Performancing Metrics

3.22.2011

The Pattern Effect



One of my hopes for this blog is that it can be a place for conversations, so I really love hearing from readers!  One reader commented last week that she was going to try mixing patterns in her own wardrobe (Yes, Mrs. G!). This is something you can try without having to purchase anything new – everybody has printed clothing in their closet, all it takes is a little time to think about it differently!  So I thought I’d post some tips to help you along the (primrose printed?) path…


Step One: You can think of some patterns as a base. Houndstooth, stripes, tweeds, dots or bouclĂ© can all work just like a solid when building your outfit.  This is particularly true when they are neutrals, but colors can work, too - this olive and cream bouclĂ© skirt works to anchor all of the other prints in this outfit. 


Step Two: Make sure the patterns share a common color. This helps to visually tie all the pieces together. Here, the skirt, blouse and sweater all include the same olive green color. The shade you match doesn’t have to be a bright color, though; you can also match the background or the neutral tones in your patterns. If you want to take it up a notch, you can match prints in the same color family. 


Step Three: You are looking for patterns that are a different size or density – this further accentuates the contrast. This sweater has a large, splotchy print, while the blouse has a smaller, more uniform print. 


Step Four: Tie everything together with accessories. Are black tights and shoes universally flattering and practical? You betcha! And along with black sunglasses and a belt, they help to create some consistency with the entire outfit. 


Step Five: Don’t think you have to go for broke and mix patterns on every item of clothing you wear. Wear a printed skirt, a plain top and a patterned scarf! Or try a blouse with a large print, a plain trouser and a pair of floral shoes. 


Give it a try – I think you will be amazed at how many more combinations you will find in your own closet once you start mixing patterns.  I’d love to see what you come up with!

See more How To's on the TBF How To page!


Blouse: Liberty of London for Target
Sweater: J. Crew
Skirt: LeSuit
Shoes: Aldo
Bracelets: Collected over the years
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
and, due to popular demand....
Clinton the Cat - He was anxious for this shoot to be over so that we could get on to the important business of strings and snuggles. Thanks, Animal Rescue League of Boston, for helping me find my feline companion!