Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Mix and Match

The cooling breezes of Spring made a brief appearance before leaving the stage to Summer’s haze. And for you fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed blondes out there, this is your Season. You positively blossom in the colors of Summer.

But for all of us, it is time to put away our more serious winter solids and pull out our fun prints, stripes and florals and learn how to mix and match them.

Q: Can I put patterns together in an outfit and not look as if I got dressed in the dark?
A: Absolutely!! And here are three examples of how it’s done and why each one works.

This young lady has mixed patterns and textures -- a black-and-white polka dot top with a purple pin-striped cotton skirt, a fringed scarf in mustard and neutral shoes.

What makes this outfit work is that the patterns do not fight each other either in color or size. The small scale of the prints keeps everything in proportion, with visual interest coming from the pop of color in one accessory - the scarf.

Here a sweater in vibrant red, patterned top, solid bottom, is worn over a jersey dress in bold black and white stripes. This breezy little outfit has “Summer” written all over it from the stripes to one of the classic color combos of Summer – black, white and red. The over-sized, neutral canvas tote says this young Lady is ready for a weekend adventure on land or sea.

Aside from the great color combination, what really makes this outfit work is the solid banding of red on the bottom of the sweater which adds interest and visually separates the bold stripe from the smaller pattern on the top of the sweater.

Not for beginners!! But, it’s really well done. This very confident young Lady is wearing what, at first, seems to be an outrageous mix of colors and patterns – black and white striped top, brown plaid pencil skirt, brightly patterned scarf and a bold red trench. Yet…..somehow it all works. Why??

The pieces are all traditional, down to the classic black pumps – nothing quirky or trendy. But what really makes this outfit work is the bold red trench. The lesson here is that if you are going to mix strong patterns together, you need one really strong color in enough quantity to serve as a focal point.

Feel those Fashionista juices flowing again? Banish the Summer Wardrobe Hum-Drums before they get started!!! Start Mixing and Matching!!!

Photos courtesy of I-Village

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