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Mix and Match Men’s Pants: Quick Guide

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

mens tan pants with hand in pocket watch on wrist

When wearing pants, you should clearly know how to mix and match them. This understanding can help you to always come up with the perfect outfit. While trying to mix and match pants, you should focus more on the patterns. Let's learn more about some of the most common patterns of pants and see how to match them with your outfits.

- Solids

A solid is not a pattern. Solid clothing is one straightforward color without any patterns and a great base to add patterned shirts and ties to. Solids are the safest and most classic choice.

- Stripes

The most typical stripes seen in pants are chalk and pinstripes. Usually white or tone on tone, they are minimal but you should still try to match a plain shirt color to whichever stripe you are wearing.

- Checks

Some pants have check patterns, usually slacks with this much pattern are part of a suit. Keep it to soft solids on top to let the pants shine.

- Twills

A tight weave with a warp over the weft is known as a twill weave. The herringbone weave, a remarkable design that does resemble a fish bone, is the most popular twill. It may sometimes be in coats, pants, and shirts. It's a pattern that is so tightly packed, that from a distance, it looks like a solid. These are usually heavier and great for winter to wear with a solid sport coat that picks up some color from the pant. A navy or gray solid sport coat would look great here and a minimally patterned shirt.

- Dots

Pants that have minimal dots are sometimes called “bird dot.” Like the tweed, from far away this pattern can look solid. You can get away with a lot of different patterned shirts here as these tend to lean on the solid side unless up close. Bird dot pattern pants are again, usually part of a suit.

Introduce patterns gradually.

Small accessories like neckwear and pocket squares can be far more expressive than essential clothing like coats, trousers, and shirts. You can explore and make errors with them since they're less costly and easily interchangeable.

Your shirts are the next item to incorporate patterns into. If a pattern on a shirt doesn't suit you, changing it is far less expensive than realizing too late.

Avoid placing similar patterns close together.

This rule excludes any designs of the same size and kind. You shouldn't wear a pinstriped suit with a pencil-striped shirt and a pinstriped necktie, just as you shouldn't wear two paisley patterns next to one another. It merely seems too coordinated, as if you're trying, and it may lead to those mentioned above "moving patterns" optical illusion. Try pairing that pinstripe suit with a twill shirt and a dot necktie as an alternative.

Don't Match Patterns - Complement Them

Wear patterns to catch people's eyes favorably, to get praise, and to boost your confidence. This ability requires practice, just like any other one. Experiment occasionally. Allow yourself to make errors and learn. Recognize that there will be some outfits you put together that don't work and consider them as experimental data. Find out why they don't look well and what to fix to improve their appearance.

We hope this quick guide helps you style your pants, whether they belong to a suit or they are just from the rack. All of this takes practice, some research, and finally, actually being comfortable in what you are in. When you’re comfortable, you are confident.

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