If there was a fashion themed version of the song “My Favorite Things,” I would have to include a line that honored patterns and how much fun they are to mix. It could be a striped top with cheetah print flats, a floral skirt with a plaid coat, or some of Dries Van Notens’s looks from his grunge inspired spring 2013 ready-to-wear collection.
Today’s Fashionista successfully mixes her polka-dot dress with a knotted plaid button-down. Her pattern mixing works because the polka-dots are small enough to not completely clash with the plaid. The two prints balance each other out. If the polka-dots were larger, this combination might not have worked as well. This look also works because the shades of blue in the button-down go with the dark blue base of her dress. Although combinging patterns that have completely different shades of color in them can look amazing (like pale blue stripes with bright orange florals), keeping them in the same color scheme is another great way to mingle pattern.
Her overall look makes me think of a stylish urban cowgirl. The plaid and boots pay homage to the countryside, but her dress and accessories keep it consistent with the city. Although it’s almost time to pull out the tights, this Fashionista utilizes some tall socks and boots. This is not only one way to keep your calves warm, but it also looks good over super skinny jeans, bare legs and tights. It’s a fun way to play around with patterned socks as well!
Even though integrating prints can be daunting, they can look great when mixed correctly. If you want to take baby steps, start with a soft floral skirt like this Cacharel one and pair it with the blush stone navy version of this J.Crew striped top. Because the two have similar soft tones, they won’t clash in an unappealing way. For a bolder version of this look, combine a similar skirt with a neon-striped top. There are certainly many ways to combine prints, and this will come from much trial and error. I encourage you to take a second look at your closet and try mixing and matching – you never know what can look good together until you try it on.