Posts Tagged ‘mixing patterns’

Quote of the Week:

All well and good Mr. Kors.

For some of us, though, mixing and matching can be a scary, intimidating realm that keeps us from even trying. However, adding more color, texture and pattern to our wardrobe can be fun, interesting, definitely stimulating and worth the effort.

So, let’s be bold and step up to the plate and try a little mixing and matching. Let’s get ourselves out of a mindset that whispers in our ear “you could never pull that off!

Are you with me?

Today's lesson plan will offer up a few tips on how to take the intimidation out of that mix and match moment. By the time we're done, nobody will wonder if the lights went out in the closet this morning when we answered the question "What do I wear today?"

Mixing prints can be simple and subtle or big and bold. Wear what makes you comfortable and confident. I chose examples of fabric swatches that are fairly common to most of our wardrobes. Most of us might have something striped, dotted, checked, floral or plaid. These are basic and a great place to begin.

  • Keep your fabrics in the same color family. Match colors not prints. Always pick two different prints that share a single color. My swatches all share the color blue, navy to be specific.
  • Choose one print to dominate and one as an accent. If the stripe or floral is the dominant piece, then accent with a dot or plaid or another print which keeps true to the color of choice.
  • Mix prints of different scales like tiny dots with larger scale stripes.
  • Always treat stripes as a neutral. If hesitant, start with a stripe top, skirt or pant and pair with a polka dot in the same color tone.
Stripes and dots are an easy way to mix patterns. I’ll say again treat the stripe as a neutral and keep the colors in the same tone. Also, if you’re feeling unsure, you can always ground the two mixed pieces with a solid color as done with the jean jacket on the third model.
If you want to use the same print, invert the colors as shown on the first model. Navy dots on white blouse with white dots on navy skirt. Also fun to vary the scale – smaller dots on top with larger on the bottom piece. Plaids and dots or florals and plaids are two more easy patterns to mix. (Yes! That’s Sarah Jessica Parker in the middle photo)
You can also take two of the same print and invert them either by color or in a horizontal vs. vertical pattern. The animal print is by color. Both are leopard print but in light and dark versions. Cover a darker leopard print dress with a lighter leopard print cardigan. Or, with the blue stripe: make the top a vertical stripe with a horizontal striped bottom piece or vice versa.
Then, of course, the easiest of all is to find yourself a top or dress or bottom that already has mixed pattern. Pair it with a solid and you’re done!
And last, but certainly not least, always look to accessories to add pattern, color and texture to a mixed outfit. Even the texture in your handbag is considered a pattern to be mixed and matched. Just by adding a striped scarf to a dotted blouse you have started on the path to this fun trend in fashion.

So. . . there you have it. A few tips to get into mixing and matching your wardrobe. If an entire company can make a sock fortune by mixing and matching, certainly we can find two or three pieces in our closet to put together in new and creative ways.

I’ll leave you today with a poem that tickled my fancy! I love children’s literature.

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Quote for the week:

    “Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.”
                                                             ~ Anne Klein

How are you today? Are you up for a bit of a challenge?  Have you got something hanging in your closet that has rarely or even never been worn? Are you up to taking a bit of time to put an outfit together with that item and getting it out of hiding and into the light of day?

I don’t know about you but I often find myself attracted to an item of apparel that, once bought and brought home, ends up permanently hanging in the closet for whatever reason.

As I was contemplating the seasonal switch of one closet to another, I bumped into one of those items . . . giving me renewed motivation to find at least one or two ways to style it and get it out of my closet and into the fresh air, with me in it, of course 

For me this item was a silk kimono in a batik pattern of rich blues and rusts. It immediately “spoke to me” when it arrived at Sound Styles a couple of years ago. There was no doubt that I had to have it. . . just because it was so beautiful and I wanted it to be mine.

Anyone else relate to my impulsive moment?

While I know all too well that kimonos have made a huge fashion statement in recent years, that doesn’t  mean one knows how to comfortably incorporate this lovely trend into one’s own wardrobe. I was a bit stymied so I asume that I subconsciously decided to leave it to my own intuition. . . which is why it still hangs in the closet.

First let me explain that the pictured garments in this post are generic and not my real styled kimono. I’ve recently discovered a fun website where one can practice putting together items and accessories and “play” to find a desired effect. At least my “dress rehearsal” gave me some new ideas about what to do with my own patterned kimono.

I got brave and put it together with a striped blouse which is certainly allowed and doable as long as there is a central element that ties them together… most often this would be color and proportion of one print to the other like the smaller floral pattern on the kimono with the broader stripes of the blouse.  I love long chunky necklaces so that was a “no brainer.” And, yes I would wear the bow-tied blouse and the necklace together but that’s just me. The embroidered black crop jeans are fun, keep it casual, ground the whole outfit with the dark color and the floral embroidery ties in with the floral pattern on the kimono.  Lastly, I love my animal print sneakers and so…. what the heck! I thought they were the pleasing final touch. 


And they also work because of my own “needy” compulsion to mix and match in fun new ways.

Now it’s your turn. Perhaps you want to play in your own closet or perhaps you might be interested in the website of note called Shoplook. However, if time doesn’t allow or you aren’t so inclined, don’t let the garment continue to hide out in your closet. Bring it into Sound Styles and we would love to help in finding ways for you to “style” a piece that challenges you.

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