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Six Simple Rules for Mixing Patterns

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Some days I might mix a whole bunch of solid pieces, but what I really love is pattern.  But we’ve all been there: you have two great pieces that seem to coordinate.  Trouble is?  They are both patterned.  Do you dare?  Do they “go?”  There’s no exact science, but the following are some simple rules that should make getting dressed a little easier.

mixing patterns

  1. Don’t wear two or more bold patterns together.  The result is that they just compete with each other, and people will either think you got dressed drunk or in the dark.
  2. Mix patterns that are in the same color family.  This is kind of a no-brainer way to change it up with more than one pattern.
  3. Don’t go overly matchy-matchy.  Head to toe black and white polka dots in various sizes may seem like you’re following rule number one, but really you just look like you’re on your way to your prom.  In 1986.
  4. Some patterns are neutrals: Think tweed skirts and trousers or a small houndstooth.  They are so classic and understated, they become a neutral.
  5. Mix patterns of different weights.  For instance, a cotton or silk blouse with a small dot or stripe pattern with a wool argyle sweater vest is a easy way to mix patterns.  This look can even go with tweed and houndstooth for lots of visual interest, but no competing patterns.
  6. Distance: Sometimes patterns work well together if they’re not against each other.  For example, the other day a stylish friend of mine wore neutral-colored trousers with a light stripe with a black tunic.  The pattern punch?  A lovely leopard-print belt.  The key was not belting the stripe with the leopard.

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Jennifer Long-Levy

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Jennifer Long-Levy is the Editor-in-Chief at Beyond Beauty Basics. She has worked as a interactive marketing professional specializing in search engine marketing and optimization for more than six years. Jennifer has worked with companies large and small, and as an independent consultant. Her passion for beauty & fashion and her experience in several marketing verticals including beauty, legal, retail, online education, campus education, real estate, IT and web design services, helps her manage the exciting content at Beyond Beauty Basics keeping her readers in mind. Jennifer helps oversee the contributions of the editorial team and works on building relationships with new readers, fans, and companies. A 2010 Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing candidate at The New School University in lower Manhattan, Jennifer also holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York. Jennifer has published short fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, web content, and manages the editorial direction of Beyond Beauty Basics. Follow my Twitter




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