know your patterns

Know-your-pattern--nailhead-1So it’s been a while since i’ve done one of these, no not a blog post (all though I know I’ve been a little slack because you know…life) but a “know your patterns” post. These all form part of making us better educated gentleman in the art of dressing, myself included.

Windowpane has been on my radar for a while now, I keep seeing it pop up on the menswear tumblr sites and Pinterest so I though it would be a good idea to do some research. Unfortunately, unlike my previous posts, this particular pattern seems to have very little information on it’s heritage, and by little I mean absolutely none.

It’s obviously part of the check family of patterns and is best described as resembling the panes of a window. Groundbreaking I know, but really thats it. That aside it’s very easy to identify. The checks are generally larger and much farther apart or widely spaced. What I have noticed, is that the line work isn’t necessarily simple single grids, but sometimes an intricate grid pattern just widely spaced.

Here are some examples:

Know-your-pattern--nailhead-2Know-your-pattern--nailhead-3Know-your-pattern--nailhead-5Know-your-pattern--nailhead-4I dont yet own anything with a windowpane check, but it’s definitely on my shopping list, maybe a nice blazer…or suit, or shirt. Or, you know errrthang!

Okay. Stay Fancy.



Know-your-pattern-polka-dotsOk, this is a pretty easy one.

Not much to know in terms of where or when it all came about, and it’s pretty easy to spot (see what I did there?) If you want to get technical the polka dot is described as a pattern consisting of an array of filled circles, generally equally sized and spaced relatively closely in relation to their diameters.

It appears to be influenced by nothing more than the popularity of polka music. Yep. I guess it wouldn’t be the first time music influenced fashion.

Since then, its come and gone in different forms and found it’s way not only on to Winston Churchill’s bow ties during WW2 but it was also Coco Chanels favourite pattern during the 1920’s, influencing a future of polka dot dresses for decades to come, well, either that or it was the fact that Mini Mouse just looked so darn cute in hers.

Either way, this in again out again pattern is well, in again. Here are some of my favourite uses.

Know-your-pattern-polka-dots2Get a similar polka dot scarf here

Know-your-pattern-polka-dots1Get a similar polka dot tie here

Know-your-pattern-polka-dots3Get a similar polka dot shirt here.

Okay. Stay fancy.

Know your pattern- nailhead

I know this category of the blog is called “know your patterns”, but when it comes to this one, im not even sure I do.

After a massive amount of research, I’m afraid you’re gonna have to take this little bit of fashion knowledge with a handful of salt and consider it more a tip than a truth.

You see, between birds eye and nailhead every resource I found had a different definition and even worse, a different example on each. The only thing I could find consistent is that it falls into what is considered a ‘solid’ pattern, which is to say that it give the appearance of a solid colour from afar. Upon closer inspection one should see that the weave has a resulting lighter dot on the surface giving it a Nailhead / Birds eye / bullseye / pin head appearance much like oxford cloth.

Those aren’t just adjectives, nope those are all variations of this pattern, where nailhead would carry a more square weave, birdseye a more diamond shape and bulls eye a more oval shape with pin head seemingly being a very tiny dot like pattern.

In the end, I think I vaguely get it, all I know is, I like it!

I’m hoping I’ve hit the ‘nail’ on the head with the examples below.

Know your pattern- nailhead2

Know your pattern- nailhead3

Know your pattern- nailhead4

Know your pattern- nailhead5

If we have any fabric experts in the house, please feel free to correct me.

Okay. Stay fancy.

Know your pattern- ginghamThis is my favourite pattern.

In fact given the amount of times I’ve worn it, it’s surprising I took so long to do this post.

Gingham originates from Malaysia, where it was actually a striped pattern rather than a check. The check pattern of todays gingham started being produced around the the mid 18th Century in England.

Interesting thing about gingham…well, kinda interesting as far as patterns go, is that it has no right or wrong side. Oooooooo…Yep, you read it here first (unless you’ve also been on to wikepedia)

Made famous by the mods since the 60’s, it’s still the go to shirt pattern for everything indie and hipster now days.

Like most patterns though, its use is not limited to just shirts, as we can see below.

Okay. Stay fancy.



Know your pattern- Plaid

This is actually a tricky little pattern.

Turns out plaid is actually the fabric and that the pattern is called tartan.

The term ‘Plaid’ is only used to describe the pattern in North America where as a tartan is defined by any pattern containing stripes of varying widths and colours crossed at right angles against a solid background.

It wouldnt surprise you of course that the pattern originated in Scotland where it was used to define different scottish clans. How cool is that? Imagine having a suit, or in this case a ‘man skirt’ made to a fabric unique to your family? Sweeeet!

Clearly the pattern has moved on from blankets and kilts where it originated and is found in every aspect of mens fashion, here are a few.

Okay. Stay fancy.


I know that everyone knows what this looks like. Or at least they should.

And we all know (as with most mens fashions) about it’s military inspired origins.

But this is a more trend related pattern lesson. Quite simply camouflage, like most 90’s fashions is on it’s way back in a big way. Well, it’s already hit Europe, but it will be on our shores heavily soon. Already spotted it peaking out in Zara and woolworths. I first noticed it’s come back in one of our early #FancyFriday winners, who put together this amazingly dapper look with camo pants.

As you can see below, it’s gone beyond utility pants and found it’s way into gentleman’s attire. Something I usually love, but to be honest, I’m a little on the fence with this one, not sure I’m gonna wanna play along with this trend.

Okay. Stay Fancy.

Part 2 in our series of patterns.

Our little way of learning more and more about fashion and the details thereof. Today, it’s Misha’s (girlfriend) favourite pattern..she actually made me do this post.

Houndstooth is a traditionally a duotone textile pattern with a distinctive tessellating check pattern. It originated in the woven wool cloth of Scotland and is also known as dogstooth or even puppytooth for smaller scale versions of the pattern. It should come as no surprise that it apparently looks like the tooth of a dog. Hmph. Ok. Here are some examples.

Okay. Stay fancy.