Plaid or Windowpane?

Flip though the latest version of GQ magazine and one recurring theme seems to be ever-present in today’s fashion trends. What the fashion-uninformed call plaid, the sophisticated consumer calls windowpane. Plaid generally is also synonymous with the word “checkered” or “checkered pattern.” This subtle yet profound distinction will be explained shortly.

This wonderful, bold, flattering, traditional, yet contemporary pattern called windowpane is an amateur tailors nightmare but a silhouette’s dream! The first misconception of windowpane lies with the name. Plaid has dimension that make it perfectly square. The pattern for example can be measured 4cm in the width & height. A windowpane has a rectangular nature.

To create the desired optical illusion fabrics are almost always woven so that the height of the pattern is longer then the width. It should be stated that the sole purpose of a tailored garment is to create the optical illusion of big shoulders and a small waist. This is called a silhouette. In laymen’s terms, the difference from the chest to the waist. As we know clothing emulates culture.

There is no doubt about the fact that people like to look thin. In order to accomplish this, certain colors (navy, charcoal, black, dark colors, etc.) help us achieve the desired effect. Old school conventional wisdom tells us that “ stripes” would have an even more beneficial effect. That remains true, but what is also is true of todays clothing culture is that “ pinstripes” are out!

Rarely do you see a young guy in a bold pinstripe suit. It just doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Conventional wisdom is that windowpanes are just for slim-fit gentlemen. That simply is not true. This elegant pattern can be bold or subtle & the genius of the design can make most any man appear a bit trimmer.

Once again the beauty of this fabric is that it can accentuate an already trim silhouette or help create the illusion of one! Symmetry is nature’s beauty. Look at the latest super model, beautiful people on your Facebook feed, or your class yearbook of 20 years ago: The most beautiful people or what we deem as the most beautiful people are so in part because faces and bodies exhibit symmetry. Windowpanes are an amateur tailors nightmare but a silhouette’s dream.

The reason is because it has a slimming effect but also because it shows off magnificent tailoring. Tailoring isn’t just creating something to cover you body; it’s about creating it in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. The pattern of windowpane emphasizes all of this and leaves no margin for error.

For example when looking at a high-end garment notice all the lines match up as if the person who constructed it was putting together a puzzle. Its hard to do…but when done correctly creates a “ look” that is sure to leave a favorable impression. When wearing garments of this quality you’ll soon understand it’s not just a jacket… It’s a piece of art! --Pete Zistas

At Brothers Tailors we create the best version of you. Made to Measure, Custom and Bespoke: we help you become A Man of Measure.

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