Question: Hi, I needed some patterned pants so I ended up getting two different pairs. I got some white and blue Paul Smith London cotton pants. I don't know the exact term for the pattern but it's alternating rows of really small diamond/squares so the pants look sort of like a solid pale blue from a distance. The other pants is a pair of cotton Nicole Miller trousers that are yellow/beige with a medium-sized navy blue windowpane pattern. It's a little tacky, but I got it cheap off ebay so I don't really mind.
I need some recommendations of shirt styles and colors (are patterned shirts totally out of the question?) to wear with these pants. I'm thinking plain white would go well with both of them but I'd prefer to try some more colors with the pants but not end up looking silly. As for when to wear them, I assume daytime (not business) casual during the spring/summer season would be best, or could I pull off wearing them out to clubs or parties?
ROXYmodae Answer: Whew! I'm tired just reading your long question! It's okay though b/c this response is going to be pretty extensive also. So first of all, you're right. The best time to rock these is during the day. I wouldn't really recommend it for a party or especially not to a formal/business-like event. I don't think a patterned shirts are totally out, but in this case, don't pair it with this. The point of the patterned pants is to make it the "look at me" part of the outfit. A patterned shirt paired with the pants you described would clash in all directions.
If they are longer or wider pants, wedges in a corresponding (not matchy-matchy) color will do wonders. For straight legged, skinny, or capri pants, strap heels in a darker color would look great. If you can find simple pumps with a dash of color somewhere, that would look chic as well. If they're skintight, wear them with boots (any style) and crew socks to peek out at the top. If the weather allows you to, I personally like they way they look with just a plain tank top in one of the pattern's lighter colors. If not, an open blazer, jacket, or button-down top (which you may want to get in a dark color in the pattern of the pants) would look very flattering layered on top. Minimal jewelry is needed except for maybe a bold statement bangle or ring and drop-down earrings. A tote is great to stylishly hold all your day's little necessary gizmos. Above (if you haven't noticed), I put some pics for your inspiration- I hope I helped and don't hesitate to send in pics when you settle on an outfit! : )