How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro

Whether you like her or not, when it comes to mixing patterns successfully – Carrie Bradshaw is the gal to look up to. You may think that it was easy for her since a) she is a fictional character and b) she had an army of stylists and designers at her beck and call. This is all true, but does not change the fact that you too can be a pattern-mixing genius. You just need a bit of guidance. So, in the words of Eddie Izzard: “Stick with me, my story gets better”.

Stripy Pants and Blouses Are Your Safety Net

If you are a mixing neophyte, start with stripes. They have had a pretty good run this year, and according to all the relevant fashion magazines, their reign will continue throughout 2017. When putting stripes on stripes, you need to make sure that the two garments, for example a pair of pants and a blouse, do not overpower each other. If your blouse has strong diagonal stripes, those of the pants should be thin and vertical. With this combo, it is best to keep your outerwear simple. Therefore, a grey or camel trench coat will do the trick. Another experiment you can conduct is the flowers-on-stripes style. A good pair of jeans, a cotton stripy shirt, and a colorful flower-patterned scarf: a match made in heaven. With this, you could even pull off a grass-green coat. In case you are in need of more fresh ideas, head over to Harper’s Bazaar.

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Dresses Are a Godsend

Whoever invented all of the amazing ladies dresses should be given a lifetime achievement award. Seriously, they are easy to mix, and when you have no idea what to wear, a dress is the simplest and most effective item you can pull out of your closet. A floral dress can be perfectly matched with a royal blue jacket, and since the outerwear is simple, it leaves you the space to play in the accessories department, so you can, for example carry a checkered clutch and add geometric silk neck scarf. Another option is to keep the dress simple, and allow yourself a colorful coat, or something along the lines of this look.

When on the subject of dresses, the polka dot is the one print that apparently has no intention of throwing in the towel just yet. If you are one of those polka dot advocates then come on in, the more the merrier. One piece of advice crucial for a successful marriage between a polka dot and other patterns is that the size of the dots should be minimal. Otherwise it will swallow your figure and make you look like a walking Lichtenstein print.

A Shoe and a Bag Go a Long Way

According to major retailers, the shoe of 2017 will be full of prints, patterns, glitter and other embellishments. This is good news for those who do not yet feel comfortable enough to experiment with clothes. A patterned shoe allows you to stay in your comfort zone as far as the rest of your attire goes, but there is a catch. If you are not ready to take the plunge with clothes, then something’s gotta give – and that something is the bag. Play with block colored bags, geometric clutches, even dab in the leopard print arena. The world is your oyster.

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One last piece of advice is this: When mixing patterns mind the colour palette. The colours do not need to match, but they do have to be complementary, otherwise you risk looking like a bag lady. Now go, open your closet and be fierce. You got this.

– Elise Morgan

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