Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Mix Patterns: From Beginner to Advanced

Have you been eager to jump on the mixing patterns train but don't know how? It’s actually a lot easier than it looks. Just make minor changes to your outfits until you feel comfortable to go full speed ahead. Below are steps you can take (from beginner to advanced) to get that creative engine running.

Beginner – Begin with a solid color base for your patterns. For the extra cautious, start with just black or white as the foundation. I prefer to use this opportunity to color block instead of sticking to just one color. It adds more interest and appeal to the outfit. Once you have your foundation colors, then add one item that has a pattern. Try this several times until you feel comfortable wearing patterns as part of your outfit.

Intermediate – Now that a patterned accessory is a common occurrence in your wardrobe, venture out by adding more accessories with different patterns. How do you know if they “match”? Make sure there is an underlying theme that connects all of your patterned pieces (ex: same color or same design style). For my intermediate look, the patterns on my clutch, earrings, and scarf are the same colors (green, purple, blue, and burgundy).

Advanced - At this point you are ready for a challenge and can start adding articles of clothing with patterns. This can be a blouse, pants, sweater, or jacket. You can’t go wrong with stripes or polka dots. Think of them as the neutrals of the pattern mixing world. For my look, I went with a no-fail pattern by adding a navy blue striped blazer to finish off the look.

Now there is no need to screech to a halt when trying this trend. Go forth and cruise on with impressive pattern mixing style!

Got a fabulous mix patterned look you want to share? Post it on IFF’s Facebook page so that we can all marvel at your genius pattern mixing.

What I’m Rockin’:
Blouse – Target
Skinny jeans – Nordstrom Rack
Ballet flats – H&M (stole from my sister)
Scarf – Thrift store
Earrings – Thrift store
Clutch – Target
Blazer – Banana Republic (via Thrift store)


  1. What cute pictures. Love how you mixed the prints and the entire outfit!

    1. Thanks! Those are some of my favorite prints in my closet.