Know Your Suit Patterns

Categories Fashion

Being able to tell your houndstooth from your herringbone will go a long way to helping you choose the right suit pattern for you.


Common, classic, conservative — pinstripes are thin parallel stripes weaved into the fabric of the suit, normally in charcoal or navy. Preferred by shorter men because the vertical lines create the illusion of height, this is the definitive pattern for business suits.



Bold pattern of abstract four-pointed shapes normally in black in white, but occasionally different colours for an even bolder statement. Used for a high-impact sports jacket rather than a full business suit, as well as for the David Jones department store’s corporate branding.



Horizontal and vertical pinstripes that generate a pattern of large box-shaped checks, windowpane fabric has surged in popularity over the last decade. Produces a stylish executive look that communicates confidence to your colleagues in the office, particularly when partnered with a tie that matches the colour of the check.



Good for thinner men because the texture adds bulk, herringbone is a pattern of contrasting coloured chevrons pointing up and down. Versatile, subtle and timeless, herringbone never goes out of style, although thicker Vs are more modern.



Glen plaid — irregular checks of muted colours that criss-cross each other — is common on sports jackets, adventurous business suits, and members of the British royal family. Madras, on the other hand, is a lightweight multicoloured cotton tartan that offers a casual alternative.



Bird’s Eye

Also known as nailhead, bird’s eye refers to tiny dots of a lighter colour against a dark background that gives the appearance of a solid colour that lies somewhere in between. The interesting texture is not appropriate for formal settings but a stylish go-to for cocktail parties.


Chalk stripe

Bolder than pinstripes and less common, the wider-set chalk stripe pattern is created by weaving several threads into the suit’s fabric to look like the chalk a tailor might leave on your garments. Another classic pattern for the boardroom.



A slack-tension cotton weaves that bunches the threads together to create a bumpy, corrugated appearance, normally in light blue and white. The breathable rippled weave sits off the skin, making it a summer favourite for casual events in the warmer months.