Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In

5 ways to wear a patterned shirt

5 ways to wear a patterned shirt

Worn by geography teachers and festival goers alike, the patterned shirt invites individuality into any aesthetic – yep, any of them. But before you start picturing pineapple prints, just remember that patterned and Hawaiian aren’t synonymous – the former is a broader category that includes the classic striped shirt too.

Plus, there are endless ways to wear a patterned shirt that won’t make you look like a walking cliché (always a bonus). Here, stylist Toby Standing breaks down five of them, so you can introduce a little something something to your look with confidence. See ya later, plain Oxfords. 

With jeans

As always, the most failsafe styling option for almost any piece is to pair it with jeans. Especially if you’re going pretty bold with the shirt option here, some good denim will work hard to keep things feeling pared-back. To continue the mood, style your shirt open with a complementing tee underneath, finished off with sneakers and a baseball cap

With chinos

Nothing replaces a jean quite like a chino – they’re a great way to take things up a notch, while still staying on that casual wavelength. Style this off-duty staple with something a little more subtle shirt wise, like a checked iteration. One in a tonal palette (let’s say differing shades of blue) is a safe bet, and makes for a great contrast to your lighter-toned bottom half. Just like before, styling this open over a white tee helps to keep things feeling casual, plus it breaks up the pattern a bit too.

With a blazer

Taking the patterned shirt to the office? We like your style. Now it’s dependent on your dress code (if those even exist anymore), but we’d say, it’s mostly best to keep the pattern a little more low-key. Unless you like to be known as the guy who wears the out-there shirts to work – that’s cool too. A stripe or a gingham check are both strong options and pair seamlessly with those more formal pieces, like a blazer or smart trouser, especially if you stick to a classic colour palette. 

With shorts

Now we’re getting into where the patterned shirt feels right at home, with a pair of shorts, in the summertime, baby. Here, it’s always a nice idea to anchor the pattern with another colour in your look – this helps bring in some cohesion and ensures your look feels considered. Remember, this kind of shirt doesn’t have to include palm trees and coconuts – subtle prints can bring in a big impact too. Style with shades and slides – because what else? 

With a jacket

If you’re layering a jacket over your patterned shirt, you want to avoid the pattern fighting for attention. By keeping the tones of both pieces similar, you’ll achieve a harmonious combination rather than two hero items competing. You’ll also want the pattern of the shirt to be something fairly big and featured all over the shirt – this will ensure you can easily see it underneath whatever you’ve layered over top.


Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Styling: Toby Standing