April 15th, 2009
The key to mixing and matching patterns is keeping a running theme throughout the patterns in the outfit. This theme can be size (e.g. mixing a small stripe with a small plaid), pattern (e.g. mixing a small check with a big check), or even color (e.g. mixing a green plaid with a green stripe). Here’s an example of how to mix and match different patterns using color as a unifying theme:
1. Start with a pair of neutral colored trousers and a patterned shirt. The fresh blue gingham is a wonderful counterpoint to the more traditional grey trouser pants.
2. Layer on a sweater in a bold striped pattern. Note how even though both the pattern (stripes vs. gingham plaid) and the size of the repeat (large on the striped sweater, small on the gingham shirt) are very different, they still work together. Because the sweater and the shirt feature the color blue, they still work visually as a pair.
3. Finish off the look with a pair of casual shoes, echoing the laid back (but still pulled together) feel of the cardigan and gingham shirt combo.
How do you mix and match patterns? Share your style with us in the comments!