Long gone are the days when stylish girls and guys felt that every item of clothing had to match to be acceptable. Today, people in all walks of life are enjoying adding, flair, personality and individuality to their outfits with creative mixing and matching. In this article, we will discuss a few guidelines to help you learn to choose just the right color and pattern combinations to create your own unique look.
Successfully combine an number of patterns within the same color family
One way to successfully mix colors and patterns is to choose colors that all come from within the same color family. By choosing a variety of patterns in similar shades, you can show a little flair while still matching, after a fashion. Say you choose a variety of patterns in rust, brown, black and beige with just a few highlights of green. You can pick up that green with your accessories for a very coordinated, yet one-of-a-kind appearance.
Use solids or treat fine prints as if they were actually solid colors
It is perfectly alright to add solids to the mix. You can get away with a lot of bold mixing if you separate your patterned pieces with a color coordinated garment in a solid fabric. For example, you might wear a brightly patterned scarf, a coordinated matching blouse and slacks, skirt or other lower garment in a completely different pattern that picks up some or all of the colors of the scarf.
An easy way to combine patterns with more contrasting colors is to handle fine prints as if they were solid colors. This is easy to do. Where in the past, you might have had solid slacks or skirt and a patterned shirt or blouse, today you would choose a smaller print for the slacks or skirt and a more bold print in a coordinating color for the shirt or blouse. Pick up subtle colors from your patterns by adding belts, scarves, bags and shoes in coordinating colors.
Bold prints are easier to combine than you think
You can also mix bolder prints if you take care to choose prints that blend pleasingly to the eye. For example, you might juxtapose bold stripes with a smaller floral or polka dots in coordinating or complementary colors. A variation on polka dots is leopard spots, which complement stripes surprisingly well.
Avoid doing an entire outfit in one bold pattern. This can be very overwhelming. Instead, match your colors precisely, but choose differing patterns. For example you might choose a small floral print in your dress with a larger geometric print of precisely matching colors for your wrap. Alternately, you might mix two colors of identical print for a matched, yet varied appearance.
Matching accessories can help very different patterns and colors combine well.
Match your accessories, such as belt, shoes, bag and scarf, in solid, neutral tones to help you coordinate an outfit of mixed patterns and colors. The key is to have the color found in the accessories appear in each of the patterns. This technique breaks up the visual space to avoid a clashing appearance. The recurrence of the base color draws the outfit together and helps even very different patterns work quite well together.
Combine with care
Mixing, matching and coordinating patterns and colors to create a look that is uniquely your own can be a lot of fun. It can also be a disaster! The key is to take some time to choose patterns that complement each other, make good use of small prints and solid colors and choose your accessories well. Assemble your outfits well in advance so that you can examine them critically and make adjustments before appearing in public. With a little practice, you will soon be dressing in colors and patterns to create your own signature look.
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