silk Tie – Both prints are a little busy, but the stripped-down palette (basically just black and white) makes it work.  A black suit is so grounding that it can stand up to busy patterns.

7. Houndstooth Trim Fit Shirt & 8. Grid and Dot Silk Tie  – Steel blue is a pitch-perfect complement to black.  To reinforce the blue, go tone-on-tone and pair this shirt with a steel blue tie.  (A black tie would also work, but the blue-on-blue feels more modern.)

What To Wear With a Gray Suit


Featured Suit: BOSS Trim Fit Wool Suit

1. Trim Fit Dot Shirt & 2. Paisley Silk Tie – Paisley ties are fun, but hard to pull off.  Pairing them with plain shirts just makes the tie look reaaaally paisley, but most patterned shirts end up being too much pattern.  A shirt with a small, subtle pattern is a paisley tie’s best friend.

3. Trim Fit Black Shirt & 4. Gray Cotton Tie – This is one of my favorite combinations . . . black shirts remind me of Bradley Cooper in The Hangover (in a good way . . . a very very good way) and I like the contrast with the gray suit.

5. Plaid Dress Shirt & 6. Micro Texture Silk Tie – Add some color!  I especially love unexpected pastels paired with gray suits.  Lavender is my fav, but pink, baby blue, peach, yellow would all work as well.

7. Trim Fit Stripe Dress Shirt & 8. Silk and Linen Plaid Tie – A plaid, wool tie is a must-have.  Pair with a subtly striped shirt and the unassuming gray suit suddenly has swagger.



A huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!  As always, all thoughts, opinions, and product choices are our own.  And readers, thank you for your continued support of The Mom Edit.  It doesn’t go unnoticed and is so very much appreciated! If you found this post helpful, check out more of our men’s fashion trends!



  1. I don’t usually comment on posts but this one seems to need a little love, so I will! I absolutely love when you guys post about menswear and I always forward them to my husband. Now, he never wears a suit (except for the rare interview) but he does the shirt and tie combo every day. Your breakdown of how to match patterns is a good refresher for both of us since I usually help pick the ties.

    I would say the biggest challenge for his shirt/tie look is #1: convincing him to drop a little more cash on his workwear and #2: Finding brands that fit well off the rack. While he’s not overweight he’s definitely not a “slim fit” guy and I’ve had a hard time narrowing down the brands that really cater to dudes with real world bodies. There doesn’t seem to be a men’s fashion blog on the web that addresses this common problem the way y’all do for us women. I’m convinced if I could find a brand that fit him well and had some fresh/modern prints he would definitely drop the extra cash! If anybody knows some good brands to try let me know!

    And maybe once we get some decent shirts I can work on the whole wearing a suit thing. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

    Anyway, love the blog and keep the Dad posts coming!

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