Herringbone: Moving up in the world

Herringbone pattern is ideal for those of us eager to set ourselves apart from the herd. This is due to the optical illusion created by the interlocking, alternating chevrons that make up its signature pattern. A herringbone suit is an ideal second tier suit for after you wear in your navy or gray suits.

A brief history of Herringbone 

The herringbone design derives its name from fish skeleton. From up close, the pattern looks spiney (moreso if you squint). In contrast to that, herringbone looks solid or blurred from afar. 

If the Harry Potter invisibility cloak had an equivalent in men’s fashion, it would look like herringbone.

The interlocking chevrons that compose herringbone patterns were inspired by Ancient Roman Roads, circa 500 B.C. These arrows allowed the road to absorb more pressure in motion. Herringbone fabric is no less ancient, with textile artifacts uncovered from Egyptian and Celtic cultures alike. Most notably, the Shroud of Turin, allegedly the burial shroud of Jesus, was herringbone. So next time you find yourself shopping for a jacket, ask yourself what Jesus would do and opt for herringbone.

Ways to wear Herringbone 

While herringbone’s storied pedigree has kept the design a consistent favorite among corporate types, modern twists on herringbone pattern abound. You might want to keep it simple and not bother with other mix-ins. However, herringbone does pair well with many different styles. From Led Zeppelin  T-Shirts to woolen cardigans. There is another reason you will get great mileage out of your herringbone suit: herringbone allows wearing either the trousers or jacket individually.

Naturally, herringbone comes in different sizes. Smaller herringbone is less difficult to match with your wardrobe. A herringbone overcoat with larger chevrons pairs nicely with a herringbone suit, for example. 


As a potentially formal pattern for suits, herringbone is unique for the ease with which it dresses down. Wear herringbone with tennis shoes or denim worry free. The versatility of herringbone makes the pattern one of the easiest styles in men’s fashion.