Friday, June 10, 2011

Mixing Patterns - Inspired by Sarah Owen of Lucy in Disguise

Sarah Owen in Honky Tonk dress by Lucy in Disguise and YSL Leopard Pumps

I loved how Sarah Owen paired her bandana print dress with leopard print pumps! It was so funky and cute! I've seen many fashionistas effortlessly mix patterns in the past and look fabulous, but for me it's always been a bit of a conundrum. However, I've recently been experimenting with this trend and have found that it's not nearly as hard as it looks!

The rules are the same as with most other similar trends like colorblocking. But here's a refresher:

1. Use colors that compliment each other.

2. Keep at least one pattern fairly neutral.

3. Use accessories to tie it all together.

4. The more patterns you mix, the more complicated it gets. When mixing more than 3 patterns, you might want to use patterns that all contain similar colors.

Here's how I would wear the look with explanations, starting with a look inspired by Sarah Owen of Lucy in Disguise!

1. Polka dots and leopard print!

If you're really safe you might pair a red & white polka dot dress with matching white or red shoes, but it wouldn't be uncommon to pair this frock with black shoes or even nude. So why not wear it with a pattern that mixes black and nude like a great leopard print! I don't normally match my shoes to my bag, but in this case it keeps the look from getting too busy and holding the bag against the dress will create an interesting and funky contrast! Keep the accessories simple with a gold cuff and earrings.

3. Florals and stripes

I love stripes with florals and it's an easy way of mixing patterns for even the most timid of fashionistas! It's easy. Start with a pair of striped shorts or trousers and top it off with a bright top. I love yellow with black and white stripes. Then find a cute bag in a floral print that picks up the bright hue of the top. Add black shoes and either gold or silver jewelry, whichever matches the hardware on your bag. It's that simple.

3. Polka dots and stripes

People have been mixing polka dots and stripes for years, but there is a trick to pulling this off. Chose both patterns in the same colors. In this case, I've paired a black and white striped dress with a matching polka dot clutch. The key is to throw in a pop of color so the look isn't too dizzying and monotonous. Try a red pair of shoes, a red scarf around the neck and jewelry that combines red, black and white! Stackable rings and/or bangles are great for achieving multiple colors in your jewelry!

4. 4 patterns: florals, stripes, filigree & checks

As I said before, if you want to mix multiple patterns, it's a good idea to keep the color to a minimum, but it can be done and look very chic! Start with a striped dress. Add a filigree style leather shoe in black, a mostly black bag with a bright floral pattern, black filigree earrings and a bangle that combines one color from the bag and a black and white checked pattern. This is not easy to do. Finding the pieces can be difficult, but if done correctly, you'll look very fashion forward. Also, people will think you just took 5 things out of your closet, threw them on together effortlessly without thinking and walked out looking like a fashion plate.

5. It all started with a blue floral skirt.

This is easy. As I keep saying, a black and white striped tank will go with any floral pattern. But this outfit gets interesting because I added a new player to the team: a pop of color that isn't already in the mix. Yellow shoes, bag and cocktail ring brighten up this outfit. Keep the rest of the jewerly fun in design, but simple in color using either gold or silver. I think this works because yellow and turquoise look great together. Make sure if you try this that you use complimentary colors.

5. A new way to wear old school nautical

The nautical look has always been fashionable and as far as I'm concerned, it always will be! I love navy, red, white & yellow in all sorts of combos. However, this look is updated a little by applying our pattern mixing here. Go for a navy & white dress in a stripe pattern of some descriptions. Wear red, white & navy wedges with a different stripe pattern and find a bag with a cute nautical print, in this case it's ropes. White sunnies are big this summer and are perfect for this look and nautical inspired jewelry is available everywhere! This is a great opportunity to stack tons of seafaring bracelets up your arm, yet another big trend this summer!

Would you dare to mix patterns in your wardrobe?

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  1. Loving that leopard bag!!! This post is perfect for today's Fashion Friday linkup. I'd love for you to add your link and take my button! Have a great weekend doll! Kori xoxo

  2. Hey honey! Glad you linked up! Can you add the button or link back? Kori xoxo

  3. Loving the last look the best!

    Visiting via Blonde Episodes :)

  4. Visiting from Blonde Episodes...

    Love these combos. The yellow top with vertical striped top is very cool. So is the pastel blue floral skirt with the striped top.


  5. I love the black & white dress


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