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How to Mix Patterns

One of the biggest looks of the moment is mixing patterns. All the effort you put into making the pieces of your outfit match is wasted on this season, as clashing patterns dominate. There are however a few rules to follow when combining different prints.

Have a base color

Mix it up

Color scheme is the most important thing to pay attention to when mixing prints. Decide on one color to dominate your outfit. It should be one of the most prominent colors in one of your patterned pieces. Then, have one of the garments you?re wearing be entirely this color. For example, when wearing a black and white spotted bow tie with a red, yellow and blue plaid shirt, you might choose blue as your base color by tying in some blue jeans.

Having a base color looks better, and emphasises that you intended to go for the mixed patterns style.

Tie versus shirt

A popular way to mix patterns this season is by wearing different designs on your tie and shirt. Usually this goes against the style rules, so have fun with it while you have the chance. Experiment with fun prints such as stripes and spots as well as more demure designs such as plaid and paisley. It?s hard to go wrong with a bold tie on top of a shirt with subtle vertical stripes in the weave. A bow tie is an even more quirky take on the look.

For the fashionably brave, try wearing a check tie over a check shirt. The colors of each piece should be slightly different, as well as the size of the checks, to get some contrast between the two pieces.

Patterned pants

It?s easy to mix and match prints on your top half, but it can be tricky when it comes to pants. For a stand-out look, try wearing plaid pants with a plain shirt and a patterned tie or bow tie. You?re more restricted when it comes to patterns on your bottom half- designs such as camouflage and stripes tend to look ridiculous.

Two patterns, one focus

There are two loud designs in your outfit, but always have one being the more prominent piece. Usually making your tie the focus piece works well. There are a number of ways to create the distinction between your statement piece and your secondary patterned garment. The easiest is variation in color- your statement piece should be the brightest or include a greater range of colors. Another way is through the pattern itself, if one of the patterns is clearly more dominant than the other.

Work the design to your advantage

Patterned pieces are a great asset for disguising a disproportionate body, and double the patterns can only improve the situation. Skinny guys will benefit from small patterns, creating the illusion of width. Layering another patterned piece on top of that will only make you look bigger. If you?re seeking to minimise your appearance, choose designs such as wide checks or vertical stripes to make you look smaller.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at:

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