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Getting a handle on Patterns

Zara shirt and Geoffrey Beene tie

Zara shirt and Geoffrey Beene tie

Using and especially mixing patterns can seem scary and intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be a lot of fun and show off your playful and creative self.

Patterns are related in size to you and any other pattern you are wearing.

For instance, a petite woman would look as though she was swimming in a large print and the opposite would be true of a larger person with a small print. Therefore, in general, match your principal pattern size to your body size: small with small build, medium with medium build, etc.

Gifted scarf, consignment dress and Jacob cardigan

Gifted scarf, consignment dress and Jacob cardigan

The general guidelines are that patterns can be mixed if they are the same or opposites. For instance, two medium sized prints can go together IF they do not make up the ENTIRE look. A good example that works would be a printed scarf and a printed dress with a solid jacket or cardigan. If you want to mix a printed top with printed bottoms the opposite rule applies. A large print could be on the pants or skirt with a small print on the shirt. A good body balancing tip is to put the larger print on the part of your body that is larger. As far as mixing goes you can either look to the actual patterns, florals, stripes, plaids or the colours. Use patterns that look pleasing to the eye together either because they are similar patters, perhaps, all flowers or use a similar colour scheme, for instance a striped plaid with a argyle sweater in the same colours could look very sharp.

Give your closet and accessories a fresh look. Who knows, you may have pattern combinations just waiting to be tried. And next time you are shopping don’t avoid the patterns. Try on the ones you are drawn to and are the size of patterns that work best for your body. As always, wear what you feel comfortable in and let your personality shine through.

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One response to “Getting a handle on Patterns”

  1. […] like mixing it up. Check out the post on mixing patterns for some tips to do it yourself. For the men, you’ve got your own how to in the man […]