I get a lot of requests for practical advice on suit/shirt/tie combinations, so I’m going to try and drop a few more in regularly over the next few months. This is a shot Andy Barnham took of me recently as stock shot for Stephen Haughton’s new website.

As a default option for suit and tie, I would always recommend grey and blue: a navy suit with a grey tie; a grey suit with a navy tie. A conservative, business-like combination, it leaves you free to play with patterns and accessories.

Here a charcoal double-breasted suit is worn with a blue shirt and navy, club-stripe tie. The blue of the shirt has a touch of purple to it, something picked up on with the pink silk handkerchief. The cufflinks, too, are Permanent Style’s peacock pearls, which are rather purple in their iridescence.

Given the lack of pattern in shirt or suit, both tie and handkerchief are free to express strong patterns and colours.

Suit, Hemingway Tailors; shirt, Turnbull & Asser; tie, Drake’s; handkerchief, Rubinacci
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Great look. I love the colour of the shirt. Is that Turnbull & Asser’s blue end-on-end classic, or one you had made to order?

Regards, HDD




Ivy Farias

Dear Simon,
I’ve just found your blog and love it! I need some advice: I am gonna give to my fiancè a special gitf on our wedding day to start a new tradition in our new family we are about to start. In the gift I bought a pair of silver cufflinks and a clip tie, both from Tiffany’s. I want to buy a Montblanc’s pen and a Hermès Macclesfield tie, but haven’t decided the color yet because I don’t want anything “wedding”, I want to something he can use regular and pass for our future generations, like the other itens in the gift. I was thinking about navy, would you go with me? P.S.: We are getting married on a Saturday afternoon, very casualy but elegant small reception (no church). Hope to hear from you, Ivy (a carefull bride from Brazil).


Dear Simon,

Whilst I always enjoy your blog, I was very disappointed to see that in Andy Barnham’s photograph of you the fourth button on your cuff was undone.

This is an increasing habit I find; where as if to emphasise the superiority of the tailoring and the use of working cuff button holes – the fourth button is left undone. I think this is a very regrettable trend.



Mark, spot on. I very much agree with you. A very regrettable trend indeed.


Jaili Huio

Love the pocket square. Where was it bought or is it custom made.


Dear Simon,

Great shirt. Is there an actual name for the shade of blue?


Andrew Walker

Great article and an impressive and very helpful site overall. A quick question on shoe color if I may.
In other articles you advocate brown shoes over black (you have 10:1 pairs I belive). In both of the combinations above (grey suit/blue tie and blue suit/grey tie) would you recommend brown or black shoes? Also, how would a blue shirt fit into either or both options (in a contrasting pale blue of course)?

Andrew Walker

Thanks Simon.
Best wishes, Andrew