When it comes to the items in your closet, solid colors will only get you so far in life. That's where patterns come in. Patterns allow us to express our style and individuality, and help us stand out from the crowd. That's why it's crucial for every man to have a healthy balance of patterns, in addition to colors, integrated into his wardrobe.
Believe it or not, there was a time when I didn't know the names of the patterns below, along with many other style and wardrobe rules applicable to men (or women for that matter). I honestly couldn't have named one of these major patterns. I thought there were just checkered, striped, and dotted patterns.
That time lasted pretty much until the girl who is now my fiancée encouraged me to let her have a little more of an impact on what I wore (about a year or so into our relationship). Add to that the fact that she is a woman with exquisite taste in fashion (and is highly knowledgable about design in general), and slowly over time I started learning more fashion-related things, like what the names of specific patterns were.
Identifying these patterns is only half of the battle though. The other half lies in knowing when and where it's optimal to wear them, in addition to which patterns can be worn with others. I'll share that information with you a little later though. I don't want to over do it right now since the visuals below are relatively stimulating as it is.
For more sartorial insight, check out Esquire.com and their must have book, The Handbook of Style: A Man's Guide to Looking Good.
Good for business suits that double as party wear.
Good for classic suits in the office.
Good for casual sport coats and fall/winter pants.
Good for suits that are straight business. Try chalk-stripe flannel for cold weather suits.
Good for cocktail suits that the ladies always seem to notice.
Good for statement sport coats, cold weather sport coats, and suits for special occasions.
Good for business suits of any kind.
Good for warm weather sport coats and all preppy occasions.
Good for summertime suits and pants that still look good in excessive heat.
Good for warm weather sport shirts.
Good for cold weather sport coats and pants, or summertime nautical settings (depending on the color).
Good for ties and velvet tuxedo jackets.
Good for sport shirts in spring and summer, as well as party atmospheres.
Good for dress shirts at the office and for business occasions.