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How to Wear a Patterned Suit

It's always a daring moment for many men to wear something a little out of their comfort zones, but it becomes boring and dull to wear the same plain colour over and over again - so why not add some bolder items to your wardrobe with a patterned suit. If you already have one collecting dust at the back of your wardrobe with the labels still because you're unsure how to wear it then read on as we give you some expert styling tips. There are many different types of patterned suits you can buy dependent on your style and the current season, with some patterns being more suited for the summer or winter months.

Stripe Suits 

The business suit, a style which was always seen as flashy back in the 1920s but today it’s a little more refined with less stigma. As a word of advice, if you’re tall don’t wear a vertical striped suit because they make you look taller - but if you're shorter than the average male then this is perfect for you. There are different types of stripes, from your classic pinstripes to chalk stripe (slightly wider and often sewn into flannel). Then there is the rope which is generally seen on winter suits made from wool. It depends how bold you want to be as to which you choose. When dressing a stripe suit don’t also wear a striped shirt, stick to something plain and if you must make a dandy statement match it with a gingham shirt and classic lace ups (not detailed brogues) in similar colours.

Plaid Suits

Plaid or sometimes referred to as the ‘glen check’ has since reformed into a Prince of Wales or Duke of Windsor style which is an iconic suit pattern. You commonly see this on sports jackets and blazers as it was originally known as weekend wear in an informal environment. It’s more of a winter wear pattern as it’s often worn on woollen fabrics in a black and white colour palette. This is risky per se to wear with something else checked unless you want to stand out. But if you do choose to wear it with another check choose a larger sized check to balance it out. Or go for something plain and subtle in colour along with a pair of black lace ups or monk straps to complement the suit colour.

Windowpane  Suits

The more flamboyant of the suit patterns and something seen on the continent for its boldness. This is one style which doesn’t necessarily need to be seen on the entire suit. Just like plaid, it’s found on sports and casual jackets amd they look great over a pair of plain flannel trousers or dark washed jeans for weekend wear. You can be brave and wear this with another patterned shirt underneath, something gingham or smaller checks since the window pane print is usually quite large. Since this is often not a full suit you can wear it with detailed leather brogues or loafers (seasonal dependent).

Houndstooth Suits

Deriving from Scotland, this is a winter fabric and is more formally seen on coats and jackets (more so for women and not seen too much on suits). Generally this pattern is seen on tweed or wool fabrics for a thicker and luxurious feel. A striped shirt would sit nicely under this as it’s great contrast. Alternatively you can wear it with a solid plain shirt and a striped tie. If you’re wearing this as a separate, choose a pair of trousers and shoes which are fairly plain and not too dramatic as a way to make the jacket the statement piece of the outfit.

Herringbone Suits 

Another of the winter patterns, small arrow type shapes close together often on tweed and sometimes seen on wool too. The pattern is fairly subtle but from a distance it does give the suit a texture. Herringbone is a great choice for a formal occasion as the smaller the pattern, the smarter the style becomes. This type of suit looks great in a lighter navy colour blended with a white shirt.

Check Plaid Suits

This is a style which derives from the States worn by those who go sporting on the weekends. It’s a casual style and great for the warmer days. It is a style that needs to be worn with confidence because it’s overstated and bold and it looks great with a large check shirt in dark colours of blues and greens.


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