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Business, Weddings, Formal & Casual Styles


How to Pick the perfect suit fabric: Patterns

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Section: Men's Style - Blog

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Does the fabric pattern of your suit matter? Well, if you don't know the answer, you'll be easy prey for unscrupulous salespersons anxious to sell you something inferior. Don't worry about making any fashion mistakes, though, because we've condensed all you need to know into 5 simple factors to help you pick the best fabric for your next men's suit. Number 4 on that list? Pattern.

Keep these five factors top of mind when suit shopping, and we guarantee you'll get top quality for your money - every time.

1. Colour

2. Composition

3. Weave

4. Pattern

5. Weight

In this article, we look into the importance of fabric Pattern.

Picking the Perfect Fabric Pattern

The fabric patterns used for men's suits are created by interweaving differently coloured threads. Here's a guide to a few of the most common (and stylish) patterns found in a typical men's suit:

Solid Block Fabrics

Solid block colours are fabrics made up of one colour tone without any inherent patterning. They are a widely accepted, popular choice for all suits including:

Solid colours are especially popular for garments to be worn on formal occasions.



Although seemingly consistent in colour tone when viewed from a distance, a crosshatch pattern offers the effect of light brush strokes (in either/both horizontal and vertical directions) when examined closely. Often seen in grey and charcoal suits, the crosshatch pattern adds a subtle sophistication to the otherwise solid block look.



This fabric features a dual-tone pattern characterised by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes. It is usually manufactured in black and white, although other colours are sometimes used. As an example, the Australian general department store David Jones uses a houndstooth pattern as part of its corporate logo. Houndstooths are usually chosen for casual sports jackets, rather than business suits.



Alternate diagonal lines making a distinct VVV pattern across the fabric (resembling a cartoon fish bone) is the signature mark of a herringbone fabric. The herringbone pattern is very popular and can be used for almost any type of suit or jacket.


Plaids - Glen Checks, Prince of Wales & Windowpanes

Plaid fabrics refer to three individual fabric patterns that create interesting depth in the aesthetic of the suit:

  • Windowpane
  • Glen plaid
  • Prince of Wales

A suit made from windowpane fabric will have both horizontal and vertical pinstripes that intersect to make larger boxes. Interestingly, a glen plaid is a tight twill pattern of broken checks while the Prince of Wales is actually a glen plaid on a windowpane scale.

These patterns are as appropriate for sports jackets as they are for the more adventurous business suit. Finer lines create larger, open squares creating an overall checkerboard effect. Depending on the boldness of the squares, this pattern could be considered either sophisticated or daring.

patternglancheck patternpriceofwales patternwindowpane

Pinstripe (and Chalk Stripe)

When regularly spaced, parallel stripes of a lighter colour are woven into the fabric, it is referred to as either pinstripe or chalk stripe fabric, depending on the thickness of the stripes. Stripes may be thick, medium or thin, and may be widely or narrowly spaced.

Pinstripes are a popular choice for all types of suits and jackets, especially for business suits. Chalk stripes are bolder, more widely spaced white stripes on a dark fabric background. Because chalk stripes make such a striking statement, they tend to be less popular (except for the daring, sartorially savvy gent.)

patternpinstripe patternchalkstripe


A self-stripe fabric resembles pinstripe, but the parallel stripe effect is achieved using a weaving technique rather than a different coloured fabric. Because of this, lines on self-stripe fabric are usually subtler in appearance than pinstripes. The self-stripe pattern is versatile and good for most occasions.


Bird's Eye (and Nailhead)

Somewhere between solids and stripes is the bird's eye or nailhead pattern. When examined closely, these patterns have the appearance of tiny dots of a lighter colour on a darker background, thus giving the appearance of an overall solid colour somewhere in between the two colours. Nail-heads are versatile and are appropriate for almost all occasions.


So, which suit fabric should you choose? If you're like most men, you'll make your choice based on your wardrobe budget and the circumstances where you'll wear your suit. As we've touched on here, suiting fabrics for an all-purpose business suit will differ from those for a formal wedding suit or tuxedo.

When you shop at Montagio Custom Tailoring, you'll have the advantage of a wide range of suiting fabrics to choose from combined with the expert knowledge of our master tailors. It's a winning combination that ensures you'll get a top quality suit at a reasonable price because we want to make sure you look damn good!


We tailor make mens suits, jackets and shirts for all occasions. Each garment is custom designed, precisely made-to-measure and is guaranteed to fit you perfectly. Unlike others, we offer you end-to-end service and a personalised styling session where we take the time to understand your needs to ensure you get the colour, style and fit you want.

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Never bought custom made before?

Wondering what all the hype is about? Here's why you'll never go back to off-the-rack:

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About Montagio

Named in GQ Magazine's "Best Tailors" list, and the highest reviewed tailor on Google, Montagio has paved the way for discerning men to get suited up with style. We offer a truly personalised experience, specialising in custom designed, perfectly fitted suits, shirts, coats, and shoes for for business, weddings, formal and casual events. Our showrooms are visually packed with designs that inspire plus thousands of fabric options, making it easy for you to get the look you want. Our expert stylists will advise and professionally fit you and frankly won’t let you walk out until we’ve tailored your perfect garment. Since 2010, we have custom tailored looks for thousands of happy customers. To experience the same red-carpet service, book your personal appointment today.

Simon Frazer

Montagio did a great job on wedding suits for me and my two groomsmen. Bally provided us with fantastic service and the result was definitely superior to an off-the-rack option... more »

Kiran Dosanjh

I have bought a total of 11 pieces custom made so far - quality and attention to detail is spectacular, material choice is broad and the input customers have in creating the exact look they want is a great experience... more »

Roy Soliman

I went back for another suit, a few shirts and some ties. Outstanding! I had so many complements on my new suit yesterday! more »

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