Originally Posted by Threadbearer
Not to shoot this thread off on a tangent, but help me understand what you mean by "more elegant." All I can glean from what you posted is that you don't think I'm doing well with stripes. Surely, there must be more to it than that.
Sure, no problem. I'm guessing from your fondness of the pastels and the stripes that you like to have a little fun with your shirts. The problem is, pastels and bold patterned shirts are very difficult to pull off, and when done poorly, scream cheap Jos A Bank or Men's Warehouse to me.
By elegant, I mean two things: (i) fabric patterns that are less "in your face"--subtler, smaller patterns that might actually read as a pale blue or pink from 25 paces, but will have more detail and character up close (microchecks, small ginghams, closely spaced stripes, plusher textures, tonal qualities etc.), and (ii) higher quality fabrics (although I'm not necessarily criticizing the quality of your shirts because I can't really tell from the pics, just that the patterns and colors don't suggest to me that they would look very luxurious in person).
Those smaller patterns will also serve your solid ties very well.
You might take a spin through the folded up shirt p0rn thread to get some ideas.