Do you embrace patterns? What about mixing them? If it’s not something you have ever tried before, welcome to my pattern mixing for beginners blog post! This is for those of you who may not embrace pattern very often, it’s not for everyone, so that is A-OK! But it’s also for those who love pattern and mix and match any and all kinds, yet also love to keep an open mind for new ideas.
PATTERN MIXING ALSO INCLUDES TEXTURES
I have found one of my favorite ways to incorporate pattern mixing into a look is by seeing the texture of a garment, as the pattern. You can have a very neutral top; but it has a raised pattern on it, that is subtle, yet adds detail. Take this white flowy, flutter sleeve blouse for example. The material is a cream silk blend, and when you look closely, there is a raised, monochrome pattern in the material.
Not in your face obvious; but for the beginner, that pairs perfect with anything! Like these bold plaid trousers. A great look that has interest and details, and we haven’t even accessorized yet!
PATTERN MIXING WITH A NOT SO SUBTLE TEXTURE
Take this look for example. This is a short sleeved dress that has this green and black plaid pattern everywhere. That was a bit too much for me. I found a cropped black knit top that could level up the look, break up the plaid, and add it’s own pattern with its knit texture. It’s a dense enough knit to mask the plaid underneath it, yet it’s clear there is a pretty diamond shaped pattern. Worn like this creates the look of a top and a skirt, which I love!
I wonder if you have a patterned dress in your closet, that you save for certain occasions, that you could totally change up by layering with a textured piece like I did here? Spend some time really looking at what you have and see if you can’t create some new looks you can be excited to wear.
LEGIT PATTERN MIXING; BUT STILL FOR BEGINNERS
So this next example is one where it IS all about putting two similar patterns together, with a corresponding color. I love to see people taking a polka dot sweater and layer it over a plaid button up. I think that is such a great way of taking a pattern you love (the sweater) and adding an unexpected twist with the plaid color. But that’s maybe more advanced….for now, lets stick with this combo of my red and black plaid button up, and a black and white checkerboard striped skirt.
While this seems a bit busy, I like they way the lines of black in the top, balance out the bulk of the black in the skirt. It’s not too much of one thing,and while they are similar, it’s a clear pattern mix, with a similar scale. In this outfit, texture doesn’t really come into play, although this is a fitted mini skirt (so it reads as structured), and a super soft and slouchy button up. So it can go casual or upscale. Think sparkly statement necklace and suede heels for upscale, and cross body bag and ankle booties or fashion sneakers for more casual.
HOW TO GET INTO PATTERN MIXING
First, find out what patterns you love. Then, look for inspiration on how to mix them. I share a number of outfits on this blog where texture is a big part of how I pattern mix, or of course, there is always Pinterest! Not wanting to invest in a few new pieces just yet? Try it with a scarf and see how you like it. Look at the texture and pattern all these scarves added to this mauve T-shirt, and they are a fraction the cost of a new sweater or tops!
PATTERNS CAN BE TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL
Pattern can add color, interest and detail to any outfit; but I always encourage women to consider the scale of the pattern they put on their bodies. Too small of pattern can make our eyes go funny and not really appreciate it fully. Too big can look like it is swallowing us up. We want something complimentary, in a color and design we love, that makes us feel great when we put it on! And my versatility rule still stands with pattern….make sure it can be worn three different ways / with three different looks, before it earns a spot in your wardrobe.