Mixed pattern fashion is certainly not for everyone. However, if you are feeling like stepping out in a bold way or are looking to make a fashion statement, then consider a few simple rules of thumb when selecting your patterns. In our opinion, mixing patterns only works when you keep in mind one piece can be bold, but the other piece should be subtle. Typically, offsetting bold patterns with solids or simple, subtle patterns can be a great way to truly incorporate your own fashion style in a bold way. The more you can use solid colors as complements the better. Also, be sure to avoid the cardinal rule of mixing patterns with colors that clash.
One of our favorite lines that incorporate a variety of patterns in elegant, feminine ways is Sweet Pea by Stacy Frati. She uses lots of bold, bright patterns and offsets or complements them with accenting solid colors for trim or lining underneath. Consider the Tie Short Dress by Sweet Pea. This dress features a bold fuscia pink and brown floral pattern. For contrast, she uses solid brown for the ties at the waist and in the bodice and around the neckline. The effect of incorporating the contrast is that it helps to add a bit of simplicity to the bold pattern which helps create a more elegant, feminine look.
Consider also branching out into bolder colors and mixing them with non-traditional base colors like navy or brown. For example, we love the look of brown with navy. Of course you want the right shades to make it work, but these are colors we would never have thought pair well together, but we fell in love with the Annabelle top by designer AlixK which features a warm clay brown fabric accented with embroidered flowers in navy. It looks stunning. We also mix solid navy tops with reds, greens, corals, and greys.
When you’re trying to mix in different patterns with solid colors consider wearing accenting colored tank tops under patterned tops. As an example, in the winter we wear navy or black long sleeve tops under the Cotton Stripe Tie Cardigan by Splendid. Similarly, you could also wear a long Kelisha tank top by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer under the Variegated Stripe Loose Jersey Dress for contrast.
In short, when you are exercising your creative licenses with your wardrobe planning and if you feel like stepping out in a bold patterned look, be sure to offset patterns with solid colors as much as possible. Be sure to stay within the realm of colors that work together and beware of mixing patterns with colors that clash. Doubling patterns is not for the faint at heart, so whatever look you create be sure to wear it with confidence and make sure that you do feel confident enough to wear it. There is nothing worse than wearing an outfit that you feel embarrassed to be seen in once you step out of the house.