HEY, HOW DO I WEAR… The big, bold suit?
It’s loud. It’s proud. And it’s not as tricky to pull off as it looks
1 WHY IT WORKS
Wildly patterned suits may scream ’50s car salesmen and ageing rockers, but ever since designers like Balmain and Emporio Armani sent sharply tailored versions down the catwalk, they’ve won over both A-listers and the high street. Worried people will point and laugh? They won’t if you stick to a strict colour palette of no more than three shades, and sharp-as-hell tailoring.
2 PICK YOUR PRINT
Sprawling prints can overwhelm the average frame, so when it comes to round patterns like florals or polka dots, don’t go bigger than a £1 coin. Checks can be larger (up to the size of a cream cracker), and don’t be afraid of chunky one-inch- or two-inch-wide stripes, as long as they’re vertical.
3 WINTER LAYERS
A plain rollneck is your fail-safe option to pair with a boldly patterned jacket and trousers – either go for black, or pick out a colour that’s already present in your suit. If you want to dress it down, a loose T-shirt tucked in will add nonchalance.
4 SMART PAIRINGS
Your bag shouldn’t fight with your suit, so pick up on a hue from the outfit, and make it structured or very small. Prim top-handle bags finished with beads, velvet or leather add interest, but keep it neat. For shoes, a sleek-heeled ankle boot or simple loafer does the trick.
5 PERFECT FIT
To wear head-to-toe pattern, you need a precisely tailored fit. The bigger the pattern, the more fitted one element needs to be. A longer, mannish jacket can be tempered by slim trousers; conversely, nipped-in waists offset wide-leg trousers. Trouser length matters, too. A hem that hits at the ankle or falls just short of the ground offers maximum leg-lengthening potential.