Pattern on pattern has long been a favorite fashion moment of mine. I'm unsure where I developed the desire or chutzpah to do it, but it evolved naturally for me and has since become a signature of mine.
Those who are less fashion savvy find themselves in great disbelief that it's possible to pair two starkly different patterns together and have them look fantastic. On paper it sounds like it would be a mess, but I'm going to give you a quick guide on how to make it look fabulous. Anyone that considers themselves fashionable and current should know how to mix a pattern or two!
Here are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind when beginning to mix and match patterns
1. Consider the number of pieces you're wearing in your outfit. Are you adding a blazer, vest, cardigan, or cape? If so, as a beginner, don't mix more than 2 patterns in your ensemble. Choose which 2 pieces will have the patterns.
2. The patterns should have like color tones and finishes. No matter what colors or prints you choose, be sure the color schemes compliment each other. There are exceptions to this rule for the more fashion conscious, but this is a general rule of thumb.
3. Consider your accessories. When I say accessories, I mean ACCESSORIES. Most people don't realize that your nails are an accessory (if they are painted a color or pattern), the buttons on your shirt (if a color different from the shirt), your shoes, hat, scarf are all accessories. One wrong move with any of these will throw your whole ensemble into hot mess hell. If mixing the patterns of your shirt and pants, keep your accessories neutral!
4. If you're really digging your pattern on pattern look, but on the fence or might feel like you're doing a smidgen too much. Cool it down with a neutral third piece. A blazer, vest or cardigan are my go to's.
5. BIG NO NO.....If you're on the larger size, be VERY careful. Patterns look bigger and bolder on larger frames and can become a mess even easier. I recommend making sure you break up your pattern with a large solid somewhere in the mix as well as probably limiting yourself to one pattern head to toe.
Be bold! As long as you follow those basic rules, the sky is the limit. Dots and stripes can match. Grides and zebra can work! Leopard and houndstooth can be friends! You have to get started and explore to see what you feel comfortable in. The more important part is that you wear it with confidence!
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