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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Look book - duds for dudes - mixing patterns

Many a fashion guru stated over the years that mixing patterns is not to be tolerated in the art of looking classy. "Not so!" says the Seymour-Kuroshchepova household. You can mix patterns IF you do it right. The first thing to make certain is that the patterns and their colors do not compete with each other. You don't want to look as if you were dressed by a psychotic parrot.

Case in point. Here we have Gerry wearing not one, not two but THREE different patterns. However, he still looks classy and dashing. So, let's take this apart, shall we?

At first glance, it appears that he is wearing a basic gray suit with a blue shirt and a pattern tie. Ah, but it is not so! If you look closer, his suit is actually windowpane - but the difference is that the pattern is very small, and instead of competing with the very bold tie, all it does is create a subtle texture and depth to the fabric of the suit.

Thus, the colorful blue, black and yellow tie can stand out with that punch of color so many male outfits lack these days, while being boosted and complimented by the suit, rather than battling with it for supremacy. The same can be said about the shirt. It doesn't have a pattern per se, but it does have a rather pronounced weave. However, instead of creating a clash with the patterns of the suit and the tie, it simply has a bit more dimension - is all.

The last but not the least is the pocket square, which combines some of the colors of the shirt and the tie, but introduces yet another - vertical - pattern. However, being separated from the tie by two subtler fabrics - that of the shirt and of the jacket - it serves not to compete but rather to punch up the blue.

To summarize:

- Patterns can be worn together as long as they do not clash and compete.
- Pick one dominant pattern, then build around it.
- The largest garment need not be the one to carry the dominant pattern. In fact, it is better if it isn't. Otherwise things might get a bit garish.

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