As someone who loves pattern mixing, it was quite easy to come up with lots of examples for this ways to wear post. In my first year of blogging (2011) I was dubbed the “Queen of Clash” – I’m pretty fearless when it comes to mixed patterns and quite often I can mix up to three patterns and not even realise I’ve done it.
My best tip for mixing your patterns is to ensure that at least one colour is repeated in both. Even if that colour is black (or white), a common colour will ensure they don’t clash… how’s that for a contradiction in terms?! Seriously, though – I’ve looked at all the examples I’ve given here and they do follow that “rule” (let’s call it a guideline). Another tip is to mix the same type of pattern in different colour ways: for example, blue leopard with orange leopard, or blue/red floral with red/blue floral.
If head-to-toe pattern mixing frightens you, there are subtler ways to do it. A patterned scarf with a patterned top in similar colours or two black and white prints that aren’t actually on top of each other are good ways to ease yourself in.
Are you an avid pattern mixer? What are your go-to mixed patterns of choice, and are you on the subtle or extreme scale? Do share in the comments!
Subtle pattern mixing
This is your best bet if you’re afraid of pattern mixing or have never mixed them before. Either keep the patterns away from each other with a plain piece in-between, or choose one bold and one small pattern. Keep at least one consistent colour throughout and they won’t jar like you think they might.
Subtle pattern mix #1 – A contrast of feminine rose print with a masculine camo (original post)
Subtle pattern mix #2 – A very obvious check with a very subtle, thin stripe (original post)
Subtle pattern mix #3 – Bold polka dots with a neck scarf in the same colour way (original post)
Subtle pattern mix #4 – Two black and white prints separated by a solid block of colour (original post)
Regular pattern mixing
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, go for two pieces in bolder patterns, again with a similar colour palette or 1-2 colours repeated in both. Rather than doing it head-to-toe you can break it up with a solid colour jacket, trousers or top (depending on your other pieces). The patterns can be be as wildly different as you like, just keep a colour theme in mind and you can’t go wrong.
Regular pattern mix #1 – A top with medium-sized polka dots picking out the red in a bold geometric print jacket (original post)
Regular pattern mix #2 – Three checks, from bold to subtle, all including a deep red colour (original post)
Regular pattern mix #3 – Two leopard prints in contrasting colours toned down with a neutral trench (original post)
Regular pattern mix #4 – The summer classic: florals and stripes, with blue in both (original post)
Extreme pattern mixing
This is where you can go a bit crazy with three (or four!) patterns, head-to-toe-everything patterned, or really, really bold combinations. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but you can get a coherent look by using a colour theme or a consistent pattern running throughout. If you buy pieces from a brand’s particular collection you often find that they’ll work beautifully together as they’ve been designed to at least look good next to each other on the store’s rails, if not worn together. Go forth, and multiply those patterns…!
Extreme pattern mix #1 – Taupe-based bird print and stripes with a graphic floral in navy and taupe (original post)
Extreme pattern mix #2 – Three pieces from the same brand: Two versions of the same floral plus a bold window pane check (original post)
Extreme pattern mix #3 – Two prints with blue backgrounds with similarly-sized (but different) patterns (original post)
Extreme pattern mix #4 – Head-to-toe double floral with the same blue and red in both (original post)
Here are my favourite ready-mixed patterned pieces out there right now… they save you all the work!
P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy 8 Ways to Wear (and Accessorise With) Yellow – just in time for summer!
Photos: Silver Londoner | Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style Sessions, Turning Heads Tuesday, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Brilliant Blog Posts, Throwback Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday’s Fab Favourites