Mix it up. Stripes and florals, bold contrasting colors and the unexpected are paired in a big way for spring of 2011. Seen on stars such as Selena Gomaz and Miley Stewart on the Disney Channel, the look is gaining speed. Be forewarned, the anything goes fashion buffet can create a crazy-lady look if not done with care. Follow some general guidelines to keep the look sane and stylish at the same time.
Flatter and Harmonize. The first step to mixing bold patterns is to look for styles that flatter your body and skin tone. Fit and color still rule, ignore a trendy piece if it doesn’t make sense with your shape or lifestyle. Take an edgy look and polish it up by staying true to yourself, and then confidently approach the world.
Stick with colors in the same family. Neons with neons, rustic with rustic, pastels with pastels; you get the picture. Let the colors find a common ground. You can choose widely different patterns, just be sure something ties them together in order to keep the look understandable to the average Joe or Jane.
Five Potential Pattern Recipes:
1. Blend Military with Floral. Seen on the runways, this is a simple pairing to pull off effectively. A rugged military jacket paired with a floral skirt or dress works in a real Beauty and the Beast sort of way. Create visual harmony between the two opposites by balancing a dense print with a solid.
2. Mix Stripes and Floral. Make this combo work by choosing a small print on the bottom and a large, attention getter on the top. Stripes work best when the colors or pattern have something in common, almost anything little thing that ties the two together will do. For example, a skirt with black stripes and a floral pattern that has some black element to it; in the border or background.
3. Try Going Japanese. Vibrant Japanese-inspired clothing such as the traditionally designed kimono coat and obi belts, look best when you bring a sense of whimsy to the table. Mix satiny items, but ground them with a base color, like a black tank and leggings under the festive blues, pinks and reds. Graphic prints also work well, in an almost Anime style.
4. Introduce Graphics and Animal Prints. Both prints are bound to make a statement, who would have thought pairing them would be a viable option? But it works. Make the visual transition occur where you don’t mind a little extra attention. Matchy matchy never works with animal prints, so adding something other than solid colors into the mix really opens up your options. Use accessories to pull the elements together; scarves, several bracelets in different patterns, or shoes. For example, experiment with a animal print skirt and a graphic patterned scarf.
5. Be Artsy Chic. Bring out your inner artist and create a work of art on your body. Bold prints are a welcome Spring surprise, use them to your advantage. Place the eye-popping pieces strategically to accent your best features. Edgy styles can brought down to a reasonable and wearable look by mixing it up a little.
Overall, you do not need a stylist to look stylish and trendy without crossing the line into bizarre. Dress on the edge without breaking the bank. Take a good inventory of what you currently own; a military jacket, check; animal prints, check; a floral dress, check; now see what can work together, and what will potentially work before going shopping. A few strategic purchases can go a really long way when you throw conventional matching out the window!