As I have been helping my clients get ready for the summer season, I have found myself reinventing a lot of what they already own. It’s been a fun process, and we’ve been doing a lot of pattern mixing. For most, this is a scary process, and men seem to be OK with it more than women. With summer’s overabundance of prints, it’s important to have the confidence to mix patterns and to be able to set yourself apart from the crowd.
This all started with one of my clients going through her bikinis and I liked one part but the not the other. We tried to make the perfect combination and, somehow, mixing magic started happening. Here are a few easy guidelines to follow when mixing it up:
Color-blocking is the easy way to go for people who have a hard time wearing prints. Try taking an orange top and pairing it with a navy or green bottom.
To take it to the next level, try putting a patterned piece with a solid. This season fruit is all over the runway—try a bold strawberry top.
Remember that whatever body part you are trying to downplay is where you wear the solid or the subtle patterns. We all have different body types and problem areas that we are trying to mask. If you have a tiny bust line and bigger hips, a bold-print halter top or ruffled top is going to make you appear bigger on top. The goal here is to add volume where needed and take off where there is an abundance. If you are a pear shape, put the bold pattern on top. If inverted triangle, flip the concept. A big polka-dot or stripe paired with a more subdued variation is pleasing to the eye. This is the art of pattern mixing: the juxtaposition of the bold with the subtle.
When not styling her fabulous clients, Jenna Doughton is busy hosting her monthly Recessionista parties—the underground networking and shopping event for savvy, deal-loving Las Vegas fashionistas. To get in on it, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.