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Mixing patterns - how to combine different patterns with each other

In order to create your own style and to perfect it over time, you need to know a few things about fashion, colours and patterns. It is also quite difficult to combine different patterns with each other to create a well-balanced pattern mix; this calls for careful consideration as they should match perfectly. Otherwise, combining different patterns can quickly turn into a fashion flop.

The idea behind putting together an outfit that features different patterns is that the end result should look authentic and smart, but not too striking. In this article, we tell you how to create your own individual mix of different types of patterns and how to adapt them to your personal style. We also explain how to mix and match colours when choosing an outfit, and how to put the theory into practice. In addition, you'll learn how you can use patterns to flatter your body type and to emphasise your good points.

What are the different types of patterns?

In order to mix different patterns with each other, you should know what types of patterns there are, what they look like and what characteristics they have. You need to be aware of this to be able to create a suitable outfit by combining different patterns. Common pattern types are described below in more detail.


Stripes are worn primarily on the top half of the body; shirts, jumpers and tops with vertical stripe patterns are very popular, for example, although horizontal stripes are also a popular choice for T-shirts.

Stripes were originally used only on suits but are now a pattern that graces many different pieces of clothing.

Striped pieces are easy to combine with other striped pieces, for example by combining a striped top with trousers with the same style of vertical stripes.

The stripes on trousers and on the top can also be differently shaped, which creates a slightly more exciting overall expression than the first version.

Another alternative is a combination of horizontal and vertical stripes on the trousers and on the top, respectively; combining two contrasts with each other in one outfit creates a great look.

Checked patterns

Checked patterns offer the major advantage that they are easy to integrate into any style without having to worry too much whether everything ultimately goes with each other. This characteristic makes checked patterns very popular. The classic checked shirt is a perfect example for the popularity of this pattern.

Checked patterns can be subdivided further into the following versions:

  • Herringbone,
  • tartan plaid
  • , window checks
  • , Madras

Tip: We recommend the colours tan, cream and blue. Men should wear checks mainly on top as this creates the most impact.

The great thing is that the wide choice of different checked patterns makes it very easy to mix them with each other, which means that two different checked patterns always work in an outfit, provided they are not exactly the same size.

The second factor is colour; again the rules are similar to those regarding different checked patterns. It's possible to combine all sorts of colours with each other – which is really easy to do with checked patterns!

Houndstooth pattern

The houndstooth or dogstooth pattern, which is also sometimes called a micro check pattern, is quite rare. Houndstooth is a two-tone pattern created with square blocks of colour arranged in a way that makes them look like tiny pinwheels or the teeth of a dog.

Houndstooth goes very well with polka dots or pinstripes, which results in a well-balanced outfit that makes the most impact in a single colour.

It should therefore not be mixed with colours that differ too widely. These characteristics make the houndstooth pattern an ideal companion for suits etc. The pattern usually comes in black and white; however, when combining it with other pieces of clothing, it's a good idea to rely on one single colour.

Good to know: The look this creates can come across as very formal, especially on men in combination with a business shirt.

Paisley pattern

Like the houndstooth pattern described above, the Paisley pattern is used quite rarely as it is very striking. For this reason alone, you must carefully consider how to integrate it into your outfit.

This pattern originated in Persia and is very old, although not often seen en masse.

It is also a good idea to keep to one colour when it comes to the Paisley pattern as this allows it to emphasise another piece of clothing, for example. Paisley is a very striking pattern that can really only be worn if it is safe to do so, meaning that it must be an absolutely perfect match.

Paisley can therefore be worn with a pinstripe suit , for example.
However, Paisley also goes well with expensive and high-quality pieces of clothing, although you should always keep in mind that any combination with this pattern will always be eye-catching.

If that is the look you are aiming for, this pattern is the perfect choice for your pattern mix.

Tip: It's important not to be too daring and to use the pattern in a more understated way. However, ultimately, no one can tell you how to create your own style!

Polka dot pattern

The polka dot pattern is currently a very popular pattern for smaller fashion accessories such as ties,bow ties or scarves.

The round shape goes well with monotonous, straight patterns to create a well-balanced outfit.

In the past, the polka dot pattern was reserved for women’s clothing only, but the fashion industry has moved on, and it has now also been discovered for, and features on, men's clothing.

Due to the pattern's striking look, only straight shapes such as checked patterns or pinstripes should be combined with polka dots to create an outfit.

Which patterns go with each other?

Now that we have clarified what the different pattern names mean and what they look like, we will explain how to mix patterns. By this, we mean which patterns can be combined exactly how in order to ensure that they will also look good together as an outfit later on.

Now that we have clarified what the different pattern names mean and what they look like, we will explain how to mix patterns. By this, we mean which patterns can be combined exactly how in order to ensure that they will also look good together as an outfit later on.

Combining different patterns

Integrating three or four, or even more, patterns into a single outfit is the biggest challenge. If the patterns are well-matched and the end result looks right, you will end up with an impressive look.

The most important thing is that all of the patterns used must be differently sized to create an interesting mix. Combining patterns successfully in this way creates an overall outfit with a casual touch where the patterns complement each other, rather than clash, and no one pattern tries too hard to stand out.

Combining two patterns of the same type

The same rules apply to combining two patterns of the same type, rather than mixing several different patterns: they should be separated. The easiest way to achieve this is with two pieces of clothing with the same type of pattern but in different sizes.

This allows you to achieve a graduation of one and the same pattern, for example a tie with a very large pattern in combination with a shirt that features small versions of the same pattern. This creates a well-balanced look on top.

Both pieces should also feature only one family of colours as the outfit might otherwise look a bit eccentric. A certain level of graduation can be achieved by using differently sized patterns; however, the graduation should also not be too extreme, although colours can be helpful there if you choose similar shades.

Creating a pattern mix with two different types of patterns

Combining two different types of patterns can result in very smart pattern combinations. What is important is that you should use colours from one family of shades only to ensure that the mix isn’t too colourful.

As we have already mentioned above, it’s a good idea to combine differently sized patterns as this ensures that the outfit looks quite well-balanced overall. A small pattern paired with a larger can look very elegant if both are from the same family of colours.

Or how about a coat with large-scale checks worn with a pair of pinstriped trousers? Two patterns can also be combined on top; a T-shirt worn underneath a checked shirt , for example, can result in a nice outfit, provided they are similar shades.

Which patterns flatter which figure?

There are a lot of fashion trends; however, not all of them suit all body types. Neither does every outfit that is the latest fashion trend flatter all figures. You should therefore make sure that you rely on patterns that flatter your figure.

With regard to colours, it’s long since been a well-known fact that an all-black outfit generally makes you look slimmer. However, other dark colours are also a suitable choice for this, provided you steer clear of bright shades and choose muted versions.

When it comes to patterns, you should definitely rely on smaller, more detailed pattern types as large-scale shapes and patterns draw the eye to a particular area of the body. Choosing minimal patterns such as small checks is a much better idea. Vertical stripe patterns are also a good choice as they make the body look slimmer and more elegant than large, round shapes would.

Vertically striped trousers usually go well with a plain-coloured dark shirt without a pattern. Graphic pattern details are also a sensible choice, provided these are not too large and chunky. The vertical stripes basically visually elongate the top half of your body and therefore also visually distribute its mass.

Create your own pattern mix now

You have now learnt a lot about the various types of patterns; we have shown you different combination options when it comes to achieving the perfect pattern mix, and we have also explained the looks you can create with the various styles. Why not browse the bugatti online shop  now and explore the various options for creating your own personal outfit with elegantly patterned pieces.