If you want to add excitement to your wardrobe, mixing and matching patterns is the way to go. But we know that combining patterns can be tricky and overwhelming. With the wrong combination, you might end up looking like a walking optical illusion, with patterns clashing and competing for attention like a circus gone wrong.
We’ll show you three foolproof ways to mix and match patterns like a pro, make a bold statement and turn heads with your fashion choices
#1. Start With a Neutral Base
A neutral base gives your patterns centre stage in your outfit. On the other hand, a bold or busy base would clash with your patterns, creating a chaotic and overwhelming look. Colours like black, white, grey, beige, and navy may seem boring or basic, but they’re incredibly versatile and stylish as a base.
When it comes to fabrics, denim, chambray, linen, and cotton are timeless and classic. They pair well with other patterns and textures and are comfortable, making them great choices for everyday outfits.
Start with a neutral top, bottom, or dress to create a neutral base and add patterns and textures through accessories like scarves, shoes, and bags. This would allow you to experiment with pattern mixing without feeling overwhelmed or out of your comfort zone. Similarly, consider patterns with at least one colour in common with your neutral base to create a harmonious outfit.
#2. Combine Prints of Different Scales
Print scale is the size of a pattern on the fabric, ranging from very small, like a tiny polka dot, to very large, like a bold floral or geometric print. Combining prints of different scales creates a visual balance in your outfit. In contrast, two patterns with similar scales may clash and create a jarring effect.
Here are some tips to remember when combining prints of different scales:
- Start with a larger dominant print that will draw the eye and anchor the outfit.
- Choose a smaller-scale print with at least one colour in common with your dominant print.
- Mix and match the two prints in different ways. For example, you may wear a top with a large floral print and pair it with pants with a small polka dot print. Alternatively, wear a dress with a bold geometric print and add a scarf with a smaller-scale paisley print.
- Experiment with textures to add visual interest to your outfit. For example, you might wear a wool sweater with a large plaid print and pair it with a silk skirt with a small floral print. The contrast between these textures will add depth and dimension to your outfit.
Some classic print pairings include stripes with florals, polka dots with plaids, and animal prints with geometric prints. However, the possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own unique combination.
#3. Pair Complementary Colors and Patterns
Complementary colours sit opposite each other on the colour wheel, creating a vibrant contrast. On the other hand, patterns are designs or motifs that repeat on a fabric.
Classic colour pairing includes blue with orange, red with green, and yellow with purple, while contemporary patterns may range from stripes and polka dots to florals and geometrics. You must choose designs with contrasting shapes, sizes, or texture elements.
Here are a few tips to successfully pair complementary colours and patterns:
- If you have a bold and vibrant pattern, pair it with a solid colour or a more subdued pattern to create a visual equilibrium.
- Choose a dominant and a supporting element to take the spotlight and a complementary colour or pattern that acts as a supporting player.
- Use complementary colours and patterns as accents rather than overwhelming your entire outfit.
- Play around with the scale of the patterns you’re working with. For instance, if you have a large-scale floral pattern as your dominant element, consider pairing it with a small-scale polka dot pattern as the supporting element.
Unleash Your Inner Stylist
Feel free to experiment with different patterns, textures, and colours, and remember that confidence is critical when pulling off a bold and eye-catching look. Embrace your inner fashionista, and show the world you’re a pro!