I have real trouble matching my patterned shirts with my ties. I see guys in my office do it successfully, but I’m too embarrassd to ask them for advice and too clueless to do it myself. Please help.
Dan (via Facebook)
You’re not alone in your plight when it comes to putting patterns together in a way that works—just look at the Spring Racing Carnival. But never fear, it’s simpler than you think and soon you’ll be looking as sharper than a pin factory in an earthquake.
Look at this man above. This is exactly how not to match patterns. Got it? Good. Now it’s smooth sailing from here.
Stripes are bloody simple. There’s only two things to remember: A thinly striped shirt (where the stripes are uniform and close together) should be worn with a large patterned tie. Polka dots, paisley and bengal stripes (think schoolboy) are perfect as long as the dominant colour matches that of the shirt stripe. If wearing a shirt where the stripes are less densely spaced, wear a tie that enhances the least dominant coloured stripe of the shirt. Got that?
Checks are your mate. Just remember to graduate your checks out from in: With smaller checks on the shirt, go larger on the tie—and if you’re daring enough—even larger on the suit. Perfecto!
Have fun experimenting in the mirror and if you’re unsure, trust your gut or enlist the help of a friend who is constructive-yet-brutally honest. Vary the weights of patterns and match similar patterns with larger ones, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be the master of all things patterned. And maybe then you could impart some wisdom to dear old, Sir Elton.