Color. Pattern. Texture. These are the foundation for making our aesthetic world go round. Think about the last outfit you saw that really resonated with you. Whether you loved it or not, it created a reaction. Maybe, “Wow! I love that blue but would never have thought to pair it with orange.” Or, “I would never wear stripes with florals, but someone can pull this look off.” When the proper balance of color, pattern and texture are used you can create visually, interesting outfits to suit any personality and style.
When it comes to pattern mixing there are a few things to keep in mind. You want to find, what I call, “common ground” with the prints you are mixing. Typically this is achieved in colors that have the same tone. Since pattern mixing adds a lot of visual interest, having “common ground” helps to keep you mix harmonious and balanced. Example: Not all yellows have the same tone. Some are brighter while some are more muted. Mustard tones are not on the same level as your neon yellow. (Dramatic example used to get my point across.)
Size Matters: In addition to finding something similar in your prints you will want to vary the size of your prints. Typically you want to pair a small scaled print with a large scaled print.
*Tip: Use your smaller scale print on areas you want to reduce focus. Your larger scale prints will be your focal point.
Examples of print pairings: Stripes and florals, Polka dots and florals, Geometrics and florals, tribals and stripes, plaid/checks and florals, paisley and stripes.
Start pattern mixing today with these few steps:
1) Determine your starting point or inspiration piece.
This box pleated waist dress serves as a great starting point with a larger print striped skirt.
2) Choose a color or two that you like in the inspiration piece to pair with a coordinating pattern.
3) Find a coordinating print in the opposite size pattern scale.
This kimono offers a small scaled print and has the same orange as the dress above. Orange is the least dominant color in this piece so it will create more impact when pairing with the dress that is predominantly orange.
4) Add in accessories to complete the look.
To accessorize this outfit I used a mix of orange and blue, the 2 dominant colors in the larger print. The black statement necklace brings out the subtle pops of black from the kimono.
The complete look! Pattern mix perfection!