Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Time Mixing Patterns

Maybe it's the gothic aesthetic, maybe it's that I'm a closet preppy-traditionalist, maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but I've never mixed patterned garments in one outfit before. At least not on purpose or while sober / awake. I know it's very trendy among the fashion blogosphere, & Miss Vinyl Ahoy even wrote a detailed tutorial on how to mix patterns judiciously.

But most of the time, those outfits look, to me, like someone forgot to take their meds. I just don't get it. Too much going on at one time! Remember, goths have trouble wearing more than one color + black. A big floral print mixed with plaid & micro-checks or something is going to be freaky for this goth gal.

And yet, when I had the top half of today's outfit on & reached for the black skirt I'd planned to wear with it, I suddenly paused at the spiderweb-print skirt. Hmm... pinstripe top, solid vest, with spiderwebs? Would it work or would I look like a bad accident? I tried it, looked in the mirror, & didn't throw up. In fact, when I went for accessories, necklaces didn't want to go with the neckline of this vest & I remembered the new scarf I bought. With polka dots. Omg, what has happened to me???

What I'm wearing today:
Black & grey pinstripe knit top, Old Navy
Black vest, bought from a friend
Black & white spiderweb-print skirt, made by me (first worn here)
Black & white polka-dot scarf, Old Navy
Black tights, unknown brand
Black lace-up spool-heel boots, Target
Large silver filigree earrings, Target
Giant black roses ring, Icing
Silver-grey flower hair pin, Icing

Unfortunately, the stripes in the top don't show up much in these photos, but I swear it looks like there's more print going on in real life.

Have you mixed patterns in an outfit? What do you think about the idea?


  1. The other day I managed to wear a print vest and a striped jacket and the earth didn't end, but it did shake in a scary manner.

  2. I've mixed patterns a few times, mostly using patterned tights or a patterned scarf with a cardigan or skirt. The easiest way to do it is to do one big pattern and one small one, like the small dots on the scarf and the big spider webs. A harmonious color scheme helps (like all black) People who do all big patterns or clashing colors usually end up looking nutty.

    I love your blog! I think you look great.

  3. Laurie - Heh, good on ya!

    Ms. Ten - Big pattern & small pattern, true. The little stripes show up as more of texture in these photos. Thanks!

  4. Love this outfit, especially the skirt and the shoes. I think this is definitely a very flattering outfit for you! And the patterns look natural together. Very nice!

  5. There are some prints that are considered neutral - pinstripes being one, also glenn plaid, microchecks and microdots, houndstooth, tweed and herringbone.

    I consider any kind of print to be not-black and therefore count as a color. The closest I get is when I have patterned tights or socks on, but they'll be hidden under skirt & boots.

  6. LovleAnjel - Ok, I can see those prints as being a neutral, & certainly this top looks more like a texture in photos (I swear it was more noticeable IRL tho!). I just don't think I've ever done it before...

  7. I think this looks great, Trystan! I love the vest with the full skirt, especially.

    You know I like to mix patterns - I'm probably one of the ones that makes your eyes hurt, heh heh.

  8. love to see you mixing patterns. the skirt is so amazing.

  9. Sheila - Heck no, nothing you've worn has made my eyes hurt! I might not wear it myself (but I don't have to 'cause you make it look good ;-)

    wardrobeexperience - Thanks, I had fun making that skirt. Wish I had time to do more.

  10. I really like it! Of course, it's hard to see the pinstripes, so that's part of it -- but I think mixing patterns, when you're staying in one particular color zone, works very well. And I really like the vest with the long-sleeve shirt, contrasted w/ the girly skirt.

  11. I really like what you did with this outfit. For someone who says's they're not comfortable mixing patterns, you do it very well. And that spider web print skirt? To die for!!

  12. missvinylahoy - Thanks! Not sure how much I'll do it again, depends what I can find in my closet that'll work :-)