Show your daring side by mixing patterns

Mixing prints and patterns is a fabulous way to add a touch of individual style to your outfits and can be visually stimulating for the eye while giving you the chance to show your daring side. Would you dare……? In this article I will go through some mixing pattern guidelines that you can give them a go. Then with a little practice and confidence you will start pulling some interesting combinations and have fun with them.

One of my clients sent me this picture of an outfit that she put together some time ago and asked me if this combination works. As soon as I saw the photo, my first thought was “those pieces are beautiful but they are not talking to each other” and my second thought was something like: “I feel confused about this”. So, why I personally think that this combination is not working? Here it goes…..

 Mixing patterns

  • One pattern should be dominant so you eye has a place to settle on first and you don’t get that sense of confusion. There is no dominant pattern here (yes, I agree that pattern of the blouse stands out compared to the pattern of the pants but it’s just because of the darker colours not because of the pattern).
  • Look for a common theme colour, line or design. The easiest way to do it is by “common theme colour”. In this case the colour black which is the common colour is not working. The black and white colours of the pants are so crammed that my eyes are seeing more like a grey colour rather than black and white.
  • Ideally mix a small scale of pattern/print with a large one. When mixing two patterns of the same size this can appear too busy. Here we have a small scale (pants’ pattern) with a small to medium scale (shirt’s scale).
  • One pattern should stand out from the rest to create a harmonised look.

Following the above guidelines, here are 3 outfit combinations using similar pieces and keeping something floral on the top to give you some mixing ideas. The combinations 1 and 2 are very classic while combination 3 is much more adventurous since the pattern of the top is busier compared to the other two tops. However, the latter is still harmonious and appealing to the eyes. Would you agree?

Mixing patterns collage with logo

When mixing patterns, put your outfit on, have a look in front of the mirror and pay attention to how you feel about it….Ask yourself; do I feel a sense of confusion looking at this?  If yes, pass it by. If I wear this will my best features be highlighted?  You will know the answer here.

Play a little bit at home with you patterned pieces and please let me know how you go? Don’t forget to have fun!

What do you think?

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