The Gentleman's Guide: Pattern Mixing
Posted on 13 July 2018
What is pattern mixing anyway?
It is basically mixing up the patterns in your outfit so that none are the same.
Sounds easy right?
It is easy, but it can be a little confusing at first.
Which patterns complement each other?
Will they clash?
Will my outfit be too busy?
These are all valid concerns that we've all had at some point.
To simplify things, I like to group all patterns into four categories:
Here are some of the patterns you can find in each category:
As long as you diversify these categories, your outfit will remain on point.
The key to a well put together outfit is: contrast.
You want elements of your ensemble to stand out and not blend in with each other. So by using patterns from different categories, you are contrasting them.
Using these categories, you can make six different combinations:
1. Stripes + Checks
And believe it or not, you can add more combos if you know what you are doing (I will show you a little later).
Let's have a look at the first six:
2. Stripes + Dots
3. Checks + Dots
4. Checks + Print
5. Stripes + Print
6. Dots + Print
Now, if you know what you are doing, you can mix patterns that belong to the same category.
For example, a gingham shirt can complement a windowpane suit. This works because the "checks" are different sizes which creates contrast as I mentionned before.
This is how it looks:
Pretty cool, right?
There is one more combination I want to show you and that is stripes with stripes.
A pinstripe suit with a regimental tie is a beautiful thing.
See for yourself:
As you can see, pattern mixing isn't as restrictive as you may have thought.
Once you understand the basics, it's like unlocking a door to a whole new wardrobe adding several new outfit options.
There are so many patterns out there, you would be silly to wear the exact same pattern twice in the same outfit. Diversify and most importantly, have fun with it!