Print clashing and matching patterns can be tricky when unsupervised and with a slew of micro trends taking over the fashion scene in 2018, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. To guide you to sartorial expertise, The Hounds Blog is giving a run-down on how to match patterns.

There are two ways to match patterns:

a) Match ‘like’ patterns by keeping the scales different
b) Match ‘different’ patterns by keeping the scales similar

Match ‘like’ patterns by keeping the scales different

Coordinate like patterns by keeping the scales different. This creates harmony by ensuring that each element is clearly defined. Failure to do so, confuses the eye by making it difficult to differentiate each pattern.

The differing scales of the striped jacket and tie keeps the combination focused. Credit: Scott Schumann

Match different patterns by keeping the scales similar

Match different patterns by keeping the scales similar.  If the scales are too different there is the risk of having “too much going on” which can result in one pattern overpowering another and the look becoming too distracting.

Similar scales create visual harmony for different patterns as effortlessly demonstrated by Italian industrialist Claudio Utti. Credit: Drakes of London

Three Patterns

a) Three patterns of the same design
Match these by keeping the scales different. But beware, matching three different stripes can look like you’re trying too hard.

b) Three patterns of different designs
Match these by keeping the scales similar.

Patterns of a similar scale create visual harmony as this outfit from Drake’s of London illustrates. Credit: Brokeandbespoke

c) Two patterns of the same design and one odd pattern
In the case of two patterns of the same design and one different pattern identify which of the like patterns is the strongest. The odd pattern should adopt a similar scale. This will balance out the larger pattern and produce a harmonious appearance.

The large windowpanes of the jacket shares a similar scale to the large stripes of the tie. This creates a harmonious appearance as the patterns are not competing with each other for attention. Credit: Italianindustrialist

Four or more patterns

Matching four or more patterns is difficult for two reasons:

a) Too many patterns can be visually overwhelming
b) You risk looking a try hard

The first can be resolved with highly refined intuition. The second requires the right attitude: a certain indifference towards how you look. As Hardy Amies put it: “A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.”

Wale Oyejide of Ikire Jones hits the mark by being unapologetically bold. Credit: Wale Oyejide
thoughts?