Mixing patterns in an outfit is an acquired taste, and some versions of the look are more subtle than others. The more hectic and maximal versions clash in colour, pattern size and pattern type, which is in itself a trendy look. Combining bold, bright and big patterns in different colours can clash to such an extent that they create visual harmony. Subtle pattern mixes are tonal, neutral, and the patterns are usually small. Either way, there’s a pattern mixed look for each of us.
I thoroughly enjoy wearing and looking at pattern mixed outfits, and like almost every version of the vibe. Sometimes my pattern mixed outfits are maximal, and sometimes more subtle depending on my mood. To refresh your memory, here’s how to pattern mix if you’re trying the vibe for the first time. Here’s how to do pattern mixing lite. There are four patterns that are easiest for pattern mixing, and here is something for advanced pattern mixers.
Some pattern mixed looks to get those creative juices flowing:
1. Stripes & Florals
Combining a simple and small scale geometric pattern like a gingham or stripe with any floral is compelling. The cream and black in both patterns here are what allow the eye to rest and pull the look together. The black bag further complements the outfit.
2. Chevron & Dots
It’s effective to combine a quiet pattern (the dots) with a loud pattern (the chevron). Polka dots are generally easy to pattern mix with when they’re two-toned, small, and subtle. Here the black in both patterns is what pulls the look together. The blonde hair of the model picks up the cream in the top, while the silver boots pick up the metallic in the skirt. The eye can rest because it can see colour repetition.
3. Spice it Up
Wearing two busy patterns in the same palette creates hectic harmony. Here there’s almost a positive and negative pattern effect that works well. The colour-blocking on the lower legs of the pants creates a third pattern, which is quite jarring. But the jarring effect is grounded by the black boots that complement the black of the colour-block.
4. Checks & Florals
The floral and check patterns are big, but not awfully bright. The low contrast of the buffalo check makes it just about pass for a false plain instead of a pattern. The hues of the check are repeated in the floral which makes them gel. The cream boots further strengthen the cream in the patterns which unifies the components. The unexpected blush bag is delicious.
5. Tartan Squared
Both tartans are neutral and earthy. The geometric repetition as well as the white and black present in both tartans are what bind the patterns together. The white top matches the white in the patterns. The black boots match the black in the pattern and bookend the model’s hair. The effect is a very friendly clash because there is enough common ground and repetition between the elements of the outfit.
Who else likes to pattern mix? I’m looking forward to seeing lots of pattern mixed outfits on the forum.
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