A thread to discuss your philosophy when selecting pattern/colour combinations for bold suits; strong stripes, vivid windowpanes, prominently contrasting glen plaids, etc, etc. Two pics posted on the board recently, in conjunction with a recent purchase of my own, prompted this thread. I did not like the other items used either of the outfits. One is this pic from the non-sartorialist thread and the other was in WAYWRN. My thoughts (not to be taken as didactic advice, merely opinion): - The obvious safe option is to go solid-solid for both shirt and tie. This can work, but is often a safe choice that can seem timid, as if the wearer is uncertain about the suit. It's best when done in stark contrasting colours, eg. black tie, white shirt, where the colour contrast provides enough strength to match the suit even if they're solid items. - I've grown to really dislike most striped shirts - especially bengal or thinner stripes - with almost any truly bold suit (note: I wouldn't place normal pinstripe suits in this category). Solid shirt, patterned tie is a better option, if the tie pattern can stand up to the suit's boldness. A paisley, for instance, or maybe a regimental or blockstripe. - Patterned shirt, solid tie feels "uneven" somehow, as if there's a visual gap in the centre of the outfit, pulling the eye towards it, and away from the face. - Checked shirt, patterned tie is very difficult with a bold suit, but I think creates some of the best looks. The balancing act here is a real high-wire act, requiring both correct scale of pattern on the tie and size of check, as well as the right colours. Very difficult; but still worth having fun experimenting with. Will fail more often than it will succeed, for everyone, regardless of experience level. - Keep the shoes out of the limelight. Let the tie (and square) do the work of matching the boldness of the suit. The only exception to this would be if you've gone solid-solid for the shirt-tie, in which case something more vibrant in the shoes may work. That's kind of where I try to come at the challenge of using bold suits, but I'm very interested in how you do it too. Do you try to subdue the suit or match it? What's your philosophy? Pics very welcome, too!