Much of winter clothing tends to be in whites, blacks, and grays. A lot of clothing for men centers around neutral colors like black, white, and gray. While it's true that neutrals tend to look good on most guys and are pretty easy to wear, it can sometimes lead you to heave a bored sigh in front of your closet as you pick out another achromatic combination. So, how can you shake things up? By adding in some color and patterns, of course! Finding out how to tastefully add colors and patterns to your men's wardrobe is easier than it seems. And when the cold weather rolls around, it's easiest to start with men's sweaters!
You may wonder how many ways there could possibly be to wear a sweater, let alone a brightly colored or patterned sweater. The answer: There are more than you would think! By shifting the pieces around your sweater, you can create multiple different looks, allowing your creativity to flow and your daring sweater to shine. Here's how to style colorful and patterned men's sweaters.
Let's start with something simple: a sweater with a single bold color. For maximum flexibility, we recommend a men's v-neck sweater, since that allows more layering options. So, how to style them? The first look is, of course, the well-known sweater-as-the-top-layer look. This just means that you wear your sweater as your main outer layer. With a bold color on top, you want to pair it with a quieter bottom layer. That's why a bold sweater is so often paired with blue or black jeans. The eye is drawn to the brighter piece and the rest of the outfit calmly supports that piece as the focus of the outfit. If you want to get away from jeans, a great example of a good combination is a burgundy cable knit sweater over a pair of brown men's corduroy pants and brown boots. Add a large watch and a confident smile and you can rock any music scene or coffee shop in your area.
If you want to know what's beyond that solo sweater look, discover the world of layering your sweater. The easiest way to do this is by pairing your sweater with a men's oxford shirt. Many opt for a white collared shirt for that calmer visual support we talked about earlier, but this outfit actually has another possibility. When the sweater is a bold color, you can match it with a patterned shirt for a fun yet good-looking ensemble. The trick is to make sure the color of your sweater is also worked into the print of your shirt. For instance, a bright green sweater can be layered over a green and white plaid collared shirt. The green in both pieces works together to give your top some unity. Perfect!
As we get into some more complicated sweater patterns, you'll notice that the main styling points remain the same: put loud patterns next to simple pieces. When two loudly patterned pieces are right next to each other, it tends to confuse the eye and make your outfit look busy and overwhelming. Let's look at some illustrations.
Let's say you have a blue and white herringbone sweater. You can pair it with cream pants and a brown belt for a nice look. If you want a layer, opt for a white shirt. Then just make sure your shoes are similar to your belt and you're set for this outfit. The same idea works for striped sweaters and sweaters with the classy argyle pattern. A lighter cream or white shirt is probably your best bet if you want to layer. Blue or black jeans can work for any of these outfits if you want to push things a little more casual. Go for navy, cream, or black trousers if you want to elevate the look a bit more.
A final styling option for any of the layered looks is to put them under a blazer for an even more polished look. This creates a bit of a less formal three-piece suit atmosphere and can look very sharp. Your basic suit colors are navy, gray, and black, so try them on and see which one makes the most sense with your layered sweater combination. Add the trousers for maximum formality or stick with jeans to stay more laidback.
The final pattern type, especially around the holidays are Christmasy patterns with needlepoint snowflakes designs or even straight Christmas sweaters. While this one may look a little odd under a blazer, it'll look just fine over that white collared shirt, or on its own. Plus, it gives a bit of holiday spirit to your wardrobe, and who can say no to that?
Now that you know how to style colorful and patterned sweaters, see what combinations you can come up with that inspire you this sweater season.