It’s time to talk about Queer Eye’s most ubiquitous feature. No, not Antoni’s use of avocados, or Bobby’s obsession with natural lighting in home makeovers, or everybody’s emotional crying jags. We need to talk about how the Fab Five — specifically, fashion expert Tan France — are obsessed with patterned collared shirts. According to Queer Eye, the patterned collared shirt is the solution to all your woes in life. It’s an all-purpose utility player in any wardrobe. A patterned collared shirt gets you out of the dreary land of solid colors (or, gasp, white shirts) without pushing you too far into buying new types of clothing (God forbid you have to learn about layering).
If a man needs help broadening his sense of fashion? Give him a patterned collared shirt! If a man needs help building the confidence to come out? Give him a patterned collared shirt! If a man needs help charming his wife? Give him a patterned collared shirt! Such is the Queer Eye way. In honor of that ever-practical, just-buy-out-that-one-rack-at-J.-Crew-or-maybe-try-Bonobos approach to the universe, we present a guide to every patterned collared shirt to appear on this season of Queer Eye. May you be inspired to mix up your wardrobe with new colorful and yet tasteful well-tailored looks.
We begin with Tan, lovely Tan, helpful Tan, in a patterned collared shirt as he convinces Tom to branch out beyond solids.
Look, he’s done just that! Sure, it’s a plaid pattern, but plaid counts.
Tan thinks about all he has done for Tom, patterns-wise, in a Hawaiian pattern.
Bobby, the second most pattern-obsessed member of the Fab Five, also wears a patterned collared shirt for moral support.
This is the most pattern-heavy episode. Not coincidentally, it’s also the one in which Tan connects most closely with the contestant, Neal, who is depressed and will only get out of his funk with the help of some bright colors and bold patterns. (Hey, that’s also a play!)
Bobby is also in a patterned shirt. As we said, he likes them, too.
This is Tan’s happy place: Just look at all the patterned shirts in the background.
Bobby is hard at work in another patterned shirt of his own. See, they’re multiuse!
Later, he switches into a dressier patterned collared shirt. Versatility!
When you’re trying to welcome patterneds into your life, but you’re not sure if you’re bold enough yet.
When you’ve made peace with the fact that you aren’t a bold patterns guy, but you’re at least willing to try some shy patterns.
Bobby is ready for the road in a flowery patterned collared shirt.
Tan is going to change your life and he just needs a few patterned collared shirts to do it.
Sadly, Cory does not get inducted in pattern lifestyle, but we do get to see Bobby wearing a patterned shirt (boldly clashing with American flag bottoms!) near the end of the episode.
AJ, our subject for this episode, starts off wearing a collared shirt that actually has a bit of a pattern to it if you look closely. This is how we know that he’s gay, but still partially in the closet.
Antoni tries on AJ’s shirt, briefly leaving behind his whole graphic-tee thing, which we will leave as the subject of a future investigation.
Tan meditates on his plans in a collar with stripes, which I am counting as pattern because I get to make the decisions here.
Then, ta-da!, Tan gets AJ into a a nearly identical shirt.
Other people have also started to wear patterns and collars. There is no escape.
Look at that grin. Look at that pattern. Tan is up to something.
This random guy at the barbershop is in on it.
I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, patterned.
A whole new world!
A new fantastic point of view!
Bobby shouts encouragement from the protection of a collar with a pattern.
This is actually a pattern-light episode, but please admire the sheer number of inventive pattern choices in this shot alone. (Though, to be clear, Bobby is the only one with a collared patterned shirt.)
Tan is at it again with his striped collar, which, as a side note, I’m pretty sure is from J. Crew because I have the same one in white and blue.
To be a good man in 2018, you must embrace pattern-fluidity! (Also, I like how Tan always starts the guys off easy with muted colors.)
What’s that peeking out from under Joe’s jacket? It’s a subtle little pattern. Hey there, pattern!
Tiger, tiger burning bright, in the pattern of the shirt.
There is much to admire here, from the sass to the florals to the extremely deep V-neck.
Straights, they grow up so fast!
Here, take a few more patterns for the road.
Even the kids are wearing collars with patterns. The queer agenda has won.
The original version of this post referred to “button-down” shirts, which would only cover those with collars that actually button down, and therefore not all of the shirts described. We’ve updated with clearer terminology.