Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pattern Mixing Like a Boss: 5 Rules to Follow

Today I am talking about the tricky business of pattern mixing. I love to mix patterns in my wardrobe, but it can really be hit or miss and not everything goes well together. Here are 5 rules I like to stick to that can make pattern mixing work for you!

Rule #1 - Choose patterns that are in the same color family. This is the most important rule, in my opinion. When you are pulling out clothes and looking at different patterns, this should be the first thing you check. If there are not similar colors in the patterns, chances are they are not going to work well together. I styled a floral pink and mint top with a gray skirt with pink stripes. Because the flowers and stripes are the same pink color and the mint and gray compliment each other, the two strikingly different patterns work well together! You can get away with a lot in pattern mixing, but keeping it "all in the color family" is one rule you won't want to break.

Rule #2 - Space out your patterns. When getting dressed, your whole body is your canvas, from head to toe. Sometimes the best way to make two busy patterns work together is to spread them out a little bit. Here I paired a red and blue polka dot top with blue and white striped wedges. The basic neutral denim in between the two patterns balances them out so they do not compete with each other or create a chaotic look to the outfit. If all else fails, give your patterns a little room to breathe!

Rule #3 - Beware of too many patterns. When mixing patterns, I like to stick to two. If you throw too many patterns into the mix, you run the risk of having a messy and confusing overall look to your outfit. This pattern pairing happens to be one of my favorites: stripes with florals. For some reason they just go great together, don't you think? When picking out my shoes and clutch to go with this outfit, I made sure to stick to solid colors. Two patterns: it's enough.

Rule #4 - Use a "neutral" pattern to compliment a busier pattern. I like to think of animal prints as neutrals. The color tones are usually browns and blacks and I think they make for a great neutral addition to outfits that already have a busy pattern in them. Depending on the colors and print, there are a number of patterns that can work like a neutral. If it's a pattern in a brown/black/gray/beige and it does not seem too busy to the eye, chances are it will come across as a neutral. Here I am wearing my bird print blouse with a simple black blazer and animal print ankle boots and a belt. It almost doesn't feel like pattern mixing to me when one of the prints works like a neutral. It's just effortless!

Rule #5 - Choose patterns of a different size/scale. For instance, you wouldn't want to pair a giant stripe with a large paisley print. The two large patterns won't work well together. Similarly, you wouldn't want to wear a tiny polka dot with a tiny floral print. It will end up looking too busy and strange. Here I paired a large stripe, black and white dress with a small diamond patterned cardigan. Because one print is large and the other small, they pair very well together. You can imagine if the scales were similar it wouldn't look very good. For colors, similar is better. But for pattern scale, opposites attract.

Okay everyone, you are all set to start pattern mixing!

Linking Up With: Manic Monday // Style Elixir // Rhea Et Cetera // Little Miss Monday // The Pleated Poppy // Because Shanna Said So //



At July 7, 2014 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Crystelle said...

These tips are SOOOO good! I have such a hard time with pattern mixing, and you are obviously a pro, judging by your outfits. I read the tips carefully and will have to give it another shot!!
XoX, Crystelle
Crystelle Boutique

At July 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM , Blogger Darcy said...

Such good tips! Pattern mixing is scary at first, but once you get the hang of it you just can't stop!!

At July 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM , Blogger Marta C said...

So many great tips and all of your looks are spot on! Outfit #3 is perfectly styled-so cute & casual which is my favourite type of outfit.

At July 7, 2014 at 3:27 PM , Blogger Lorna mai ltd said...

I loved reading this. I already knew the first tip but to be honest I've not given it much thought before. You must have the most beautiful wardrobe, your clothes are stunning.

At July 7, 2014 at 4:49 PM , Blogger Claire said...

Love all these looks, and the tips! Thanks for linking-up with Little Miss Monday!

God bless,
XO, Claire

At July 8, 2014 at 8:58 AM , Blogger Nicole Layne said...

These are great rules! You are a pattern mixing pro! I love outfits 1 and 4.

Nicole to the Nines

At July 9, 2014 at 8:56 AM , Blogger Shon said...

You look great in all these mixes. I am afraid that I would only feel most comfy wearing the dots with the stripes or the dots with the leopard. Thanks for the inspiration and tutorials. I might venture out and try a few out of my comfort zone.

At July 9, 2014 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Jessica Jannenga said...

I like all of your outfits, thanks for the tips. I dont do enough mixing of patterns and I should, you look great
from the link up, jess
please stop by


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