Pattern mixing can be intimidating but don’t let it mess with your head. It’s a fun way to add interest and scale to your look when you want to try something new! Yes, there can be pitfalls but with practice and planning they can be avoided. What? You don’t believe me? I promise this is an easier sea to navigate than you think and with just a few tips you’ll be on your way to pattern mixing perfection!
Here are a few pointers:
- Keep it in the same color family. You’re looking for a singular color or hue that can tie two opposites together. That will give the cohesion you need when marrying opposite prints or patterns. Otherwise it may appear you just stepped out of a clown car. While that’s entertaining, it might not be the look you’re really going for.
- Be mindful of scale. If you’ve got two large or small prints they’re going to fight for attention and no one will realize how stylish you are! Scale is important for balance and differentiation. Mixing it up is great but one item must play the lead role and the other piece should be part of the supporting cast.
- Give your look a solid foundation. Adding solid color accessories or other pieces to your look allows the eye to focus. It will provide balance so that your pattern and print mix can play center stage instead of creating noise and distraction.
- Remember neutrals can be apart of this party too. Houndstooth, black or navy and white stripes, polka dots or tweeds; All of these kids play nice in the sandbox with one another. They’re easy to mix in or with each other. You can totally have an all neutral pattern or print mix; color is not required.
- Lastly if you’re REALLY not ready to mix things up, chose a single item that’s done the mixing for you! I describe it as mix max efficiency =)
You’ll see with the outfit I’m wearing here I’ve combined bold stripes and a smaller scale print top. The stripes are grey and white, while the top is multi colored with elements of grey/blue. This top is one of my favorites to mix since it has such a variety of color and pairs well with most anything. My foundations are denim along with mostly solid accessories. Though my bag is mixed media and two tone, since it’s grey & black it acts as a neutral in addition to tying into the colors I’m wearing.
Adding gold accessories gives a bit of brightness to these neutral colors along with a pop of color in the shoe. I know red isn’t EXACTLY in the top but there are pinks and a bright contrasting color is a fun way to make a statement against these darker shades. What do you think? Do you feel ready to start mixing? If you’re still feeling some trepidation just get in there and try stuff on. Sometimes playing dress up in your closet is the best way to figure out what works.