Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Groom Style Tip #7: Mad About Mixing Patterns

A lovely bride recently asked me how to match her navy braces with pink polka dots. As I began to do research on this, I kept asking myself, "Should she go with a patterned tie or a solid tie?" I love to play with patterns and textures so, naturally I went with the former option. But, often times, pattern-on-pattern can end disastrously. So, what's the best way to mix and match? Here are a few tips.
mx and match
All shirting fabrics available at 9tailors;
Top left: Gucci via Bluefly;
Top Right: Moss;
Bottom left: Armani via Bluefly
Bottom right: Ike Behar via Nordstroms

Rule #1: Mix subtle with subtle

The key here is to pick subtle patterns with other subtle patterns in complementary shades. This might be the easiest look to pull off. Look at the example on the upper left corner. Start off with neutral shades (black, gray, white, etc.). When I mean subtle, I mean small, thin, textured (e.g., gray on gray, black on gray) colors or patterns. In other words, nothing should jump out at you at all.

Rule #2: Mix similar shades and/or tones together

The key here is to pick colors that complement each other in shade or in tone. Look at example 2 on the upper right corner. Start off with your shirt. The shirt is primarily blue with a subtle white checkered pattern on it. Then, go with a tie that picks up the equally vibrant shade of blue. If you are having a hard time figuring out colors, use a color wheel. It's very helpful!

Rule #3: Vary the size of the patterns

The key here is to choose one larger sized pattern with a smaller sized pattern. Same sized patterns might be a little too busy or too crazy for some of you. So, this is a great option for you if you want a cleaner, more streamlined look. The lower left combination is a good example of this. The purple thin stripes in the shirt play off the lavender stripes in the tie. Also, notice how the space in between the stripes are also varied as well. This prevents the look from being too matchy.

Rule #4: Mix two different patterns

The key here is to mix a smaller pattern and a larger pattern. So, if you wear a tie with a larger pattern, then go with a smaller striped pattern shirt and vice versa. See the example on the lower right corner. The paisley in the tie is a much bolder print than the stripes in the shirt. the In this option, the pink of the shirt and the periwinkle in the tie still match.

The above rules will help you avoid making mixing mistakes. Your groom and your groomsmen will look quirky, yet sophisticated!

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