If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times! "How do you know which patterns to mix together, Stasia? I can't figure it out! Every time I try, I look like I got dressed in the dark."
There are lots of "pattern mixing" rules out there. Magazine articles will show you 25 ways to mix patterns like a pro, which if you ask me, just leads to overwhelm and a feeling of fashion-inadequacy... and a closet full of solid colors. (Boooring!) So, I'm going to make pattern mixing real simple for you and focus on only two things - PATTERN SCALE + COLOR.
There are two kinds of patterns: MAJOR PATTERNS + MINOR PATTERNS. MAJOR PATTERNS can be seen clearly from over 5 feet away. Minor Patterns blend in when viewed from 5 feet away.
Hold on to your seat because I'm about to rock your world. The trick to pattern mixing is that you want to mix a MAJOR PATTERN with a minor pattern. NOT two MAJOR PATTERNS. NOT two minor patterns. But a MAJOR PATTERN and a minor pattern. That's it.
(Hold on, I'll show you what I mean in a second.)
It's important to keep your patterns in the same color family. They don't have to be matchy-matchy, but they do have to "go together".
I've pulled together some pics so you can see what I'm talking about.
Example 1 Scale - MAJOR PATTERN: PLAID PANTS / minor pattern: polka dotted shirt Color - the shirt that I'm wearing is white with black polka dots, and in the world of pattern mixing, black and white is basically a neutral, because it pretty much goes with anything! Note - I've read that you can't pattern mix with plaids, but that's just crazy. Of course you can, if you follow the major-minor rule-of-thumb.
Example 2 Scale - MAJOR PATTERN: PLAID TIE / minor pattern: gingham check shirts Color - the blue found in the shirt is ALSO found in the tie, plus, that blue/white/green combo totally "goes" together.
Example 3 Scale - MAJOR PATTERN: FLORAL SHIRT / minor pattern: silk scarf Color - both patterns are cream/black so you've got instant harmony right there
Example 4 Scale - MAJOR PATTERN: FLORAL TUNIC / minor pattern: striped sweater Color - the chartreuse-white color combo found in the sweater is also found in the tunic, making the florals and stripes easy on the eye, despite their loudness
Example 5 Scale - MAJOR PATTERN: STRIPED SWEATER / minor pattern: polka dot shirt Color - once again, black and white is a pattern/color neutral here, and goes effortlessly with the chartreuse and white stripes. Note - see how the striped chartreuse sweater is the "major pattern" here, where in the photo above, it was the "minor pattern"!
There are of course other, more BOLD ways to mix patterns (like you'd see on the runways), but for the most part, it's more than what you'd do for everyday.
CASE IN POINT:
I'm pretty bold, but THIS!! Whoa!
Anyway, now that you've read this far, it's time I tell you that the acquisition of knowledge requires action. In other words, I want you to practice.
TOMORROW, I want you to try pattern mixing. If you follow the MAJOR-minor / stay-in-the-same-color-family rule-of-thumb, you'll come up with a winning combination for sure!
Then, I want you to A) take a picture and email it to me or B) take a picture and post it to social media and tag me!! (FB @thriftmepretty / Instagram @stasiasavasuk)
Think for a moment how many NEW OUTFITS you can create, OUT OF WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN, if you can master the art of pattern mixing!! You can actually expand your wardrobe without spending a dime!!!
Give it a go, and report back!! As always, I loooooooove to hear from you!
PS. This is the kind of goodness we practice daily in Stasia's Style School! Hop on the list to get all the SSS details!!