This month I am sharing one of my favorite fashion tips and tricks that really elevates the style of any outfit: pattern mixing. If you know me in real life, then you know I love me some pattern mixing. I find outfits composed of mixed patterns to be pleasing to the eye. Depending on the prints you choose and how you combine them, pattern mixing can bring a level of playfulness, daring, or elegance to your ensemble. I realize that pattern mixing may be outside many of your comfort zones, but never fear, I am going to give you some guidelines so that you can dip your toes into this fashion trend and not end up looking like a toddler that dressed themselves.
1. Start Small
For your first foray into pattern mixing, start small, with an accessory like a belt, scarf or even handbag. I really consider animal prints a neutral (seriously!) so try adding something like a little leopard print to your outfit. Here. I added a skinny zebra print belt to my skin print top and jeans. With a little front tuck, the belt just peeks out a little and adds a tiny bit of pattern mixing to my outfit.
If you want to go a little bolder, you can do a scarf like the leopard one I did here, paired with a striped top.
2. Treat Stripes as a Neutral
This is one of my favorite pattern mixing combinations. A basic black and white striped print looks striking with a bold floral. Here I just tied a striped top around floral patterned skirt.
I really feel like just about any pattern can be paired with stripes. Here I added a blanket scarf with an oversized plaid pattern to delicate black and white striped dress.
3. Play with Pattern Scale
Another fun way to incorporate pattern mixing into an outfit is to use the same basic pattern, but have a contrast in scale. So think, big bold floral paired with a small delicate floral. Or wide stripes paired with skinny stripes. Here, I added that same large print plaid pattern scarf to a small print gingham button-up.
4. Have a Common Color
If you don’t want to look like you got dressed in the dark, make sure that each pattern in your ensemble shares a common color. Here I have two pretty bold floral patterns, but they both share the bright pink color so it works.
I hope that you feel a little more comfortable mixing things up in your closet. No matter what, if you are bold and confident in your choices, you will be able to pull it off. Now go be playful and have fun with your clothes!
Jen is a Texas girl, who landed in the Midwest after 14 years on the East Coast. A girly girl at heart, she has come to embrace her inner Adam Sandler while raising her three crazy boys. Jen is an avid runner, weightlifter, and triathlete who parlayed her love of fitness into a career as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Her passion is in helping women look and feel their best, through both fitness and fashion. Jen recently launched a new venture as an independent personal stylist for cabi, a Los Angeles-based fashion house.