The colder it becomes this winter, the more layers you have the opportunity to show your creative style with. This Fashionista has chosen to layer her patterns by choosing a back and white striped shirt and tan scarf with red and green plaid, paired with a solid black North Face jacket for warmth.

While mixing patterns has the potential to go horribly wrong, it also presents an opportunity to be done correctly and add depth to any outfit. Unless two patterns are directly competing with each other, it’s possible to incorporate them into a single outfit. Patterns used simultaneously should have different weights to distinguish the two. Block plaid shouldn’t be worn with thick stripes, just like miniature polka-dots shouldn’t be paired with a small graphic. The different patterns need to balance each other rather than fight for attention.

By carrying a similar theme throughout, the patterns will continue to complement each other. Colors can be a common denominator between different prints—just like how this Fashionista chose to remain neutral in her color palate. She balances the two patterns with  solid leggings, boots and coat to bring the focus back up to the stripes and plaid. By adding subtle accessories, like her watch, she carries the green from the scarf down to her wrist and brings the colors full circle.

Multiple patterns can be used in an outfit, assuming they are similar in tastes, but contrasting in print.

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “Don’t be afraid of patterns. Stripes, plaid, herringbone, polka-dots and small prints are my go-tos. It doesn’t have to match; it just has to go.”