I don't like the pocket square on the second one, but I think the third looks great. However, it looks like the jacket and square are the same in both the second and third pictures. Is this the case? The jacket color looks completely different in the two pictures on my monitor.
Yea it's the same jacket and square, the second picture is just much shittier. You can't even tell that the tie in that picture is a herringbone. I think it's the kind of blurry/motiony effect in the second pic, which exacerbates the effect of two small patterns worn together, that makes it look bad. In other words, in real life, it's fucking amazing and if you don't think so it's just the picture
For some reason, I actually think this one works, but I can't for the life of me figure why. It's not ideal, but I think it's bearable. I think it's perhaps because there's enough contrast between all three elements, and because ultimately both shirt and suit resolve somewhat towards the solid end of things, helped along by their muted tones.
Originally Posted by RJE
This one I really don't like; I even think the vest clashes with the rest of the suit.
More on linen. I saw a guy today in a linen pinstripe/chalkstripe and it looked awful. On the other hand, I saw a guy in a linen multicolor houndstooth, on the same block earlier in the day, and it looked great. I am having trouble understanding the blanket objection to patterned linen for sportcoats.
In the first pic, I think the tie is too shiny for the rest of the ensemble. Same color/pattern in a more matte fabric would have been pretty damned good.
I think you're right about this. Somewhat of an excuse is that, IIRC, this was on a day when I was wearing one outfit from work to an evening function. But I think it would probably be better if the tie were more matte and the pocket square more shiny. All matte and no shiny would make me a dull boy though.
I remember when I was building my little clothing library way back when and I found a copy of Mortimer Levitt's book, I think it was called The Executive Look. He was the founder and owner of the Custom Shop chain. The book came out in the late '70s or early '80s. It's not a bad book though idiosyncratic and dogmatic at times. (I know, pot, kettle.)
Anyway, one of Levitt's iron rules was "two plains and a fancy." That is, among suit, shirt and tie, two should always be solid and only one patterned. I thought at the time that here was really narrow-minded advice guaranteed to make men dress dull, dull, dull. I still think that. And yet, every day this week I have followed the rule. For most of the summer I have. Hell, for most of the last five yaers I probably have. Well, with the exception that I always wear a square and Levitt never does.
I mentioned the two-plains-one-pattern rule a while back in a long forgotten thread and was roundly ridiculed on the forum. Manton, I think you remarked at the time that Levitt made up the rule and should be ignored. Maybe he did, and maybe some people can pull off the two or three pattern look. I don't know. It seems to me that 99 percent of the time I think two-plains-one-fancy or three plains looks a whole better than mixing patterns. I think part of the problem here is that when people look at a photo of a jacket-shirt-tie pattern mix - and usually just a picture of the top half of the torso-, they are looking at the patterns themselves and deciding whether this pattern can go with that one, instead of really looking holistically at the image presented by the entire combination. But when you step back and look at someone wearing an outfit, on the street or in a restaurant or something, the person often looks better wearing fewer patterns. They don't disappear into their patterns.