I enjoy mixing things up with my outfits, it challenges me to think out of the proverbial box. Experimenting is the name of the game and the prize is, when done correctly, an outfit that stands out from the mundane and conventional. Who doesn’t aspire to that look?
Of course you can mix things up by throwing in some stand-out colours, such as teal, plum and mint. In fact, mint is a very on trend colour this season and perfectly matched to any well tailored summer outfit.
As much as colours create interest, things tend to get boring fast. Count me off that boredom bus.
So how do you up your game? Welcome to the world of patterns and textures. Not only will the use of these fashion friends speak directly to your personality, but they add a sense of visual interest, an alternative dimension to your outfit.
This is how I used patterns to create a comfortable and stylish look, suitable for a late afternoon summer function.
I started with a light brown herringbone jacket, which I picked up on a recent shopping trip to inner city Joburg. The pattern is what grabbed me as I fell in love with the texture. The inner city offers an amazing assortment of interesting fashion items for men which, when paired with more tailored items, pushes the style envelope.
I paired the jacket with a pair of light blue pants from TopMan. These pants have a slight white linear pattern to them, thereby offering a contrasting pattern to the herringbone jacket.
In my outfit shown here, I have used patterns in complimentary colours to keep the pattern mixing interesting. I have also employed the clever technique of adding a solid colour to the patterned items, in the form of the white shirt I am wearing. When you add a solid with two or more patterns, you allow the visual space of the outfit to be broken up.
But isn’t that a polka dot shirt you’re wearing?
I hear you ask. Yip, indeed it is! Very astute you are dear reader. Certain patterned items, that are small and understated enough, will be viewed by the eye as solid. Despite the fact that they’re really not. Clever little trick that, hey! Check out my post A Dapper Dandy Delves into Dots for more about this shirt.
Brown shoes can be worn with almost anything, ranging from jeans to more formal items. What really interests me about brown shoes is the endless variety of shades available. A fashion must have for the discerning gentleman.
Now that I have you thinking about patterns, bear these simple guidelines in mind when attempting this look for yourself:
Scale Small scale patterns are easier to work with, especially when pairing with other patterns and bolder colours. Avoid an overly complicated outfit by keeping larger patterns on their own.
Colour Focus on the most prominent colour when you are attempting to compliment other colours you have selected in your outfit.
Focal Point Allow the pattern to be your main focal point, let it be the only attention grabbing part of your outfit that day.
The use of patterns and textures, especially in layering, will become more and more focal as we head into the cooler Autumn/Winter season. Start experimenting with just one pattern at a time, to ensure you are on-trend when the change of season hits!
As you grow in confidence with patterns, start pattern mixing like I have done. Once you get the hang of it, mixing patterns is fun. I don’t go out head to toe in patterns; although it could be a look all in itself. Hopefully you will start incorporating patterns into your outfits more often. Go on, push those boundaries and comfort zones!