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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mixing Patterns

Mixing patterns.  I do it all the time in home decor.  But I have never been brave enough to do it in fashion.  When doing it in a home, there are a few rules, like making sure the two (or more) patterns being mixed have different scales.  You also need some "solids" in the equation, to keep the patterns from overwhelming the design.  Finally, the patterns need to have at least one color in common.

Do the same rules hold true when mixing patterns in fashion?  Maybe not to the same extent, but I do think the same rules can apply.

Here are some examples of successfully mixing patterns.

Stripes and flowers.  Sounds odd, but since both pieces use the same navy and cream color palette, they look great together.
via Sartorialist

Daytime sequins and a short patterned skirt.  The petite scale of the sequinned top contrasts perfectly with the larger scale of the patterned skirt.
via Sartorialist

Stripes and polka dots.  This look works because the color palette is so restrained, and the patterned pieces are paired with solid shoes and a solid bag.

My style icon, Whitley, perfectly pairs a batik-inspired jacket with striped shorts.  An orange scarf ties the pieces together.

If you are in the market for some mixed pattern pieces, look no further than Tory Burch.

This look from Kate Spade mixes 3 patterns (dots on the shirt, checks on the pants, and a large-scale stripe on the coat).  I would love to wear something like this.  Of course, it's about $1200 all in, excluding the shoes and bag...

Are you mixing patterns in your clothing?  I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for how to do it successfully!


Betsy said...

I've only done it a few times, but I think when done right- it's such a chic and sophisticated look. You've inspired me to try more!

Anonymous said...

I am tempted to try it. Love the look when done right.

PinQue said...

I love pattern mixing, especially with patterns that are completely unexpected. It's such a stylish look for both home and fashion!

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