A black shirt is in itself a fashion statement, so it is best to stick to neutrals where ties are concerned, choosing a black, gray or white tie. For certain occasions, brightly colored ties can work against a black shirt.

A general rule for choosing ties states that the tie should be darker than the shirt. This rule does not work when one is wearing a black shirt, which indicates that the shirt alone is a bold choice. If an occasion does not call for a muted or discreet appearance, it is sometimes acceptable to augment the boldness of a black shirt with an equally bold tie in a bright color.