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The Masters Guide to Mixing Patterns With a Suit

4th July 2023

When it comes to dressing well, there's a certain art to mixing patterns in a suit ensemble. It's a daring style move that can elevate your look to new heights, but it requires finesse and an understanding of the principles behind pattern mixing. In this guide, we'll explore the key considerations and strategies for successfully combining patterns in your suit outfit, helping you achieve a sophisticated and harmonious result. 


Start with a Solid Foundation if You’re a Beginner: Begin by choosing a solid-coloured suit as your foundation. This provides a neutral canvas that allows the patterns to stand out without overwhelming the overall look. Classic solid colours like navy, charcoal grey, or black are versatile options that work well with various patterns. Alternatively, choose a suit with a small pattern with colours that blend well enough that it is not too bold as you start mixing patterns. 

Scale and Proportion: 

Consider the scale and proportion of the patterns you want to mix. Aim for a balance between larger and smaller patterns to avoid overwhelming the visual composition. For example, pairing a larger checkered pattern with a smaller striped pattern can create an appealing contrast and visual interest.  

Harmonizing Colours: 

To create a cohesive look, ensure that the colours in the different patterns complement each other. One way to achieve this is by selecting patterns that share a common colour. For instance, if you have a navy suit with a subtle pinstripe, you can pair it with a shirt featuring a micro-check pattern that incorporates shades of blue. 

Varying Pattern Types: 

Mixing different pattern types can add depth and dimension to your ensemble. Consider combining patterns such as stripes, checks, plaids, houndstooth, or polka dots. Remember to balance the visual weight of each pattern and ensure they don't clash or compete for attention. 

Playing with Scale: 

Experiment with patterns of different scales to create visual interest. A general rule of thumb is to pair a larger pattern with a smaller one. For instance, a wide-striped tie can be paired with a suit featuring a subtle pinstripe. This contrast in scale adds texture and complexity to the overall look. 

Utilize Neutral Patterns: 

Neutral patterns like herringbone, windowpane, or glen plaid can serve as excellent bridge elements when mixing bolder patterns. These patterns tend to be more subdued, allowing them to complement and harmonize with both solid colours and more vibrant patterns. 

Pay Attention to Textures: 

Don't limit your pattern mixing to visual patterns alone. Consider incorporating different textures into your ensemble, such as a tweed jacket or a textured shirt. Combining patterns and textures can create a visually intriguing and sophisticated look. 

Embrace Contrast: 

Contrast is key to making your pattern mixing stand out. Consider combining patterns with contrasting elements, such as a bold, geometric pattern with a more organic, floral pattern. This contrast adds visual excitement and ensures that each pattern gets its chance to shine. 

Accessorise Thoughtfully: 

When accessorizing, opt for solid-coloured accessories that complement the colours present in your patterns. This helps create a harmonious balance and prevents your accessories from clashing with the patterns in your suit ensemble. Solid-coloured ties, pocket squares, and socks can add a touch of elegance without overpowering the patterns in a suit or vice versa. 


Mixing patterns in a suit ensemble is a style choice that requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By following these guidelines, you can confidently experiment with pattern combinations, creating a unique and well-coordinated look that reflects your personal style. Remember, the key is to achieve balance, harmony, and contrast to make a lasting impression with your pattern-mixed suit ensemble. 


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