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What goes with what

One small change: Wear a patterned shirt

One small change: Wear a patterned shirt

Why make the change

"In a word, boredom. It's natural to get tired of wearing the same thing every day or to every special occasion. So while a white shirt will never fail, a shirt with a subtle pattern updates your usual outfits without looking jarring."

Thread stylist Millie Rich

Why this works

  1. There's no tie. "Patterned shirts are easiest to wear with casual and smart-casual (rather than smart) clothes. If it gets any smarter, you have to think about the way the shirt goes with a tie's texture and colour, which can get a bit hairy."
  2. The shirt is cotton, with buttons that blend in. "If the buttons here were black, the shirt would look cheap. Same goes for a shiny shirt made from anything synthetic. In either case, the shirt would go from being a bit interesting to being almost garish."
  3. The check pattern is subtly interesting. "If you want to go subtle, a pale check is a good pattern because it's familiar, uniform and clean. If you want to make more of a statement, just go for a bolder print."
  4. The other clothes aren't crazily detailed. "The blazer and chinos here are simple enough that they don't compete with the pattern. Same would go for other clothes without lots of bells and whistles, such as trench coats, bomber jackets, plain jumpers and dark denim jeans."