I feel it’s important for one’s personal style to come from their own tastes and reflections about what looks good, rather than trying to mimic something “in.” That being said, I often look to other’s outfits for inspiration and appreciate Instagram for taking the entire world of men’s fashion and putting it in an easily indexed list I can access from anywhere.
This post will focus on pattern mixing, something I’m particularly fond of. I have to wear a white coat every day to the hospital and with that restriction it’s easy for my looks to be very boring. One possibility to offset the dullness of the coat is to introduce flamboyant colors – and I’m no stranger to that approach. If that becomes the standard though, one’s overall image can become garish (think Cam from Modern Family) so the saturated hues are best left as the exception, not the rule.
To keep things interesting then, I prefer mixing patterns for a subtler but textured effect. I don’t think there are really any hard and fast “rules” to follow; as soon as someone invents one it becomes fashionable to break it. Some guidelines I’ve found helpful though, are the following:
When layering patterns (a tie on top of a shirt, or a shirt under a patterned jacket) do your best to make sure the patterns are significantly different in size. If the sizes are too similar, the patterns become muddled and cancel each other out.
Don’t worry about mixing patterns that allegedly don’t go together (dots and stripes, e.g.) but do worry about making sure your color scheme is on point. Again, if I’m using patterns to keep things interesting then I’ll try to keep the color palate subdued.
It’s fine to use the pocket square as an outlier in a look. Some say it should always coordinate, but in the early days of pocket square acceptance (think the 1920’s/30’s) it was common for a man’s pocket square to stand out completely. Again, make sure the rest of our look is put together - but not brash - for this tactic to give the best effect.
If you decide to incorporate some of these tips and take your pattern game to the next level, tag me on Instagram (@sartorialphysician) so I can see what you come up with!
Check out his Instagram @sartorialphysician) for more awesome posts!
@sartorialphysician wrote, photographed and produced this post exclusively for: