29
MAY
2018

Trending Fashion: Pattern Mixing 101

The world of fashion is continually evolving and pushing boundaries. It can be a real challenge to stay on top of the latest trends and wear the newest styles with confidence. We don’t recommend filling your entire wardrobe with trend-driven pieces, but when done sparingly and in the context of an otherwise permanently stylish look, a little bit of trendiness can distinguish you from the crowd and elevate others’ perception of you.

The trending style at the moment is one that tests even the most well-dressed individuals: pattern mixing. While it may seem difficult at first, well-mixed patterns will add depth and visual interest to your image. Expertly mixed patterns are also a sign of a man who truly knows how to dress.

What follows is a basic primer on how to mix patterns. Read on and discover that it’s not the insurmountable task you may have thought it was.

Guidelines to Follow

1. Keep It Simple (To Start)

The likes of Fred Astaire and the Duke of Windsor were known for mixing four, even five patterns at a time. They dressed beautifully, but they didn’t start there.

Crawl before you walk, and walk before you run.

Try a striped tie with a striped shirt and solid jacket. Alternatively, try a striped suit, striped tie, and solid shirt. The point is to start by limiting the types of patterns you mix, and keeping them to only two garments in an outfit. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can move on to more complex pattern mixing.

2. When Mixing Like Patterns, Use Different Scales

A tip for wearing similar patterns together is to vary their proportions or scales. For example, when wearing striped trousers with a striped dress shirt, wear trousers with larger, widely-spaced stripes, and wear a shirt with thinner, more tightly-spaced stripes.

The concept holds true for any other pattern. This works because the varying scales relieves the eye and allows the viewer to clearly differentiate between the garments.

3. When Mixing Unlike Patterns, Maintain A Similar Scale

If you branch out and start mixing stripes and dots, or paisley and checks, you’ll want to keep the patterns similar in scale. Because the eye can already differentiate between the patterns, you want similar scales to create harmony and continuity.

An exception to this rule occurs when one of the patterns is very small in scale. Avoid mixing small-scale patterns, whether like or unlike. It’s dizzying to look at.

4. Color Matters

Colors play an essential role in mixed pattern outfits. Be sure to use color palettes that agree with one another, even if they do not necessarily match. For similar patterns especially, pairing a lighter tone with a darker tone can provide the contrast needed to make the outfit work.

For a primer on color theory and which colors look best on you, schedule a consultation.

5. Use A Solid Neutral to Ease Visual Overload

At times, you may find yourself with an outfit that seems to be doing too much. In cases like these, a solid coat, shirt, or accessory can provide relief to the eye and let the patterns breathe. Even solid colored suits from high-end Philadelphia custom tailors like Henry A. Davidsen can serve as the neutral base needed to tame mixed patterns.

In Conclusion

Check out Philadelphia’s best selection of custom dress shirts and select a design you’ll want to show off with a patterned tie or suit. Mixing patterns may take you out of your comfort zone, but by following these guidelines, you can pull off a complex outfit with confidence!

About the Author
A former full-time Image Consultant with Henry A. Davidsen, Mike currently works with the company on a project basis and is on the social media team. He creates content for various social networks and the company's blog. A menswear fanatic, Mike lives to get dressed every morning and loves to educate men on the ins and outs of sartorial know-how. When not expounding on the wonders of half-Windsor knots, he plays bass guitar and sings in the Newspaper Taxis, a Beatles cover band.

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