Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to Mix Patterns

As the pattern mixing trend continues to gain popularity, I’ve seen lots of advice on how to do it successfully. You can follow the rules about like colors with like or big prints with small or organic designs with geometric, but I find all that rather complicated. I have a much simpler trick:

1. Put the two (or three or four) patterns next to each other.
2. Imagine that the fabrics are all the part of one garment.
3. Would you buy it? Would you wear it?

If so, go for it. If not, try another mix.

Some of my favorite pattern mixes:

This selection illustrates some of my pattern mixing workhorses: the obi belts, striped cardigans, and anything floral or animal print. You can see the rest of my pattern mixes by clicking on the Pattern Mix tag. Some combinations are subtle (patterned tights with a checked dress, perhaps) and some are pretty loud (like anything I mix with that zebra dress).

How do you mix your patterns?


Londyn said...

great post!

Megan G said...

Love this post! I'm trying to work on using pattern more. I love the outfit with the two different rose patterns.

EvaNadine said...

I'm new to pattern mixing so I have stuck to subtler mixes like textured tights or mixing in a smaller accessory with a different pattern. I think your idea is a good one + I think I might try it!

WickedThrifty said...

you are definitely the queen of mixing patterns. i'm still working on buying any patterns at all so i haven't ventured into mixing them yet. i like the mixed baby florals showing up, and certainly animal print... but it seems like all i ever see out there is stripes, which i do not dig. sigh- i'll keep searching and trying to branch out!

Laurie Koning said...

I'm not yet a big pattern user, but following your blog has definitely been encouragement to try and use patterns more often (and be colorful).

Thanks for your daily dose of creativity!

Raquelita said...

Excellent advice! I do mix patterns, but I tend to shy away from mixing more than two or three patterns.

WendyB said...

I like to mix plain black and plain black.

Lorena said...

This is smart... I have to push myself a little, thank you for the post !