Most guys avoid putting different patterns or styles together with the fear of looking like they got dressed in the dark or by a clown. Understandably so—wearing too many loud patterns can look chaotic and messy, but there’s a trick to help make it look easy and tasteful.
It comes down to one rule, two ways, using three words: major, minor, major; or minor, major, minor. No, we aren’t talking university here—this is all about pattern. Each piece of the suit can be considered either major or minor based on its pattern and style. A major pattern is one that could be easily seen from five feet away or more. Think loud, chunky patterns: checkers or thick stripes. A minor pattern is—you guessed it—one that can be seen from five feet away or less. This is your paisleys, polka dots, and skinny stripes.
Let’s put it to the test. The three easiest pieces to work into this equation are your jacket, shirt, and tie. Always make sure your jacket and tie are in the same category, and your shirt in the other. If you’re feeling brave and want to go with the major, minor, major rule, you could have a checked suit with a finely checkered shirt and a tie with big bold stripes. How easy was that?
Once you have this rule down pat, the combinations of styles you can make seem endless and exciting. That suit you only wore one way is now restyled into a number of different options to keep you looking sharp.