Prints Charming: Five Top Tips for Wearing Patterns Successfully

Whether you’re dressing for a day at the office or a day at the races, it’s certainly true that opting for a plain bespoke suit and a crisp, block coloured shirt is the simplest way to look your best. However, if you’re keen to explore the world of florals, stripes and checks but don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help; the team at Mullen and Mullen are always keen to sport a print or two, so we’ve gathered together a list of our top five tips on wearing patterns successfully.

1. Start with accessories

The world of patterns can be incredibly daunting; if you’ve got a wonderful bespoke wedding suit or office suit and want to add a touch of the eclectic without going over the top, opting for patterned accessories can be a great starting point. From a quirky tie to a standout pocket square, starting small is always the best option.

2. Consider a patterned suit

Once you’ve mastered the art of choosing a good pattern, take it to the next level by making your next piece of men’s tailoring a printed one. There’s a huge range of bespoke suits with checks, pinstripes and even dog-tooth, but for a subtler starting point, opt for classic tweed.

3. Keep patterns a similar size

If you’re delving into the world of pattern mixing, there’s one main rule; keep prints on the same scale. Whether you’re pairing a standout bespoke suit with a floral shirt, or mixing up the stripes with your shirt and tie, keep them as similar in size as possible; trying to team a large print with a small one will confuse the eye, and more often than not, clash terribly.

4. Think carefully about colours

There’s nothing more we like here at Mullen and Mullen than an injection of colour, but when it comes to patterns it can be a little more tricky. For successful colour mixing, keep the tones similar; picking out one key colour and working from there is a great starting point.

5. Keep it to a two-pattern maximum

The key to mixing patterns successfully is to realise your limitations; pairing two prints together can look eclectic, unique and original, but going beyond that will just make your whole outfit confusing. Sticking to two key pieces, and then playing it down with neutrals and block colours will leave you looking interesting while still maintaining the formal look.