Broke-Ass Tag: Men’s Suiting


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Nordstrom Classic Cashmere Sport Coat

Classic Cashmere Sport Coat, $348.98 from Nordstrom

“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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The Patterned Suit

Neiman Marcus Last Call Hugo Boss Modern-Fit T-Howard2/Court Wool-Blend Two-Piece Suit w/Plaid Print, Open Blue

Hugo Boss Modern-Fit T-Howard2/Court Wool-Blend Two-Piece Suit $993.75 from Neiman Marcus Last Call

Checks and Polka Dots
Mix a Polka Dot Shirt with a Checked Bow Tie

Power Checks Bow Tie, $19 from The Tie Bar


Isaac Mizrahi Navy Dotted Slim Dress Shirt, $19.99 from Century 21

Gingham and Paisley

Pair Gingham with Paisley

Smart Care Gingham Dress Shirt, $39.90 from Nordstrom


Refinado Floral Tie, $19 from The Tie Bar

Mens Wearhouse Gingham and Pocket Square

Suit, Shirt and Pocket Square from The Men’s Wearhouse

Multi-Pattern Outfit Tie Bar

Accessories available from The Tie Bar

Are you brave enough for the wild world of patterns? Share some of your inspirations with us in the comments.