Can You Mix a Checkered Shirt with a Pinstripe Suit for a Bold Office Outfit?

You’re probably wondering if it’s possible to combine a checkered shirt with a pinstripe suit. This might seem like a daring choice, but with the right balance of colors and patterns, it can make for an edgy yet professional look. This guide will help you navigate the tricky waters of mixing patterns and colors for men’s office outfits.

Understanding Colors and Patterns in Men’s Fashion

Before delving into the crux of the matter, it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals of colors and patterns in men’s fashion. It’s not as simple as throwing together any two items in your wardrobe. A well-put-together outfit requires thought and intention.

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Men’s fashion typically consists of solid colors and basic patterns such as stripes or checks. The most common colors for men’s shirts include white, blue, and black, while suits often come in navy, black, or grey. The key to mixing colors and patterns lies in achieving a balance and harmony between the different elements in your outfit.

When selecting a shirt to wear with a patterned suit, the first rule of thumb is to ensure the color of the shirt complements the color of the suit. A light-colored shirt generally works well with a dark suit and vice versa. A white or light blue shirt, for example, would pair well with a black pinstripe suit.

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Pairing the Checkered Shirt and Pinstripe Suit

Now that you have a basic understanding of colors and patterns, let’s explore how to successfully pair a checkered shirt with a pinstripe suit. This might seem like a bold move, but with a few considerations in mind, you can pull it off perfectly.

Firstly, it’s important to remember when you’re experimenting with patterns, the size and scale of the patterns should not compete with each other. A checkered shirt with small, subtle checks can work beautifully with a pinstripe suit where the stripes are thin and not too pronounced.

When dealing with multiple patterns, you should keep the rest of your outfit simple. In this case, a solid color tie would be ideal. The tie can be in a color that matches either the shirt or the suit, or even bring in a new color that complements both.

Choosing the Right Tie

Adding a tie to your outfit can either make or break your look. Since you are already playing with checks and stripes, your tie needs to be a uniting factor and not another element of chaos.

When selecting a tie, you should consider its color, pattern, and texture. Since you’re already dealing with a checkered shirt and a striped suit, choosing a tie with a solid color is recommended. This will provide a break from the patterns and add a clean, sleek finish to your outfit.

The color of the tie should complement both the shirt and the suit. If you’re wearing a light blue checkered shirt with a navy pinstripe suit, for example, a solid dark blue or black tie would be an excellent choice.

Tips for a Balanced Look

Pulling off a checkered shirt with a pinstripe suit can be quite a bold move, but with a few tips and tricks, you can ensure a balanced look.

One helpful tip is to stick with a maximum of three colors in your outfit. This helps to maintain cohesion and harmony in your look. So, if you have a blue checkered shirt and a black pinstripe suit, add a tie in either a complementary shade of blue, black, or perhaps a neutral color like grey.

Additionally, the pattern size matters. If you have a large checkered pattern on your shirt, make sure the stripes on your suit are thin and subtle. The reverse also applies.

Lastly, always keep in mind the setting and dress code. While a checkered shirt with a pinstripe suit can be a stylish choice for a less formal office or a creative environment, it might not be suitable for very formal settings or traditional industries.

With these tips and insights, you can confidently pair a checkered shirt with a pinstripe suit. It’s all about creating a balance and harmony between the different elements of your outfit. So go ahead and experiment with your wardrobe.

The Role of Color Wheel in Pattern Mixing

We’ve talked about color, and we’ve talked about patterns, but how do we know which colors go together? This is where the color wheel comes into play. Understanding colors and their interplay can significantly enhance your fashion sense.

Colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple, are complementary colors. When paired together in the right proportions, they create a dynamic and visually appealing look.

In the world of pattern mixing, this principle can be applied too. If you’re wearing a light blue checkered shirt, you could consider a complementary-colored tie with your pinstripe suit. For instance, a burnt orange tie would create a bold contrast that complements the blue shirt.

The key here is subtlety. With a patterned shirt and a striped suit, you want the color of your tie to tie everything together without overpowering the outfit. A balance of colors from the color wheel can help achieve this, ensuring your outfit is coordinated and visually pleasing.

Experimenting With Other Types of Patterned Shirts

While checkered shirts are a classic choice, there are other types of patterned shirts you can experiment with. Don’t feel limited to checks and stripes alone in your fashion repertoire.

A polka dot dress shirt, for instance, can add a fun and quirky touch to your professional attire. Pairing a polka dot shirt with a pinstripe suit requires the same principles of pattern mixing and color matching. The dots should be small and not too busy to compete with the stripes of the suit.

A striped shirt can also work well with a pinstripe suit if the stripes on the shirt and suit are varied in size. For instance, a suit with thin pinstripes paired with a dress shirt with wider stripes creates an interesting visual contrast.

In all these cases, the addition of a solid color tie helps to unify the outfit, ensuring a cohesive and well-put-together appearance.


Mixing patterns in men’s office outfits might seem daunting, but with a firm grasp of the fundamentals of color and pattern mixing, you can successfully pull off a checkered or patterned shirt with a pinstripe suit. Remember, achieving a stylish look is all about striking the right balance.

A patterned shirt, when paired with a pinstripe suit and a complementary solid color tie, creates a bold and modern aesthetic while maintaining a professional feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different patterns, colors, and textures. Contemporary men’s fashion encourages individuality and personal expression.

And remember, a blue shirt, a patterned shirt, or even a dress shirt with polka dots can be paired with a pinstripe suit. The possibilities are endless, and the ability to mix and match allows you to express your personal style and add a unique touch to your professional attire.

So, feel free to step out of your comfort zone. Use this guide as your reference and start mixing and matching your wardrobe today!