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Menswear Patterns - The Essential Guide for 2023 & Beyond

When we think of clothing, whether it’s a bespoke suit or a trendy casual button down, there are a few different characteristics that draw our attention.

First is the fit—we’ve said it many times before, but fit is king no matter what you’re wearing.

Next is the color. Suits in particular have many different colors to choose from that have varying levels of formality.

However, one often overlooked characteristic is the pattern.

With so many menswear patterns to choose from, it’s important to know how each pattern affects your look. 

Let’s dive into 7 of the most common menswear patterns. We’ll also talk about mixing and matching patterns.

7 Menswear Patterns For Stylish Outfits

Although there are many different patterns available to men, we’ll be discussing 7 of the best options:

  1. Pinstripes
  2. Windowpane
  3. Plaid
  4. Houndstooth
  5. Glen Check
  6. Gingham
  7. Herringbone


When it comes to business suits, it doesn’t get much classier than a pinstripe pattern.

Pinstripes are narrow lines that run vertically down the length of the garment. In most cases, pinstripes are white. However, it’s also common to find other colors, such as light gray, depending on the color of the suit or shirt. 

In general, pinstripes will elongate your silhouette. If you’re a shorter man who wants to appear taller, pinstripes can certainly help.

They’re also great at slimming up your figure, too—especially with thinner pinstripes. Just be careful of the thicker pinstripe designs. These can actually make you appear larger than you are. 


As the name suggests, this pattern resembles a windowpane—checks that form a square-shaped pattern up and down the garment. It’s commonly found on dress shirts, but there are many windowpane patterned suits, too. 

The best part about windowpane patterns is that they come in many different colors. If the pattern is on a suit, it can make a great option for matching with a tie. 

For example, a navy blue suit with a lighter blue windowpane pattern gives you an opportunity to pair the pattern with a light blue tie. 


Plaid is a common pattern worn by men everywhere. It’s characterized by horizontal and vertical bands or stripes in different colors crossing over each other and creating a square pattern. 

In general, you’ll find plaid patterns on casual button down shirts or flannels. However, there are some suits that use plaid patterns—we just wouldn’t recommend them unless you’re looking to make a bold fashion statement! 


Houndstooth is a pattern you’ve likely seen before without knowing. The pattern is made up of many tooth-shaped designs, hence the name. 

Traditionally, houndstooth-patterned clothing comes in black and white with a smaller scale design, though you may find larger designs and different colors. It’s also most often found on overcoats or sports jackets—houndstooth isn’t a design used on shirts or suit jackets. 

Glen Check

Glen check is a slightly more complex pattern. Also known as Prince of Wales check, the pattern includes criss-crossed lines close together with a square of houndstooth pattern in the middle. 

If you’re looking for a classic and conservative pattern, glen check is a fantastic option. It’s commonly found on suits, jackets, and even some casual clothing or shirts. 


The name “herringbone” comes from the pattern’s resemblance to a fish skeleton. A close cousin to houndstooth, herringbone has a much more tight and rigid structure. 

Herringbone is characterized by a zigzag pattern with a slight break between the two lines. Each zig and zag forms a peak or an arrow when observed from a distance, creating a classy pattern with visual intrigue.

You’ll typically find herringbone on casual coats or jackets—it offers a slightly more rugged look than other patterns. 


Think of a classic picnic towel or mat—that’s a gingham pattern.

Characterized by a classic checkered pattern, gingham features evenly-sized squares of one color across a white background, creating different shades of color contrasting with white squares. 

Two common examples of gingham colors are blue and red—both of these colors work great on casual button down shirts and provide a great casual option for the summertime. 

Can You Mix Menswear Patterns?

The short answer?

Yes, you can mix menswear patterns. But, there’s a catch.

Mixing menswear patterns involves a few simple rules. You can break these rules, but they’re a great starting point for those who feel overwhelmed by the amount of menswear patterns available.

The first rule is actually quite simple: Your best bet is to actually mix patterns altogether. In other words, don’t wear checks with checks or stripes with stripes. Instead, as an example, pair a glen check suit with a pinstripe shirt. That way, you’ll create some dynamic contrast and an interesting outfit.

Mixing patterns should also take into account the strength of the pattern. Your best options here are to pair patterns of differing levels of strength, and it allows you to use two similar patterns in one outfit. For example, bold pinstripes on a suit on top of a subtle striping pattern on a dress shirt.

Lastly, when in doubt, solids pair with everything. No matter what you’re wearing, you can pair that garment with a solid or non-patterned piece. With solid pieces of clothing, you can create a truly interchangeable wardrobe without any worries. 

Get a Stylish Suit With a Classy Pattern From Joseph Abboud

Ready for a classy bespoke suit in one of your favorite patterns?

Joseph Abboud’s Bespoke Suiting process will get you started with a stylish suit today. Or, if you prefer, we also have made-to-measure pieces and ready-to-wear styles available as well.

Learn more about how Joseph Abboud’s bespoke suit process takes your style game to the next level.

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