Hello again! Last Friday I discussed the ways you can use color in an outfit. Continuing the “What Not to Wear” theme, next I’m going to cover patterns and ways to mix them for maximum outfit interest.
Patterns will naturally draw the eye to them. When it comes to outfits, it is best to put bold, bright, big, or busy (what alliteration!) patterns where you want the emphasis. If you have great legs, consider wearing a polka dot (or any other patterned) skirt to draw there.
If you’re feeling brave, mix patterns to create even more of a statement! This is something I love to do on a regular basis! Mixing patterns can give fresh life to patterned clothes you always wear the same way. There are several ways to mix patterns and have them still feeling cohesive.
- Use a common color.
- Have one geometric and one busy or abstract
- Size difference.
- Subtle “patterns.”
These four can be used separately or together cohesively. If you have a thick striped black and white shirt and a midi skirt with a small floral pattern, you would be using ways 2 and 3 of mixing patterns. The stripes (geometric) and flowers (busy/abstract) don’t compete with each other as the same shirt and a pant with large polka dots would.
The outfit I have modeled below (also featuring a hat I love) shows the first three ways in action. The shirt is a large floral print, while the pants have a smaller polka dot. Both garments have the color white in common. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but you can’t deny it makes a statement!
You may have noticed that the fourth suggestion has the word “patterns” in quotes. That’s because some patterns can be used as if they weren’t patterned at all! As a general rule, if a pattern looks like a solid from far away, it acts more as a neutral. The best example of this is the pinstripe. A subtle pinstripe pattern on a garment often looks like a solid colored piece from far away. Using these subtle patterns can be a great way to get you more comfortable with mixing patterns!
My example is my striped t-shirt dress with my denim jacket from Kohl’s (not sponsored, they’re just killing the clothing game this year in my opinion). The denim jacket’s pinstripe is white, which I think adds an air of lightness to the jacket. It also follows suggestion 1: using a common color! You’ll notice that this outfit isn’t nearly as bold as the previous ensemble, but the pinstripe on the jacket adds more interest than if it was a solid light wash.
Hopefully this blog post and these outfits are able to give you some new ideas and inspiration! Feel free to send me pics of your own outfits to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, social media handle, or blog. I’m always searching for new sources of inspiration and would be delighted to know the lovely hearts, souls, and minds reading my posts! I can’t thank you enough for your support.