Beginners guide to mixing patterns, colours and textures.

How to mix patterns like a pro!

Having fun with fashion.

Mixing patterns (and colours) without looking like you got dressed in the dark...or fell into a jumble sale covered in glue.

Or, As I read in a forum recently "Without looking Wackadoodle" I love that!

As you have probably figured out by now (if you have read any of my previous posts) I am a big fan of colours and patterns.
I usually get dressed without thinking about it too much about it...just grabbing what I feel like wearing and going for it!
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Either way, I have fun.

Perhaps I do look a little 'Wackadoodle" in some people's eyes but, I am a big fan of believing in yourself.
See this post about confidence, and my daughter's wise words.

If you are a little shy, tweet me a picture of your outfit, and I can give you a cheer!

One subtle pattern.

Mixing patterns | Fake FabulousSee the original posts here...Left, middle, right

One pattern does not have to mean boring.
The "Jeans and a nice top" or "Black trousers and a patterned jumper" outfits are nice enough, but if you want to mix it up a little, try adding the pattern to your bottom half or an accessory.

Keep things interesting by adding textures (like a knit) or contrasting colours, like a nude leather jacket. You can also pick out some tonal colours from your pattern.
Don't forget that colours add depth and interest to you look.

One Pattern with brighter colours.

Mixing patterns | Fake FabulousSee the original posts here...left and right.

If you are feeling a little bolder try picking out colours from your pattern... like the subtle version on the right (brown tights) or the punchier look on the left. (coloured tights and a contrasting top).
See how I toned down the effect with a somber Camel Coat and a tan shoe?
Mixing patterns | Fake Fabulous
See the original posts here...left and right.

There is nothing to stop you adding a serious punch of colour using your hosiery....see a beginners guide to wearing coloured tights .

I picked out orange flecks from the top on the left and the blue of the birds on the right.
You don't need to pick out colour with tights, I know they can be quite scary! Try a fab bag, shoes or belt.

One pattern with bright, tonal colours.

Mixing patterns | Fake FabulousSee the original posts here...left, middle, right.

Oh, how I love a pop of blue!
Try thinking outside of the box and trying a tone-on-tone look.
Adding a pop of colour in the form of a pink shoe, a quirky bag or a red lip can add drama (not that blue legs need any more drama!)

One pattern, with a contrast.


Mixing patterns | Fake FabulousSee the original posts here...left, middle, right.

Try mixing your patterned item with a high contrast colour.
Red goes really well with black and white, it is a classic combination.
Remember to add textures and interesting accessories...like Over-the-knee boots or a statement necklace.
You can add a pop of accent colour like the blue shoes (on the right) to amp up the volume even more!

Two patterns, subtle palettes.

Mixing patterns | Fake FabulousSee the original posts here...left, middle, right.

These outfits might have subtle colour palettes but there is more than one way to skin a cat!
A subtle palette does not mean boring.
Add unusual shapes, vintage shoes, quirky accessories...think textures, like wool and leather or patterns in unusual places, like tights.
There is a lot of black in all three of these looks, but you can't call them boring!

Two patterns, high contrast...highlighting and grounding.

Mixing patterns | Fake Fabulous


This outfit has only two patterns in it (well, okay.. three if you include my shoes) but it seems like more because of the contrasting colours.
The jacket picks out the colours in the birds' tails.
The red belt, cuff and blue bag add more interest, also highlighting the pattern.

Mixing patterns | Fake FabulousSee the original posts here...left, middle, right,

You can always tone-down a bright colour and/or pattern combination by grounding the look with a neutral.
In the three looks above the grounding colours are: Black, Navy and Nude/buff.
Think about your accessories...I used a tassel bag, patent booties and furry pompoms to add more fun and interest.

Mixing patterns | Fake Fabulous


In this outfit the jumper almost provided a third pattern because of it's rich texture.
Don't be afraid to bring some different textures into your outfits.
Mix the rough with the smooth!

Three patterns, tone on tone.

Mixing patterns | Fake Fabulous

See the original posts here...left, middle, right.

When the number of patterns you are mixing increases, you can tone down the effect by sticking to a similar colour palette.
The three looks above are bold, but the colours blend together.
Let's talk about the middle image...
There is a little more going on, but see how I toned down the look by adding a neutral boot (okay, it has a tassel...I could not resist!), belt and bag?
Neutral accessories can ground a potentially chaotic ensemble.
Don't be afraid of adding textures to such a busy look...the shoes on the right are crushed velvet and attention grabbing.

Mixing patterns | Fake Fabulous

Three patterns with contrast.

Mixing patterns | Fake Fabulous

See the original posts here...left, middle, right.

Please excuse my glum expression in the first shot..I was not very impressed with these culottes.
In the first outfit the three patterns are just subtle touches, a sleeve, bag and scarf.
The rest of the outfit is made up of solid blocks of complementary colours.
Don't be afraid to add a fun accessory like a hat, colourful tights or statement shoes.

Things to think about when mixing patterns:


  • If in doubt, match the colours not the print.
  • Tone things down with blocks of solid colour.
  • Add neutrals like Navy, Black, Denim, Nude, White or Grey.
  • Try using one dominant and one accent print/pattern.
  • Experiment with different scales (oversized spots with a teeny dot).
  • Mix geometric patterns with organic ones (like birds and stripes or florals and checks).
  • If you want to all out CLASH..go for it!! Try adding a grounding layer, like a wide neutral belt.
  • Experiment with the same intensity of colours and colours in the same family (e.g purples and pinks or oranges and yellows).
  • If you are a little shy SPOTS and STRIPES are a great way to start!
The most important 'rule' of all...

Have Fun and smile, Confidence is the best accessory!

Do you love to mix your patterns?
Do you have any great tips?Please let me know in the comments...or tweet me @samantha4blair.




14 comments

  1. You are the master...I must admit! And the word "wackadoodle"....I think it's my new fave!! One of my theories is how we dressed stems back to how we were raised and mom always said "one print only"---thus it's taking me awhile to wrap my head around this concept! But interior designers do it all the time....I may be slow, but I'm persistent, so I'll do it soon!!! jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I know you can do it Jodie! You are already a great colour and texture mixer. I would love to see some more patterns thrown in! XXX

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  2. I love that it shows that you have fun with your clothes! And what you do works! It's totally not "wackadoodle!" I love that word, too though!

    I just started getting into pattern mixing a little bit recently. When I think of it, I don't really have a lot of clothes with patterns, maybe because I always thought they were so hard to "match"... I do love to play with textures.

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    Replies
    1. It is a fab word, isn't it Andrea?! I did actually laugh out loud when I read it. XXX

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  3. I love all of these. You look fab and your advice is spot on!

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  4. You've got some serious pattern style going on here. I love that you are bold with pattern and colour.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thank you Suzanne, I am glad you like the mix-up! XXX

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  5. I always admire your fashion risks, they always work so well! You are the queen of mixing patterns with vibrant colors.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you Thursday.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Alice! What a fantastic compliment. XXX

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  6. I have four words: YOU ARE THE PRO!

    Seriously!! You have so proven that!! Look at all of these awesome examples. I just can't believe it. You are seriously my style inspiration--as I'm wearing all black and white. Blah. I need to embrace some coloah! STAT!!

    Bravo Samantha. I seriously think you are a style GODDESS!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have four words: YOU ARE THE PRO!

    Seriously!! You have so proven that!! Look at all of these awesome examples. I just can't believe it. You are seriously my style inspiration--as I'm wearing all black and white. Blah. I need to embrace some coloah! STAT!!

    Bravo Samantha. I seriously think you are a style GODDESS!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

    ReplyDelete
  8. this could be a modern bible on how to do pattern. I totally admire your style and attitude. Go girl
    www.lookingfabulousat50.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Anna! You are very kind. XXX

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