Posts Tagged ‘mixing patterns’

Mixing Patterns

03/08/2010

(Erika/Mom) An easy costume for Halloween is to dress like a nerd. All you have to do is find startlingly patterned pants, and pair them with an equally startling patterned shirt. Voila–instant comedy.

We all live in dread of wearing an outfit that clashes, but sometimes a bit of pattern mixing results in a really great look. Lizzi and I often look at the wild combos in Teen Vogue and Seventeen–darn it, they always just seem to work! Kristen O’Reilly, in a post last April in Idiosyncratic Style, dares us to mix it up and her examples are really wonderful. It’s like looking at a bowl of mixed candy: sure, the colors and patterns vary wildly, but the big picture is pleasing to the eye.

Yesterday Lizzi and I tested our pattern savvy at the mall. Each of us chose an outfit with lots of pattern (and the rule was, NO picking merchandise already put together by the store!) I chose Macy’s and the two of us perused the racks, starting with a graphic silk skirt with a black border. We tried it with a very loud (but really cool) blouse with a swirly green and white pattern. Even with a complementing black belt, the overall effect is rather bizarre:

So then I went safe, pairing the skirt with an off-white cardigan.
Yeah.
Don’t see fireworks? Neither did we.

Still having green in my mind’s eye, I rounded the corner and both of us spotted this button-front cardigan with just a hint of tie-dye.

“I like it, but too groovy, maybe?” I asked Lizzi.
“Try it on,” said she.

So I did, grabbing a simple white blouse with lots of ruffles to put on underneath. We decided this one’s a winner:

Here is an example of two pieces I never would have thought to wear together, let alone buy together. But we both instantly voted yes on this outfit, as the stodgy skirt got a jolt of color and fun from the top. I probably could have gone a little more adventurous on the belt. Shoes? Well, you could go chartreuse suede with some serious heels, ballet flats, or laceup boots. Lots of choices. This experiement was a lot of fun and what’s more, it pushed me out of my long-held fashion conventions that much more.

Now it’s Lizzi’s turn!

(Lizzi/Daughter) Mixing patterns isn’t as hard as it looks. Polka dots and checkers, plaid and stripes, leopard and floral… it all works. Of course, there are times when an outfit can go way too far when mixing patterns… and after Mom and I visited the mall, we found multiple different ways that an outfit could be safe, sorry, or just right.

As you can see, mixing patterns is big this season so I was excited to look at all the choices Mom and I had to create outfits for ourselves!


DVF SS10


Marc Jacobs SS10

I went to Forever 21 to find my outfits and they had many choices. I went with a gray boat-neck top and an orange and white striped cami for the main pieces.

First, I decided to pair the outfit with a blue and black skirt with an Aztec print.

It obviously doesn’t look good, so I switched to a pair of light pink leggings, to play it safe.

Finally, I tried on the same skirt as before but in black and white…

… and finally! an outfit that works.

This shows that not only patterns can make an outfit clash, but so can color!!!