Windowpane patterns (you know, the ones with the slim lines that cross to make shapes like old style windowpanes) are having a moment around Black Lapel. Call it “on trend” (if you must), but there’s a much more practical reason you’re seeing more windowpane suits and jackets…windowpane might just be the perfect pattern.

Windowpanes beef up the slim guy, and paradoxically, have a slimming affect for the larger man (we’ll explain why below). Windowpanes offer the chromatically challenged, aka the guys who can’t match their clothes for shit, an easy way to pair up their shirts and ties with their jackets.

But, perhaps the main reason guys are feeling the windowpanes is that windowpanes are straightforward. We love our herringbones and houndstooths and glen checks and there’s a time and place for pinstripes, but there’s something simply elegant about a suit adorned only with windowpane boxes.

In a world where just the word pattern strikes fear into the hearts of men, we present our guide as the antidote to pattern panic: the windowpane.

Who looks good in windowpane?

Everybody looks good in windowpanes. It is, in fact, it’s forgiving/flattering nature that pushes windowpanes to the top of our list of patterns. Like actual windowpanes, the windowpane pattern in your suit is not made out of squares, but rather, slightly elongated rectangles. This has the affect of making the wearer slightly elongated and its why bigger guys wear this pattern well.


Still, the pattern does include horizontal lines and does bulk up the skinny guy’s presence making windowpanes great alternatives to pinstripes for the slimmer gent. It’s a slick little visual trick that makes the windowpane suit one of the most versatile suits a man can own.

How to match your windowpanes

Windowpane combos couldn’t be easier…


wear windowpanes to…

The office (Give the solids a rest to keep things interesting.)

A wedding (Windowpanes play as hard as they work.)

wear windowpanes to…

A job interview (You run the risk of showing up your interviewer.)

A funeral (Stick with somber solids. Even Chazz Reinhold knows that.)

Windows 2.0

Windowpanes aren’t always super-simple box patterns. There are windowpane patterns that border on plaid with multiple lines crossing paths to create the panes.


Usually when this is the case the colors are all in the same family, like the Bowery Tan Windowpane Blazer (above right). Don’t worry, though, these windowpanes are all still easy to wear. Just follow this rule of thumb. The simpler the windowpane (like the Hudson Navy Windowpane Blazer above left), the more contrast and visual interest you should bring to the party with accessories, like the gold pocket square and bracelets pictured here. On the flip side, the more complex the windowpane the more subdued the accoutrements, like the solid shirt and lack of a pocket square (something we almost never do) pictured here.