Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Two Colors, Two Patterns.


Alan Flusser (yes, our guru again) has often stated that the place to begin your sartorial awareness is to learn to wear a simple two color palette well. Something like a dark suit, white shirt, dark tie and shoes. It is harder than it sounds, believe me. It is very easy to fall into a shapeless lump of grey or blue.

I think that your next step is to learn patterns and how they rely on scale to play well together. A case in point, blue blazer, white handkerchief, white and blue ‘pane shirt, and blue and white striped tie. The shirt and tie work (I hope) because of the differing scales of the pattern and the reversed palette. The shirt has a primarily white ground and the tie a blue one. I couldn’t resist adding in a little texture — the tie is raw silk.

Choosing lighter or darker  suits depends on your coloring. Despite my soon-to-go beard and greying temples, I am clinging to a high contrast look which works well with the stark contrast of navy and white.

4 thoughts on “Two Colors, Two Patterns.

  1. In my corporate world, suits in gray, blue and black are the norm, as boring as that may seem. One cannot be too much of a dandy and expect to climb the proverbial corporate ladder.

  2. Bill – I hear you; too much peacockery can indeed attract unwanted attention in a conformist atmosphere. You may be become better known more for your color palette and sartorial flourishes than for your intellectual acumen. Such environs may view dandyism as a frivolous pursuit, and may even spur whispers that you’re getting paid too much. That is unfortunate. The brilliance of Chris’ outfit is that it is deceptively simple and conservative. Philistines will appreciate the traditionally masculine and businesslike colors. But those in the know will recognize impeccable coordination of complementary patterns, textures and colors.

  3. I actually love how you’ve made a easily ‘boring’ suit a extra bit classy by combing the contrasting tie/shirt patterns. Subtle enough but not overly brazen. Perfect!

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