Pattern Mash Up 102

pattern_mixing_denimGuess who’s still mixing patterns ~ and having fun with it? Me!

A wonderful way to reinvent your wardrobe, pairing print with print continues to be fresh and trendy.

I recently found this cute, lightweight plaid sweater coat at Cato and couldn’t resist wearing it with a favorite animal print shell. Sharing similar color values, they were a perfect pairing.

Some of my other favorite mash-ups of late have included floral on floral, polka dots and plaid, argyle with plaid, and even a few graphic print mixes.

If you caught my Pattern Mash Up 101, you already know the basic guidelines. For new readers, here they are once more:

  • Keep clothing tailored. Too much patterned volume can appear clownish.
  • Mix neutrals or colors from the same family. Vary only the saturation of the colors you use.
  • Combine small prints with larger patterns. Think “tiny polka dots with bold stripes.”
  • Pair organic patterns with geometric designs. Florals and plaids compliment each other beautifully.
  • If it’s “too much,” break things up with a solid. A well-paced scarf does the trick nicely.
  • Keep accessories to a minimum. Let the mix of patterns be both the statement and the punctuation.

(a few of my favorite mixes as we move from winter to spring)

Want to pull off print-on-print? Check your closet for a few favorite patterned items and choose two that share similar color intensities. Look for multiples in pastels or jewel tones or even brights. Lay them side by side and squint to be sure the color values are a match. ~ You’ll KNOW something is amiss if one of the palettes is a “miss.”

Now look at the actual patterns. Make sure one is larger than the other. Squint again. If one pattern seems to disappear when you squint, it will read “solid” in the mix; consider adding a third pattern!

Still not sure? Try it on. If you can’t trust the mirror, take a selfie from the neck down so you can evaluate the look without distraction or bias. ~ Better yet, call the BFF and have a Pattern Mash Up party. Because fashion should be fun!


  1. Pam says

    Love the different mixes here. Especially like the bright floral for spring!

a peep out of you