“To achieve the nonchalance, which is absolutely necessary for a man, one article at least must not match.”
– Hardy Amies, Fashion Designer
Patterns can be a tricky style element—do it wrong and you might end up looking like a character from Alice in Wonderland. There are some pretty simple rules regarding patterns, and how to mix them, that most style icons follow.
- A Little Goes a Long Way: The safest way to wear patterns any time is to use them sparingly. A tie, scarf, hat or even socks are a great and easy way to do this.
- The Bold & the Minimal: If you’re wearing a lot of one pattern or perhaps one that’s incredibly strong, make sure the rest of your outfit is toned down and neutral. Pull out a subtle tone within the fabric and set a foundation with that color. This will help you avoid looking clown-ish.
- Mix & Match: When mixing patterns, make sure you pair a large pattern with a smaller, more obscured one. For instance, say you’re wearing a gingham button-up and want to wear a patterned tie, too. Go for something within the same color palette and has a smaller pattern, like small polka dots or a very fine texture. This keeps things balanced.
Now that we’ve gone through some of the rules, here are some great inspirations for a bit of pattern play.
Gingham and Paisley