Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On Pattern Mixing

All last week, I experimented with pattern mixing.  There are many rules to follow, such as, similar size, same color group, follow a thread, etc., but I found the rules didn't necessarily work as I thought they would.  It was strictly trial and error.

Here I thought that the black would give it continuity, and the repetitive polka dot would be a "rest" to the artistic pattern of the sweater.  Still way too much going on.

Next up, I tried the same color group with two different sized prints.  Better here, but still a lot going on.  At the end of the day, I liked this-- but wasn't IN LOVE.

This time, I used  the same color group and used a small print with a large one.  Success!  I was still lovin' this at the end of the day.

So what did I learn?  It's really a lot of trial and error, but for me, working in a simple color group worked the best.  Small prints are easier than large ones.  Think of quilts.

I know some of you are trying this.  It can breath fresh air into your wardrobe and extend your closet.  What have you found?


  1. Paula, I think the mixing of patterns and colors (including that fantastic umbrella) is something you should continue on wearing. All the outfits look stunning on you and they showcase your creative personality!

  2. I love the outfit with the umbrella...I think it completely works!! You have an artistic eye which gives you a distinct advantage. You did good!!

  3. I agree with Pam. I actually really like the outfit with the umbrella. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Thank you for visiting my post and the sweet comments! So, I am working on pattern mixing. It only works for me if the pieces are in the same color group and with either the SAME pattern size or VERY DIFFERENT sizes. I tried it today and I love the way it turned out. I love the last outfit here - the same one you liked. The other's weren't a total fail, though... you have great style! Cheers!

  5. I actually like the first outfit - maybe if you chose a simpler tights/shoe combination it would really work. I like the last one too. Very pretty.

    I don't have all that many prints to work with in my wardrobe. I did combine a printed skirt with a printed scarf successfully, but they were very much the same scale and color way, so it was a safe bet.

    I think like you said it's trial and error!


  6. And you really need to add some share buttons!!!!!!!

  7. So much is really trial and error. No hard and fast rules on pattern mixing. Personal I find that the smaller pattern works best on top with the bigger, or bolder pattern on bottom. And I mix in 3's. It's like rhyming for a poem. You need a sense of rhythm to make it work. Kudos on your pattern play!

  8. I love mixing patterns and you are great at it! I love the pink with the green outfit and the first look with the polka dots because that's how I usually mix. In the second look, the top and umbrella just go together. So far, I've mixed dots with stripes, different colored stripes, leopard with camo and small prints with stripes. It is a fun style to try.

  9. You look fresh and pretty in all three. I like the first look a lot, with the polka dot skirt. I especially love that print sweater. And the third outfit is really grand with the splash of solid pink. I so envy your eye for color.

  10. Patterns give me hives, but lovely bloggers like YOU give me hope and confidence to give it a whirl. I'm in love with that last look. So so pretty!

  11. The second one is SO Anthropologie, can't you see them making a dress like that? The first I'm with everyone else maybe a tight adjustment? I love the third one too, beautiful colors! I can't get color blocking let alone mixing patterns, I admire you for being able to do it!

  12. I LOVE learning about fashion from an artist's perspective. Pattern mixing is just too much for me most days, so I really appreciate your excellent lessons.

    Also, I quite like all of your efforts (and your fabulous clothes)!

  13. The picture of you with your hair blowing is really beautiful. Love that outfit.

  14. I love all these outfits but I think the last one is my favorite. I'm a little timid about pattern mixing, will usually only go with florals and stripes, which I've always loved.

  15. Ofelia~You are so sweet! Pattern mixing does take more thought tho than just regular mixing. I may take a break!
    Thanks, Pam! Have you tried yet?
    Laniza~I liked that one too--it almost could be a dress.
    Sherry~I'll have to check your experiment out! its a change, no?
    Heather~I never even thought of the stocking thing--I wear them more out of necessity now as it is still cold, and I abhore nylons! What are share buttons?
    Bella~smaller on top; I'll have to try that, thanks!
    Debbie~I'm already thinking of how to mix more graphic ones like stripes in too!
    Patti~and how sweet was Terri over at Rags to send me that sweater! I love it too~
    Doreen~you make me laugh! You can get used to them....little at a time!
    Dhamma~wow you have a good eye--the top is anthropologie! and I lvoe it and yes, I can see it as a dress!
    Adubs~Glad I could be of help! It IS difficult tho to get it right....
    Sue~Its so air-fan-for-the-model-look, no?
    Jill~but that is daring too--florals and stripes!

  16. I love the first two looks the best, but then again, you know me...I am a mixer, hehheheheh.
    Much love from Berlin.

  17. The experiments were successful, you look awesome on these prints combo.Very cute the pic with umbrela.

  18. I love the second look quite a lot myself. I know that my own efforts in pattern mixing are fairly timid, but at least I have begun.

  19. I love this outfit.... I was over at Pam's place and you said you wear mini-skirts... I can't find you in one. Do you really wear them? You DO have the figure to wear one - I was just wanting to see it! LOL. Cheers!

  20. ...again...you look fabulous...i just love the pattern mixing & over time i hope i can work this into my wardrobe, as well...louise