Pattern mixing is one of those areas where everyone has a rule. Some say you need at least one solid. Some say not to go with more than two types of patterns. We say throw the hard-and-fast rules out the window. Instead, focus on one guiding principle: making sure that the patterns you select compliment each other.
That means varying the scale—no microstripes and microdot pairings—as well as the impact of each pattern selected. You notice how, despite the fact that the gent above is wearing plaid, stripes, and dots, your brain isn’t reeling from visual overstimulation? That’s because the plaid jacket and striped shirt are nice and subtle, which allows those dots take center stage without giving you a headache. It also doesn’t hurt that everything exists in a relatively narrow color spectrum of blue, gray, and white, or that the plaid is large while the stripes are smaller and the dots even smaller still (which provides some balance). But really, it’s all about ensuring things just look right together. Which is to say, it’s an art—not a science. Easy as that.
Looking to try your hand at pattern mixing? Stop by Gilt MAN’s Hart Schaffner Marx sale at noon ET on Friday, 8/17, to pick up a plaid sportcoat or suit that practically demands to be creatively paired.