When we are trying new things in our Method to Style, some of you are not afraid of pattern mixing; but some are just not sure how that works! And I’m with you on that, it took a long time for me to pattern mix, but I’ve got a few tips I hope will help you give it a try.
PATTERN MIXING 101
First things first, there really are no rules. I know, it would really be nice to see the exact “recipe” to do this well; but girl, it also has to feel right to YOU. What are YOUR preferences and what feels like it has a good flow on you, with your style? I thought I’d take this opportunity to share what I feel represent patterns.
TEXTURE AND PRINT
So we all know print on the fabric is a pattern. That includes anything from the botanical motif, florals, chevron, stripes, polka dots, logos, or any random combination of colors and shapes! But I also very much feel like a textured fabric is also in the pattern category. It may be monochrome (or very close to it), but it also has shape and a texture built into the material that makes it a GREAT entry point for those not sure if big bold patterns are for you.
This is also a great option for those who prefer to were solid colors, but want to add a little interest or detail to the outfit! I love this black knit cropped sweaters pattern knit into it, over a large-scale plaid dress. And then also this medium chunky knit sweater and a bold plaid blanket scarf.
I love proportions with all of my outfits, but I think it can be especially associated with patterns. For example, if you have a tiny print, it can be a lot on the eyes, so maybe a dress or an oversized top or bottom might not be the right scale. And vice versa, a really large pattern on a smaller piece can overpower and lose its integrity. We want to be able to see the pattern of the print (how often a certain flower shows up, etc). OR, do like I did here, and layer a smaller print on top of the larger one so you get the best of both!
This may sound crazy, but I’m always looking to see where the parts of the pattern land. Like if it’s in a trouser or pants, is the pattern showing up at the inseam in a weird way? Does it cluster up in one spot but not so much in another? This can get in the way of it looking consistent and likely due to how the fabric was cut.
I also have a blouse with polka dots (not a great picture below). After I got it (and it was too late to return) I noticed that there is only half the polka dot on the neckline and the ones going down the front don’t line up, which is a focal point, and I’m not really loving that! I mean, you can’t win them all, and it’s not really a big deal; but just pay attention to how the patterns fall in certain places to make sure you love the way it’s distributed.
ELONGATE THE LOOK
If you’ve been here a while you know how much this is a part of how I dress! Haha! When we have horizontal stripes on our shirts, that can be very helpful for women who may have narrow or sloping shoulders to add some visual broadness.
Whereas, when we wear vertical or slightly diagonal stripes on a skirt, that can help us to long and lean (asymmetrical or handkerchief hemlines are my favorite to achieve this!) Pattern mix this with a fun floral top, or a cute knit sweater with the word “Chic” across it! And while I wish I had my own wardrobe examples to show you, this is where Pinterest is the BEST!
I went into my profile Method39 and typed Pattern Mixing Summer Outfits and this is the awesomeness that showed up…how can we NOT be inspired!
Again, there are no real rules to pattern mixing or your Method to Style, really. If you find a pattern you love and enjoy wearing it mixed with another wild pattern, then girl, do that!! Maybe one day you are just in the mood for big and bold, and others, not so much. Go with it!
There are plenty of examples of bold combinations, as well as more subtle, understated ones, which is fantastic! When you are new to trying something, maybe you start with a little then build to a lot, but know you are going to be able to find inspiration anywhere. Try not to spend too much time looking around at others though. Inspiration is great, but it is a very thin line to suddenly comparing yourself to those who “inspire” you. There’s no sense in getting bogged down in that sister, you’re the only you there is, and you’re the only one who can do you….just right.