My New Favorite Outfit: How to Pattern Mix

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to Pattern Mix

Recently I had a friend ask me about pattern mixing and how to do it.  I thought it would be fun to plan a post around that topic. I think a lot of it can be trial and error, but here are some examples of how I think pattern mixing works well:

First up is pattern mixing with plaids.  Below are two great examples. One is with polka dots, I did a similar combo here and can't wait for it to cool down so I can wear this combo again! I think the key to pattern mixing with plaid is to coordinate colors.  On the left the black and white polka dot coordinated with the subtle black and white in the plaid underneath.  The same thing applies to the second picture the blue plaid underneath coordinates with the blue and red striped sweater on top.  




Next up is one of my favorite ways to pattern mix: stripes and florals.  Love this! Just like I said above, I think coordinating colors is key, but I think the size of the pattern really helps make this combo successful.  In both of these cases the stripes and floral are smaller sized which really help the pieces to mix well and feel like the combo is meant to be, and not like you got dressed in the the dark. Here's one way I mixed stripes and florals.



Next up is pattern mixing with polka dots and stripes; I also love this combo.  This combo can tend to look messy if you're not careful, and definitely works best when you coordinate colors and pattern size.  Keep this combo simple and classic.  The examples below do just that: the example on the left adds a great navy blazer to finish off the look, and the example on the right finishes the look off with a simple red belt and classic flats.  The last think you want is to look like you're in the circus and this combo can do just that if you try to over style the outfit.



My last tip for you is to start small, then go bold.  I think a scarf is a great way to try out pattern mixing for the first time; it's a small addition but it can make the perfect impact.  I love the example on the left of mixing stripes and florals.  Most ladies probably have these two pieces in their closet, and if you're wanting to give pattern mixing a try, this is a great place to start.  Now to the picture on the right: I LOVE this look and can't wait to give it a try, but I definitely think this bold combo isn't where most of you will want to start with pattern mixing.  Once you get comfortable with pattern mixing you can go bold, just like the example on the right. 


Source 1 / Source 2

Also, I'm guest posting about my favorite places to shop over at Thrify, Fun, Fashionista today.  I'd love for you to stop by and say hi. : )

21 comments:

  1. Love all the inspiration pictures and tips! Can't wait to try some of these out!

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  2. Thanks for the tip, Ginny! I think you have mastered the tricky art of mixing patterns =) Have a wonderful week.

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  3. Great tips! Going to check out your guest post now.

    Pia
    pjmscloset.blogspot.ca

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  4. Pattern mixing is truly tricky but when you find the right balance....it is such a winner!

    Rebecca
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  5. Great post! Pattern mixing still freaks me out a bit, but I dabble in it in small doses. My favorite is stripes and leopard or polka dots and leopard lately.

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  6. Stripes and polka dots are my favorite patterns to mix! They are just made for each other :)

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Sept. Group Giveaway!

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  7. Thank you sharing this! I will have to share this post with my facebook group! I always have ladies asking me how to mix patterns!
    xoxo,
    Lauren from Modern Modesty

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  8. these are great tips! I love the sequin polka dots with the plaid! It adds a touch of feminine to a casual look! I saw this top on someone's IG post for sale! I may have to go back and get it!! Blessings! Susan

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  9. Great Post. I have been mixing patterns for a good decade now. Some people definitely gave me a stare but I loved it. I particularly did Polka Dots & Stripes and to this day this is still my favorite way to mix patterns. I am liking the examples above of the Plaid. I need to buy some Plaid Shirts & give that a try. I will check out your Guest post, too. =)

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  10. I definitely love a good pattern mix!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  11. I'm at the point where I have to remind myself that I don't have to pattern mix every single outfit. It's okay to wear solid colors sometimes! These are great tips!

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  12. Great advice on pattern mixing, you've definitely provided me with a lot of great inspiration!

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  13. Great advice on pattern mixing, you've definitely provided me with a lot of great inspiration!

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  14. AWESOME post and examples!! Loved the patterns you picked out and such great outfits!

    xoxo,
    Whitley

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  15. Coordinating color is definitely a must for pattern mixing. I started out "calm" (floral and stripes) but I graduated to adding some polka dots in there recently. I love the looks with plaid! Definitely trying that out soon, now that it is getting cooler!

    Amy
    Mariposa Medley Jewelry
    www.mariposamedley.com

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  16. Pattern mixing is a lot of trial and error. Great tips :)

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  17. I'm so glad you are doing this because I have so much trouble pattern mixing!!! Thanks for the great tip of coordinating colors. I love these two examples. :)

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  18. I'm a huge fan of pattern mixing
    You showed some great examples
    Brett

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  19. I love pattern mixing! I definitely think plaid + polka dots will be a great mix for the fall season!

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  20. Love this post! Such great advice :)

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