Mixing Patterns for Serious Style
Mixing patterns is far from a fashion no-no if you want to create style that’s going to turn heads. In fact, mixing and matching patterns is a great way to create memorable style and re-use your great wardrobe pieces — as long as you know which pieces to mix together.
The Simple Tricks of Pattern Mixing
What works and what doesn’t when you’re pairing up patterns? Follow a few basic tips and guidelines for mixing in order to create great looks without falling into a fashion clash.
A big print often looks good when contrasted with a smaller one.
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- Turn one pattern into an accent. If you’re using one large piece or one bold pattern that stands out, mix in another pattern as an accent piece. A brightly-colored, patterned scarf may be the star of your outfit, but that small print clutch is definitely a supporting character.
- Mix patterns…in a sneaky way. Want to mix patterns without really doing too much mixing? Use the same pattern, but in different colors. Match a red-and-white polka-dot blouse to a polka-dot jacket in black and gray, for example.
- Mix different prints together. If you’re already wearing stripes, don’t pair them with another striped piece. Instead, try polka dots or a more elaborate print to contrast against the simple, classic stripe design.
- Break it up. The problem with mixing patterns is that, if not done carefully, they can blend together and look sloppy. Avoid this, and make sure each pattern you’re wearing stands out distinctly, by breaking up your style. Add a belt, blouse, or scarf in a solid color wherever you need to separate your patterns so that each piece is able to stand out on its own.
- Let color lead the way. Want to wear two different patterns at the same time? Choose one patterned piece in a bright color, and the other in a more neutral or pastel tone. This allows each pattern to shine on its own and offer contrast to the other piece you’re wearing. In style, contrast works when it’s used well. Color counts. Mix and match colors to create pleasing complementary and contrasting looks, and the patterns will fall into place.
- Stick to basic patterns. The more basic the pattern, the easier the mixing will go. Houndstooth, animal prints, and simple geometric shapes are easy to match with other pieces because their patterns are clean and simple.
- Big and small. The easiest way to start mixing patterns is to match big to small. That means matching a piece that has a big print to a piece that has a much smaller print. A blouse patterned with large blossoms will look beautiful against a pair of checkered pants.
- Use black and white. Mixing patterns is as simple as black and white—literally. Match pieces that are designed with simple black-and-white patterns, and you’re going to create a graphically interesting look every time. When you need to break up patterns or create a splash of color, bring a belt, a clutch, or a pair of shoes in a bold jewel tone into your outfit.
Mixing Patterns Like a Fashionista
A patterned accent piece can provide great supporting character to an outfit.
Photo Source: Pexels/Jeshoots.com
When you know how to successfully mix patterns in your outfits, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish stylistically. Use your accessories to accent all those great patterns and show off your style, and pretty soon everyone will be asking you just where you get your incredible clothes.
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