PATTERNS, PRINTS AND PALETTES, OH MY!

Thank you for all the positive feedback on last week’s article on prints and patterns! There is so much to learn about the many types of print fabric available to you. From all the pattern names to how they’re made, there’s a world of opportunity to improve your fabric and pattern savvy.

Some opportunities are closer than others! I had the privilege of traveling to New York last week, and I enjoyed my visit to Mood Fabrics — both their home store and their clothing fabric store. As you may remember from “Project Runway” episodes, Mood is located on the 3rd floor of an inconspicuous building in Manhattan.

From the outside, you’d never know the treasure chest of fabric finds within. Truthfully, it felt a lot like our Mill End Fabric here in Reno, so you don’t have to travel far to get in on a fabric extravaganza. The button collection at Mood, however, was large and much more creative:

I wanted to stay and match patterns for you, but I had to catch a train at Penn Station, but not before stopping at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s student show.

You can see from the photos I’m not the only one big on mixing patterns and prints, with bold colors or textures thrown into the mix. But don’t feel like you have to bite off more than you can chew. While wading through piles and aisles of fabric may seem tricky, matching patterns is not.

I’ll show you a dozen examples, and then I want you to try at least one tomorrow. Once you brave the pattern matching mode, you will want to do more, try more, and wear more patterns together. Go ahead, push your inner pattern creative and go for it.

Something to note first is that both animal print and stripes can be treated as a neutral. Try it. Grab one of those two patterns from your closet and pair it with any other pattern in your closet.

And, make sure that at least one color from each pattern is the same. And don’t be afraid to have one pattern larger than the other. With this Missoni sweater, you could try a large stripe or a large floral blouse as well as this avant garde lipstick print blouse shown:

Since we are talking stripes, never be afraid to put two different stripes together, like this one below. Here the stripes of the pant and the stripe of the shirt are similar in scale. This look is more elongating and not as scary to try for the first time:

If you want to go bold, try making one of the striped patterns much larger than the other. Even though you can’t see the pin stripe in the green pant in this photo, it’s there, and mixing prints where one is much larger than the other is powerful when there is an extreme like this:

For example, you can take a plaid that you love and pair it with a bolder print shown here. Just keep at least one color similar in your outfit.

If the above is alarming, then start small by replacing your solid top that you wear with your houndstooth pant — with a small floral. This is easy and will usher you into the world of print matching. For example, you can take a plaid that you love and pair it with a bolder print shown here. Just keep at least one color similar in your outfit.

When it comes to color and pattern – think complementary. That is, colors that are opposite on the color wheel. This orange print skirt pairs beautifully with the navy striped sweater because the colors complement each other. For more color combinations that work well for matching prints and patterns, see my blog on color.

For even more excitement, try a split complementary color scheme. Sometimes we are not sure why colors and color in patterns go well together. If we borrow from the art world and use tools like this one below, we can see that complementary, triad and split complementary color schemes are very visually appealing:

Lastly, try paring pastels with pastels — any — and jewel or brighter tones with the same. These looks here are what I am talking about.

For those of you that want to match florals with florals, this can be very easy by again finding one color in common in the patterns . One of the companies that produces this combination every season is Free People.

Or you can up your bravery needle and take a cue from my rock-star hair stylist, Tres Benzley at Caliber Salon, who is always stylish and on trend with his florals:

 

If you want to see these clothes as separates, click here to find them in one complete catalog.

If you have questions about matching prints or want to share your own pattern matching discoveries, head over here to the Your Authentic Image Private Facebook group and show us your creation. Happy Patterning!

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