Q&A Sunday: Mixing Patterns

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Last week, Jess asked me for tips about mixing patterns, and so I’ve been thinking all week about what makes a look succeed or fail when multiple prints are at play. In fact, I’ve been thinking so long and hard that I’m posting this “Q&A Sunday” on Monday morning! (Just kidding. Actually, this week has been kind of hectic: Dale and I moved into our first house! We don’t have internet hooked up yet, so I’m writing this at a coffee shop. Mmm, peppermint latte.)

While mixing patterns can seem intimidating at first, it’s easy to start small and safe:

Mixing Patterns: Step 1

If you are feeling more daring, go ahead and try incorporating two or more patterns through major pieces of your outfit: skirt and top, jacket and shirt, dress and sweater, etc. In general, I’d advise using two different types of patterns (dots, stripes, floral, geometric, animal). It can sometimes be a bit easier if the patterns have some colors in common. Also, I generally like to balance a large-scale pattern with a small-scale pattern so the patterns aren’t fighting each other.

Mixing Patterns: Step 2 (Go Big)

After saying all of that, I love the pure glee that comes from trial and error when mixing patters. Trying crazy combinations and seeing how they look makes me feel like my five-year-old self. So, my last tip is to try different matches–even if they seem wacko–and see how they work!

Question to Jess: Decorative nail painting techniques are everywhere. Are these okay for work?


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