Mixing patterns in clothing scares the hell out of guys and to be honest I can’t blame them. Looking through your closet, there maybe a plethora of untapped combinations of clothing that could be staring right at you and you’ve never attempted to put them together. After a while, you will realize that you are wearing the same clothes over and over, using the same style tactics with each wear. Mixing patterns isn’t just a way of improving your style, it will also improve the longevity of many pieces that you own because you won’t constantly wear the same pieces over and over. Before you go 100% pattern crazy, there are some quick general “rules” to follow.
Pattern Boldness Rules
- In regards to your shirt and tie combination, if the primary pattern mixing involves stripes and plaid, the stripes on your shirt should be relatively small (spacing wise).
- Polka dot and paisley ties work great with a striped shirt. When choosing a tie you will find that choosing a tie with colors in the same family of your shirt works well or choosing a tie that is on the opposite end of the color wheel is a great option.
- Pants. The bottom half of your outfit can get a bit tricky. This look I went with another plaid pattern that is completely different from my tie (which is the best way to go). Going with a muted color like these grey plaid pants is one of the best way to incorporate another pattern into the mix.
- Not pictured is the unlined navy blazer that I wore with this outfit to work today.
- These rules will not apply to all pattern mixing, so please use theme cautiously.
If you ever look at campaigns for brands like Etro, you will see a heavy emphasis on mixing patterns far beyond what is displayed in this post. One thing to remember, there should only be one true stand out piece in a look like this. For the extra pop I chose the tie as the headliner with the rest of the patterned pieces as a supporting cast. Give mixing patterns a try so you will get some more style combinations out of your everyday wardrobe.
Thanks for reading,
- Etro | Milan Menswear Spring/Summer 2012 (modedimitri.wordpress.com)
- How To: Bold Blazer – Volume I (mensstylepro.com)
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM