Patterned Suits and How to Mix and Match Patterns

Many men are more daring and adventurous when it comes to their fashion choices. Formal wear is not spared by these fashion-forward men. They wear patterned suits with matching patterned shirts, trousers, even shoes! If you want to try a pattern-on-pattern suit ensemble that will still be appropriate for formal events, you can follow these tips.


The fit is your best friend when wearing a suit. To ensure that you get the best fit, it is wise to go for made to measure suits. Nothing spells lousy than an ill-fitting suit, so invest in a patterned one that you can mix and match with different patterned and plain pieces.

Pattern types

Stripes, checks, houndstooth, polka dots and paisley are the most popular patterns on suits and other clothing pieces. You can rock these patterns either by themselves or together. The secret is to use them sparingly. Stripes go best with geometric patterns; checks with small prints, houndstooth with single colour prints and narrow pinstripes; polka dots with conservative checks and pinstripes; and paisley with animal prints, stripes and polka dots.

Same, different and multiple patterns

When mixing patterns, you can mix the same, different or multiple patterns, provided that you also apply colour coordination and proportion to the mix. With like patterns, proportion with the pattern sizes is important. Pair a big check patterned suit jacket with a gingham suit. Layering pieces of clothing with different patterns is the key. With multiple patterns, keep in mind that they do not have to be all on the clothes. You can accessorise with a patterned add-on but be sure to make the whole ensemble look like they look natural combined together.

Colour coordination

Patterns are already enough without adding contrasting colours to the ensemble. Make sure that all your clothing pieces are colour coordinated to avoid looking “clown-like”. But if you cannot resist a pop of colour, reserve it for small accessories.


The proportion of the patterns is something to consider too. This is especially important if you wear different or multiple patterns. This will prevent you from standing out like a sore thumb. Think of it like this: for a clothing piece with big checks, pair it with another piece with smaller checks. If you pair big checks with big checks, you run the risk of looking like a rundown tablecloth.

One staple fashion advice, both for men and women, is to never wear different patterns that will clash and will voluntarily call the fashion police. Although this still rings true, you can still experiment with patterns, but make sure that they go well together, especially if you are at a formal event. With today’s fashion trends coming and going at a very quick pace, you must invest in classic pieces – yes, patterned ones – that can go well with any other clothing.