The DOs & DON’Ts of Mixing Prints

We are huge fans of prints here at The Manual. Who doesn’t love a great plaid blazer or go-to striped shirt? With the weather getting colder and holidays on the horizon, we’ve been experimenting with our layers, mixing some of our favorite prints for a look that really catches the eye. But there are some DOs and DON’Ts to print on print you should know about before trying it at home. Check out our handy guide below to get the look right and have your most handsome season yet.

DO mind a color scheme. Just like you would with any element of a great outfit, color matching is key. If you dressed in an orange and blue plaid shirt under a red and purple striped blazer, you’re obviously going to look crazy. For example, even though the dark blue of this Club Monaco Slim-Fit Dot Dress Shirt is deeper than the cool hue of the Striped Lambswool Maison Kitsuné sweater, they are similar enough to complement each other when paired together. Plus, we love the dot stripe combination because it’s youthful and not too serious.

DON’T mix more than two different prints. So you want to add a little extra style to your look by wearing more than two patterned pieces at once. Awesome, but make sure you stick to no more than two prints. For example, if you want to get playful with your tie (we love the classically preppy Vineyard Vines Whale print) keep your shirt and socks traditional. A navy suit will pack a serious punch when paired with a classic checked shirt, checked socks (navy, please) and tie in your pattern of choice.

DO use accessories to get the look. Take it from an expert, there’s nothing sexier than a great patterned suit on a man. It’s dapper, classic and will make the ladies flock faster than a sample sale. Adding a scarf or pocket square to the look will take it to the next level of stylish. The Bonobos Livingston Suit is a great starting canvas; add a rich teal pocket square from The Tie Bar, and you’ll really be swaggin.

DON’T believe what you heard about plaids and stripes. Whoever said you can’t pair plaids with stripes was seriously so wrong (just like wearing white after Labor Day, we do what we want!). He or she probably had good intentions, but it all comes back around to the rules we spoke about here. Make sure they are similar in size because you don’t want a thick stripe with a teeny tiny plaid. Keep the color scheme complementary and you will be the most handsome man in the room.

Header image via Dapper Lou

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