Arbiter CBDum
Herewith the first of the promised Apparel Arts charts.

This first set is from an eight-page gatefold from 1935. It begins with illustrations that demonstrate first principles:

On the left we have a "Don't!" and on the right we have a "Do." The commentary speaks well for itself. I add only that the ensemble on the left looks quite a bit like the Prince Charles picture posted in the first thread. The combination on the right is the classic way to combine patterns in a sophisticated manner. It's relatively easy to pair a neat patterned tie with a striped suit if the shirt is solid, or even a striped tie and checked shirt with a solid suit. Pairing a patterned shirt with a patterned coat is much harder. This is the place to start if you are just learning. Using a solid tie in this way is a time-honored sign of a well dressed man.

On the left, another disaster. Like the prior example, the problem is too much of a single meme. On the right, success. It may look jarring at first, but remember that these are line drawings; they are not seriously suggesting that you wear a white jacket with black stripes. Reading the caption, you can see that it was drawn this way to emphasize the lines. Note also the capacious ground on the tie, and the far-spaced dots. This is in keeping with some of the comments I made in a prior thread.

Both of these are successes. Try to get past the Bugsy Siegel first impression of the jacket on the left. Remember: line drawing. It's just to represent scale, in this case of a bold check. It's another application of the principle: Jacket and shirt patterned, plus solid tie. It works. On the left we have a "diagonal stripe" coat. This is apparently not merely a twill weave but something like the Richard Anderson signature. Not something one sees much. I really doubt this would work if the stripes on tie went the other way. Also, clearly a checked or spotted tie of some kind would work, too.

Two more that "work." We have only one pattern on the left, but a striking ensemble nonetheless. The ensemble on the right is a bit mundane -- who doesn't know how to pair a dotted tie with a basic patterned coat -- but it works.

Here we have a brief explanation of pattern design. While the judgement is correct in these two cases, I'm not sure I entirely buy the explanation. A busy pattern is not in and of itself a disaster. This particular busy pattern fails in its attempt to meld two small elements. A pattern that melds one big with one small -- say, a nailhead with a windowpane -- can work marvelously.

This is just a cautionary about how to pair stripes. I trust none of us will find it controversial.

What follows, from the same fold-out, are "wheel charts" for lack of a better term. Depicted in the center of the wheel is a suiting. The next rung are shirtings. The outer rung are ties. Any of the three shirtings can be worn wiht the suiting. Two possible ties are presented for each shirting. Some of these patterns you would undoubtedly not want to wear, but still you can get ideas:

Coming soon: Another chart!

Cravate Noire

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Is it considered as spam if I just say once again "thanks for the stuff"?
Somehow I want a special thread for that pattern matching issue, you awake a lot of interest in that topic in me!
Last edited:

Alexander Kabbaz

Tech and Business Advice Guru
United States
New York
East Hampton
Compliments again on your compilation and commentary. Astute and cogent as from you we are spoiled to expect.

As for the wheel charts ...

The suitings are classics.
The tie swatches, obviously of the period, are exciting in a vintage sort of way.
The shirtings, with few notable exceptions, are quite sad and dreary. Even if solely meant to offer color and pattern overviews, these shirtings certainly do not illustrate what can - and could even then - have been had.


Senior Member
this thred is another great peice of work interesting to the point and more inportant useful not just another - does my ass look big inthe suit thread!


New Member
Very Good & immense topic

Just saw this!

Very nice topic but also with immense depth to it! I hope you will cover it extensively now that you have started it!

I am in a hurry so will get back to this in detail hopefully soon. In the meantime there can be some confusion about diagonal weave cloth... so I have included two pictures. They should be helpful.

Here in this picture above it is the second one from the foreground (front).

Then here is an actual swatch picture. In both cases it is Shetland which was used for country / suburban suits

Most instances it was in black, white & grey mixtures but every now & then with browns too.



Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Regarding the "wheel patterns", what are the four little patches of coloured fabric at the bottom of each?


Senior Member
United States
North Bethesda
(Shhh... Quiet. Maybe he just wants to be asked....)

The shirtings, with few notable exceptions, are quite sad and dreary. Even if solely meant to offer color and pattern overviews, these shirtings certainly do not illustrate what can - and could even then - have been had.
Would you care to update the illustrations with examples you consider more creative? I am sure we'd all appreciate the effort and view the results with great interest.