A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns #iwillwearwhatilike

A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)

Mixing patterns is far from new for me.

In fact I’ve been doing it since I started blogging – see the first recorded instance I could find of a mixed pattern here, just two months in, way back in September 2011. As I have nearly the best part of a decade of mixed prints under my belt (so to speak), I guess that makes me an expert, right…?!  ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

Seriously, though: it’s not something I put any great thought into at all, I simply see patterns as colours. And if you can coordinate colours, then you can mix prints. I’ve just been doing a looooong time and therefore have developed an eye for it, I guess.

 

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A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)

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I know A LOT of people are still scared of pattern mixing, but as I mentioned it’s mostly all about getting the colours right.

There’s just one basic “rule” to follow: Make sure both patterns have at least one, or preferably two or more, colours in common.

They’ll then naturally complement each other.

Another tip is to try and get the scale of patterns roughly the same. Here my windowpane check is big and bold, and although the geometric (who knows what you call THAT pattern on the trousers) print has some ‘bitty’ elements to it, it’s still a big pattern overall.

Big, bold checks might not work well with a tiny polka dot, for example… but never say never. Rules are made to be broken, ESPECIALLY when it comes to putting outfits together. Just experiment and if you like it, wear it.

This jacket and these trousers coordinate because there’s white in both patterns. And the pink sweater ties in with the pink of the trouser pattern, so although I might want to introduce another colour(!), the outfit already has plenty of colours in it so it’d probably look messy to try and introduce yet another hue that doesn’t work with anything.

Those of you who’ve been following me for a while might be thinking Oh gawwwd, there’s that windowpane jacket YET AGAIN. Hopefully what you’re ACTUALLY thinking is Oh WOW there’s that fabulous windowpane jacket again – I’d love to see all the ways in which she’s styled it over the years!

So if you’re the latter, keep scrolling and you’ll find four other ways I’ve worn it (there were many more than just four). If you’re the former I can only apologise, hehe.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how much of an expert pattern mixer are YOU? Comment below…

 

Stay safe, XOXO

Catherine signature

P.S. Do add your outfits to this week’s link up – and if you’ve added a link to here or my button to your post you may be featured in my bi-monthly Women Who Wear What They Like post!

A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)
A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)
A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)
A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)
A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)

Jacket: George at Asda (old, similar)
Sweater: Dorothy Perkins (old, similar)
Trousers: Asos (I like these)
Trainers: Amazon (similar)
Watch: Daniel Wellington
Sunglasses: Asos
Earrings: French Connection / Orelia
Ear cuffs: Asos / Orelia / Topshop

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Other wide leg patterned trousers you might like:

 

5 ways to wear a windowpane check jacket…

Here are some of the other ways I’ve worn my windowpane check jacket so you can see the different ways it can be styled:

5 Ways to Wear a Black & White Windowpane Check Jacket | Not Dressed As Lamb

Original posts: Top middle / Top right / Bottom middle / Bottom right (notice how I’m wearing the co-ord top – that goes with the trousers I’m wearing today – with the flared jeans outfit!)

Pin for later!

5 Ways to Wear a Black & White Windowpane Check Jacket | Not Dressed As Lamb

 

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A Quick Guide to Mixing Patterns | Not Dressed As Lamb, Style Over 40 (outfit: black and white longline windowpane check jacket, pink and navy patterned wide leg trousers, pink fluffy sweater, white flatform trainers. oversized leopard sunglasses)
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42 Comments

  1. 30 November 2020 / 9:23 pm

    I love your approach to wearing pieces that have lived in the closet for a long time. Some of mine are more than forty years old and still look good when paired up with something newer. This casual outfit I think would look great with a fitted blue denim jacket…which would pick up the blue in the loose trousers. But that’s the fun of mixing and matching…anything goes and keeps the possibility of a new look with a new match up.

  2. Anna
    6 November 2020 / 6:25 pm

    Pattern mix is fun, but it depends on what look or style you are going for. While you look is a happy one that will bring a smile, I wouldn’t call it exactly elegant. So, while some wild pattern mix might be good for one occasion, it might not be the perfect look for some other event.

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 8:55 pm

      Anna I think you’ve missed the point of my blog and of my #iwillwearwhatilike message… I wasn’t going for elegant (I rarely do)! While I agree with you that not every outfit is occasion appropriate – I believe in that over age appropriateness, for example I think it’s unacceptable to wear jeans and trainers to a church wedding – mixing patterns has nothing to do with occasion appropriateness. Nor does it “have” to be elegant. If you don’t think this outfit is to your taste that’s perfectly fine, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like what I wear (and that’s the only person whose opinion matters to me)!

      I just hope you also wear what you like without worrying about what others think…!

  3. 5 November 2020 / 1:54 am

    Hi, Catherine – I love how you said “never say never” and “just experiment and if you like it wear it”! I’d add to that: just be your true self. Lol! Thanks for sharing – Angie

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:16 pm

      Hehe I’ll ALWAYS add a caveat to any “rules” I mention here, Angie!! Thanks my lovely xo

  4. 31 October 2020 / 3:55 pm

    Your style is so bold and I adore it!

    Danielle xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:19 pm

      Aww thanks Danielle!

  5. 30 October 2020 / 11:44 pm

    I love those trousers, and they look fab with the windowpane check jacket! There’s nothing wrong with wearing something on repeat…it just proves you’ve bought wisely!

    Emma xxx

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:19 pm

      Thank you Emma – the windowpane jacket couldn’t have been a wiser buy as I’ve worn it SOOOOO much…! 😉

  6. 29 October 2020 / 11:41 pm

    Love those pants! I enjoy putting colours together, and and I’m definitely getting a little bit more adventurous as I’m going along.
    Alison xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:19 pm

      Thanks Alison – and that’s great to hear! x

  7. 28 October 2020 / 11:54 pm

    Oh this is so up my alley!! LOving your outfit so much!! And I agree with all your tips! xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:20 pm

      Thank you Lucy xoxo 😀

  8. 28 October 2020 / 2:16 pm

    I love your patterned wide trousers. And love mixing prints. I need to do more of it.

  9. 28 October 2020 / 7:48 am

    oooh i LOVE your pants! Great pattern mixing and thanks again for hosting a link up!

    Life is a Shoe

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:42 pm

      Pleasure Celyn – thank you for linking up! x

  10. 28 October 2020 / 3:15 am

    This outfit is fabulous on you! I love how you mixed prints here!

    I hope you are having a great week!

    Amber

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:42 pm

      Thank you Amber xx

  11. 28 October 2020 / 1:00 am

    I love to mix patterns, Catherine, but I’m afraid I’m still staying in the “Safe” zone when I do. I definitely get inspiration from your practice. I love to see how you make pattern mixing work!!

    xx Darlene

    For the record, I DO love that windowpane jacket! Lol!

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:45 pm

      Everyone has their different level of “safe” pattern mixing, Darelene – and that’s perfectly okay! I consider this one quite safe for me as I didn’t even realise I’d mixed patterns until I looked at the photos… 😉

      Thanks my lovely x

  12. 28 October 2020 / 12:14 am

    Looking so very nice. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:46 pm

      thank you so much Patrick! x

  13. Renee
    27 October 2020 / 10:15 pm

    I really love how you throw in “here’s 5 other ways I’ve worn this garment in the past.” I appreciate the excitement of getting new things, and I understand that bloggers make money from sales that are referred through their blogs. I don’t begrudge anyone that. But I really appreciate the idea of getting something new and incorporating it into the rest of your existing wardrobe, or taking something old, and remixing it to make it look fresh. I don’t think most women our age (or any age, really) are turning over their entire wardrobe every season, even though you’d think that was the case by the way some fashion bloggers appear. And I enjoy pattern mixing, although my version is basically to add some leopard to whatever else I’m wearing, whether it’s paisley or missoni-inspired zig zag or whatever.

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:48 pm

      Thanks Renee – I don’t know anyone who DOES turn over their wardrobe every year… is it just a myth that brands try to sell to us?!! It wouldn’t surprise me.

      Anyway thank you, I’m so glad you like the Ways to Wear feature <3

  14. 27 October 2020 / 6:42 pm

    I love this outfit, Catherine! As for me and pattern mixing? I am a 1. LOL! My first attempt occurred this week as I was preparing to participate in Gail’s 7 Days of Skirts challenge. I attempted it with one skirt, but it was an act of desperation as I don’t really have anything that matches this one particular skirt. We will see if it was a hit or miss.

    Michelle

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:50 pm

      Thanks Michelle! I think I’ve just had A LOT of practice at the pattern mixing thing and now it comes naturally to me, like anything else you do over and over. The experimenting thing is the fun part, and who cares if it didn’t work? Just keep having fun trying…!

  15. 27 October 2020 / 5:56 pm

    I like this Catherine, and on analysis I would say that it’s mainly because the top is so flattering on you – so aside from the tips that you gave, a deciding factor with prints, for me anyway, would be the colour next to my face.

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:51 pm

      Aww thanks Ratnamurti – I do love that particular shade of pink 😀

  16. Pilar
    27 October 2020 / 5:53 pm

    I really like THAT jacket
    I am a little scared of pattern mixing though. The farthest I’ve come is mixing a b&w polkadot blouse with a b&w stripped skirt so not very adventurous there….
    How can you walk in those trainers!!?? I got a similar pair because I needed a 2” flatform to be the same height as my orthopedic boot and now that I am out of it I just can’t walk on those platforms!!! I wonder if I could walk on heels again but not until dr oks it.
    Hopefully this winter will bring me new opportunities to try and mix patterns….

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:53 pm

      Thanks Pilar – sometimes the old faves are the best!

      I find it no problem to walk in the trainers – I’ve worn them to walk into town or for a day out and about… I wouldn’t wear them for an actual walk-walk, but they’re fine for me for a “day shoe”…!!

  17. 27 October 2020 / 4:39 pm

    Yep. This scares the hell out of me! Being short makes it harder I think. Love it on you though xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:53 pm

      Hehe thanks Laurie 😉 x

  18. 27 October 2020 / 3:24 pm

    HI Catherine!
    It is good to see just how many ways you can wear a garment, like this cool windowpane jacket. Love these two print mixed. I enjoy doing this as well and find it so interesting to look at! Love the cozy top and the color.
    jess xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much lovely Jess! x

  19. 27 October 2020 / 3:15 pm

    Oh that looks so good! Very nice trousers! Before blogging I only wore black. So print mixing was a totally different world for me. But now I love doing it from time to time.

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Thank you Nancy – I bet you’re glad you don’t wear just black anymore…?!

  20. 27 October 2020 / 3:12 pm

    The master of pattern mixing! I’ve been doing more of it lately but usually in the same colours.

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Aww thanks Gail!! 😉

  21. 27 October 2020 / 3:06 pm

    Looks great Catherine, I should try, but it never seems to work for me. The best I can do is match patterns of the same colours – and they are usually textures. Jacqui x

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Thank you Jacqui – I guess for me it’s just come with practice! x

  22. 27 October 2020 / 3:00 pm

    I love this pattern mix and your window pane jacket! I just found a similar silk window pane jacket out thrifting yesterday. It is a bit too big so I am trying to figure some hacks to make it work. I always admired those bold women who could mix prints but never had the courage to try until I started blogging. And now I feel like I am an expert, too. Like you, I only see the colors and patterns and if they appeal to me, I pair them together. This was a fun post!

    Shelbee

    • Catherine
      Author
      6 November 2020 / 12:55 pm

      As I’ve said to others here it’s just practice, isn’t it Shelbee?! Thanks hon xo

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