Jun 11

Seven Tips for Mixing Patterns and Prints

Image of Wheatfields full length dress with lace bodice, Summer 2012 collection

With a gorgeous lace-top dress,
add some similarly patterned
lace in a different colour – perhaps on an accessory – to create depth.

When it comes to being fashion forward, you can’t beat mixing patterns within the one outfit. While you need to be a little daring and experiment with different patterns, colours, textures and looks to create an artfully clashed outfit, there are also some tips you should keep in mind.

So, to help you make the right fashion statement here are seven tips to create a visual masterpiece of mixed patterns and prints within your fashion comfort zone.

1. Same colour, different pattern
Using the same colour can be a good place to start when trying out the mixed pattern trend. Mixed patterns and prints in a singular colour can help you create a more subtle, refined look while at the same time still showing you are fashion forward.

2. Same pattern, different way
If you are ready to make a bit more of a statement, why not try the same pattern in a different way? Like a horizontal striped blouse with a vertical striped skirt. You could also have exactly the same pattern in completely different colours to give your outfit more depth.

3. Stay within black and white
If you are worried about vibrant clashes of colour, consider choosing clashing patterns within the black and white colour scheme. The effect can be quite dramatic and stunning, without distracting the eye with too much colour.

Stokes April 2 - Outfit 3

Pair a vibrant, patterned dress with a subtle, smaller pattern to create a balanced look.

4. Combine big with small
Wearing two patterns of the same size or weight can create an extremely busy look. You want people to be drawn in, so instead try to experiment with two different pattern sizes. Use a subtle, smaller pattern that may not be evident unless you are close, and balance it out with a bigger, more vibrant pattern.

Keep in mind that the bigger pattern will be what captures attention, so make sure you are drawing eyes to the areas you want them to focus on.

5. Choose complimentary colours
While mixing patterns is about creating a different and sometimes clashing effect, to ensure you get the right impact pair complimentary colours together. Pastels are ideal for a more timeless look, or if you want to be a little more edgy and on trend, merge your favourite colours from the current season’s colour palette.

6. Space the patterns out
Don’t think you have to wear different patterns close together like a patterned skirt or pants with a patterned shirt or jacket to try out the trend. Often, spreading out the patterns can be more striking. So why not team your favourite patterned skirt or pants with a different patterned scarf or hat, or mix your patterned top with different patterned shoes or stockings?

7. Tie it together with neutral or monochrome accessories
If you are a little more daring and choose to wear clashing prints and colours close together, make sure your accessories are neutral or monochrome. Adding a solid coloured bag or belt for instance, can really help to tie your outfit together and give the eye key points to focus on.

What are your tips for mixing patterns and prints?

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