Mixing patterns can be a tricky task, but with spring knocking on the door you'll see more ginghams, polka dots, and stripes than any other time of the year. Leave the solid shirt and tie combinations to the presidential candidates and dive into the world of mixing patterns. For big client meetings it might be best to stay away from too much noise like in the picture above, but this is a great post to keep around for when you want to wear a suit without looking too serious.
1. Stay Solid
Mixing solid pieces with patterns is the easiest way to get started. For most, this will be a solid suit with a patterned shirt and tie. This could also be a patterned suit, solid shirt and a patterned tie. You can still be serious by using solid pieces while setting yourself apart with a few patterns.
2. Watch Your Proportions
A rule of thumb is to never wear different patterns of the same size/proportion. For example, in my look above I'm wearing a gingham shirt and pocket square. The reason that I didn't break the rule of proportions is because the gingham checks in my pocket square are much larger than the ones on my shirt. Whether you're wearing three different patterns (i.e windowpane suit, gingham shirt and polka dot pocket square) or two of the same pattern (polka dot tie and pocket square with a solid shirt) make sure that they all vary in size.
3. Louder Colors = Less Pattern
This is pretty simple. If you're incorporating a bright orange tie into your outfit, make sure you tone down the pocket square, shirt, and suit that you opt for. If you can't resist the temptation to add more patterns, make sure that they're in subtle tones. For example, if you're wearing a navy suit with that bright orange tie, try to keep the shirt simple (maybe a light blue with subtle detailing, and a blue pocket square that's lighter than navy but darker than your shirt).