Last time, we covered tie colors. Now, let’s move on to patterns.
If mixing and matching tie colors correctly is difficult (lets face it, it is difficult for most guys), then matching tie patterns is even tougher. Like ‘Shaq shooting threes’ tough.
So how do we solve the pattern conundrum that seems to plague most of us? The answer is right here in this extensive guide, where we’ll cover:
- The essentials of pattern theory,
- How this theory applies to mixing and matching patterns in different ensembles
- How different tie patterns suit different occasions and settings.
Pattern Theory Essentials
When matching tie patterns to your
- Pattern proportion. This is absolutely critical. Whether your tie pattern is similar to or completely different from that of your
shirt, it is imperative that the pattern proportion differs. The whole purpose of color and pattern coordination is to ensure that the tie creates visual interest and an element of ‘pop’. With patterns, generally speaking, a wider spaced tie pattern will pop off perfectly against a smaller striped shirtpattern. An example of this is a wider striped regimental / university tie against a shirtwith narrow stripes.
- Differentiation. When pairing a tie pattern with a
shirtpattern, it is best to try two different patterns. However, and I can’t emphasize this enough, it is absolutely imperative that pattern proportion is different! Ties that work well in these instances are polka dot silk ties or floral abstract ties. If pattern proportion is not observed, the end result will feel cluttered.
As you can see here, while both patterns are similar (stripes), the wider striped tie pairs perfectly with this narrow striped
With a tie pattern that is wider than the
You can also do the inverse by pairing a smaller patterned tie against a wider patterned
As you can see in the case below, a smaller foulard silk tie works with the large checks on the
Quick Tip: For the most pronounced and stylistic effect, start with a small patterned
shirtand work your way up with a larger scaled patterned tie to create the most contrast.
Different Tie and
Applying Pattern Theory to Different Combinations
Shirt with a Solid Tie (Suit Can be Solid or Patterned)
Before we delve into different combinations of suit and
Choose a solid tie that is darker in color than your
Shirt with Patterned Tie (Suit Can Be Solid or Patterned)
Another extremely easy pairing, and it basically goes without saying, is to wear a patterned tie with a solid
For example, The Dark Knot’s Berkshire Abstract Grey w/ Red Tie here pairs perfectly with this solid pink
One Solid and Two Patterns
Ok, now on to the really interesting stuff!
A relatively easy way to transition into what we’ll call ‘Sartorial Territory’ is to pair one solid item with two patterned items. If you are wearing a patterned tie, this can entail either a solid
In the case below, we see a foulard silk tie of smaller proportion paired with a plaid suit, creating pattern proportion contrast that utilizes the same underlying (checkered / plaid) pattern.
The suit is left as the solid piece here, creating a gorgeous backdrop for the navy silk tie.
Three Patterns, Two of Which are Similar
The next step into Sartorial Territory is to wear three patterns, of which two are similar.
This can be a narrow striped
This will bring the three pieces of your attire together in a cohesive manner while still allowing you to look your sophisticated best.
Alternatively, you can opt for a
Three Different Patterns
This is when you have graduated to the level of the truly sophisticated gentleman.
Mixing and matching three different patterns is no easy task, and should only be attempted when you are more comfortable with the various pattern combinations listed above.
With three distinct patterns, it is even more imperative that you pay attention to pattern proportion, so that your ensemble doesn’t look like a cluttered mess.
Different Tie Patterns and Their Corresponding Settings
In addition to the mixing and matching of tie patterns according to your
Solids: Essentially the most versatile neckties out there, they can be paired with any
Stripes: Perfect for professional settings, whether it be work, a business meeting or a presentation, and can be broken down into the following sub groups:
British Regimental Stripes: These run from upper right to lower left.
American Regimental Stripes: These run from your upper left side to your lower right.
Repp Striped Ties: Comprised of a ribbed weave, where the stripes are floating on top of the underlying fabric, creating a more textured pattern.
Foulard: The Foulard Silk Tie is a versatile tie with repeating patterns of floral or geometric designs that will look sophisticated in any setting, business or casual.
Polka Dot Ties: These contrast extremely well with a solid, striped or checkered
Polka Dot ties help to create contrast from both a pattern and proportion standpoint, making them an ideal choice to spice up your outfit.
We know that was a lot of information to digest, but its all worth it. To recap, here are a few key points to take away:
- Pattern Proportion is absolutely critical when matching tie patterns to your
suitsand shirts. Whether your patterns are similar or not, your look will be greatly enhanced by varying pattern proportion so that your tie pops off your shirt.
- When pairing tie patterns with your
shirts, it is best to start with a muted, narrowly spaced shirtpattern and scale up to a larger tie pattern to create the most pronounced look.
The Dark Knot is a men’s accessories line carrying silk ties, linen and silk pocket squares and lapel flowers. They also offer Free Style Consultations to help you choose ties, pocket squares, and lapel flowers that will best suit your existing wardrobe and lifestyle needs.
You can also choose ties based on occasion and by matching
The Dark Knot is happy to offer Effortless Gent Readers 25% off using code EG25 at checkout.