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4 Tips to Master Mixing Patterns

Beads of perspiration are probably already forming. One of the most anxiety ridden areas of men's styling is how to properly mix patterns. Mixing patterns is a bold move that most guys struggle to pull off. However, when done well, pattern mixing gives your old clothes new life. It's also a fun way to show off your personal style. Pattern mixing isn't for everyone but if you're daring, use the tips below to help you pull it off with ease.

1. Scale and Proportion

Two things to keep in mind when mixing patterns are scale and proportion. Scale and proportion refer to the size relationship between various components of a garment. Pieces should look good together and should be complementary. The eye focuses better when you use varying proportions to create a mixed pattern look. For example, pair big patterns with small ones to create depth and interest.

2. How many patterns to wear?

The basic rule is to never wear more than 2 patterns at a time. This is a safe choice and many guys will stop here. However, if you're more adventurous, you can wear more. To start, focus on the chest area: coat, shirt, tie and pocket square. This area is important because people will likely notice it after your face. Give them something interesting to see.

3. How to mix?

If wearing two patterns, let one pattern take center stage and use the other pattern to compliment. For 3 or more patterns, layering softens the edges to create harmony and balance. The goal is to prevent one piece from commanding too much of the attention. The entire look should be cohesive. One way to mix patterns is to use color cues to tie the pieces together. Mix up colors to make your look bold or stick to one color family to keep it simple. Minimize solids as they add a sharp contrast which can be distracting and unbalanced. For example, a dark, large patterned suit can look distractedly bright when paired with a solid white shirt or black tie.