Prince Philip in contrasting textures and a block stripe necktie.
One of the most common questions we get at Put This On is about pattern matching. How is it done? How many patterns can one wear?
The rules for pattern matching are pretty simple - vary scale and type of pattern significantly. Prince Philip’s simple outfit above actually features a few simple patterns - the tie, the coat, the square. That said, there are plenty of other ways to have an interesting outfit.
I don’t feel a need to compete in the pattern sweepstakes. If you see me on the street, the odds I’m wearing a bunch of crazy patterns are low. If I’m in a coat and tie, the pants and shirt are solid-colored, and the coat and tie may be, too. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Derek’s a great advocate for being aware of texture, and I’m behind him 10,000%. I love texture in part because it’s as much for me as for those I interact with. I can feel it with my hands and body. It’s a physical pleasure. Even a cashmere tie, which touches only my shirt and coat while I’m wearing it, is a joy to put on.
It’s why I love the big bold ridges of cavalry twill trousers, the toughness of a heavy oxford shirt or the flannel of an old-style baseball cap. The textures are like a nest.
And they look good, too.
Texture > Pattern.