How to wear more patterns and prints

How to wear more patterns and prints

02.08.2022 Off By manager_1

woman in white blue and red floral shirt

“This is something that I have been struggling with recently. One of the biggest problems I have with dressing up stylishly is not having the courage to wear bold colors or prints. Bold looks are appealing to me, but I don’t have the courage or willpower to make them my own. I would appreciate any tips!”

It is definitely challenging and scary to explore bolder colors, patterns and prints.

This is often the final hurdle for 1-on-1 clients. Most men run the risk that they will overdo it and look like a mess. As with any sauce or truffle oil, you only need a small amount.

We are in the middle of the summer, which makes it the ideal time to play with patterns and colors.

There are many bold and colorful patterns available in shops. Summer is a time when everyone wears brighter colors so you won’t be out of place.

Arizona was my birthday week so I visited there recently. Before my trip, I joined forces with Bonobos to share some of my favorite ways to be bold in your summer style.

Before we get into weekend getaway looks, let me share a trick I created for my 1-on-1 styling clients. It teaches them how to instantly upgrade their outfits using bold colors, patterns, and prints.

THE SWAP TRICK: My favorite technique to upgrade your outfit with more color, print, and patterns. Think about it for a moment. It’s something you are interested in adding to your boring meals.

Yet, I see this in a lot my readers when they try to add more color and prints to their wardrobes. They change from a white tee and blue jeans to a tropical print shirt and tie dye shorts, and they end up feeling uneasy and even a little silly.

You don’t have to be Mad Dog Plutonium. Ease into it. Start from mild to moderate, then gradually increase the heat until you find a comfortable level.

The Swap Trick is the best way to get comfortable with your style.

Here’s a summer example.

An easy and timeless outfit is white button-up with short sleeves, navy shorts and off-white sneakers. While the neutral color palette is perfectly acceptable, it feels a bit safe and a little boring.

To take things up a level, we use The Swap Trick.

Start with one item and then swap it for a bolder alternative. We chose “Medium” as our starting shirt. It’s a shirt that is mostly white, but has a subtle red stripe. We go from “Medium” up to “Hot” and then we move to “Hottest”, with a solid pink shirt. Finally, we graduate to “Hottest”, with a pink leaf printed shirt.

The rest of the outfit is the same! This is especially true when you are wearing bold prints. Let the print be the star.

The Swap Trick’s best part is the ability to swap in an item that’s too heavy for you. You can then pull it back and still have a fabulous outfit.

Okay, now that you know The Swap Trick let’s look at some real-world examples.



You can get into prints by selecting a piece that has a solid base color like white and a subtle pattern or print, such as striped shirt. This is a step up from your classic white t-shirt and jeans.

Bonobos’ short-sleeve print shirts are something I advise my clients to embrace the summer and let their bodies relax a little. For a more casual, relaxed look, size up

It can be very hot in summer. Don’t wear your winter/fall denim in the heat.

Bonobos summer weight jeans are thin and extremely comfortable due to the 10% stretch. The summer weight jeans are available in many styles, just like their classic chinos. They also come in athletic, which is more roomy in the butt and thighs but taper down to give it a slimmer look. This style is perfect for men who don’t want to skip leg day.


Bolder floral prints should be celebrated. It looks great with a neutral outfit, such as the Bonobos classic stretch shirt chino. Let your chest air out a bit and unbut the top while you enjoy an Uber car ride on your phone.


It can be difficult to mix patterns and prints, but it is possible. You can balance it by pairing a classic, more subtle pattern with something a little more quirky.

Tie dye is big this summer. I recommend going back to the 90s for these tie dye beach shorts.

Bonobos’ summerweight button-down in a classic, unpretentious stripe is the perfect match. This lightweight cotton is super breathable. They have shirts in many sizes, including a shorter version for #TEAMFIVEFOOTSEVEN men.


9pm Summer sunsets signal that you should get rid of your boring, dark outfit for date night.

Bonobo’s Jetsetter suit is tailored with razor-sharp precision. It makes me look well fitted. The suit’s slight stretch helps me remember that I am on a date and not at a business meeting so I can be relaxed.

Although this outfit may seem intimidating, I just changed the shirt to a printed shirt instead of my white button-up. My pocket square is still white, and my loafers, although not visible on camera, are still black. Bonobos’ luxurious line of Italian fabrics made Amalfi prints is the star of this collection, so let it shine.

When it comes to patterns, be bold but keep it simple.