How to wear patterns togetherHow to wear patterns together – start simple and advance!

Some of us are averse to patterns; trust me I have been there! So why bother? Patterns are an easy way to make an outfit look effortless without adding accessories, they add an element of whimsy, fun, edginess or whatever the look is that you want to achieve. They provide visual interest to your outfit without fussiness. When you are comfortable with them, they are really a springboard to creating advanced outfits by mixing patterns and really expressing your style.

When considering what patterns to wear, evaluate your frame- if you are larger framed, smaller patterns will be lost on you. If you are petite (5′ 4″ or less), then large patterns will not be flattering. So how do you know? This will take some time and effort trying on clothes, but assess yourself visually to ensure you see the pattern but that you don’t look like you are wearing a tablecloth. You don’t want the patterns to overwhelm you.

So how do you wear patterns together? My 3 step process

  1. Basic – Match a color in the solid piece to a color in the patterned piece

    Wear a patterned item with a solid item that shares one of the colors in the pattern. Start with patterns that are in your color palette so they are easy to match with your existing wardrobe. So in the example below I am wearing black and white tops with a black skirt. How to wear patterns together

  2. Intermediate – Wear a solid color with the patterned piece that is not in the pattern.

    Select the patterned item from Step #1 and pair it with a solid item that does not have a color in the pattern (examples, below). Gradually adjust the colors of the patterns or mix the ones you have with items you have not paired them with. We are still talking about mixing patterns with a solid wardrobe item. If you are struggling with what colors to wear, stick with neutrals to start (which are in 2 of my 3 examples). Also, consider going for complementary or analogous colors (see the color wheel) for help on color theory. So this could mean mixing a green and white patterned top with a blue skirt. You would wear an orange print top with purple trousers. In this example I hav paired 2 black and white tops with a tan skirt and a pink shirt with a black and white skirt. How to wear patterns together

  3. Advanced – Wear patterns together (mixing patterns)

    Once you have mastered the intermediate step and you are comfortable, start mixing patterns which is one my favorite things to do. Mix patterns – how is this done? You match the colors in the patterns (black and white, tan and ivory, etc.), match the type of pattern (i.e. small prints, all stripes, all polka dots, etc.) or match classic patterns together (stripes and polka dots, animal print and stripes, etc.). I have shown all 3 in the examples, below. My favorite way to mix patterns is by ensuring the patterns have the same color but you can experiment with what you like best. How to wear patterns together

    How to Wear Patterns Together

    This outfit won a style contest for Phoenix Fashion Week for the theme “Mixed Prints” – the blue is what ties this outfit together and makes the pattern mixing work!

If you would love to learn color theory, learn how to wear patterns together and want to express your true style, that is how I can help!! Ready to get started? I offer complimentary phone calls to discuss your style goals and challenges. Schedule time to speak with me here!