I’ve always been a big fan of wearing opposing prints and patterns. I’ve done a few outfit posts wearing clashing prints, and it’s always been a winner.
Here are some examples:
Done well, this can be a quirky and fun way to dress, and a way to stand out from the crowd. It’s youthful and spunky, but without the darling silliness of our younger days when we had no concept of matching, when we’d sling on anything because it was fun and bright and colourful, without a mind to whether the two worked together.
However, like anything else in fashion, finding the right balance of opposition can be tricky and can often lead to disastrous results if that balance is not struck. Basically, you can look like a total imbecile who can’t dress properly, or a sloppy, thrown-together haphazard dresser who just doesn’t care. Which, hopefully is not the look you’re going for.
Here are some good guidelines/rules to follow for wearing opposing prints, styled wonderfully by Wendy Toth and Amy Sung for iVillage:
1. Black and white patterns make a great base. Do pair a black and white piece with a quiet combo of colors like light purple stripes. Add a pop of color with a scarf. Don’t mix more than one black-and-white pattern per outfit.
2. Do think outside the box by combining your investment pieces, like a plaid pencil skirt, striped blouse and pretty printed scarf. Make sure one of your prints is on a smaller scale than the other for the right balance. Don’t forget to pull it all together with one strong solid. We don’t want anyone forgetting that you mean business.
3. For a sophisticated social affair, do pair two classic patterns like tweed pants and a gauzy French rose top. But don’t add frilly accessories. Wear what you’d normally combine with your more pulled-together pants, like a pearl necklace, navy patent structured purse and plain shoes.
4. Do keep your overall look pulled-together by playing with a conservative theme like nautical. To keep it from looking costume-y, don’t choose more than one quirky piece. We combined an unusual anchor-covered cardi with a standard striped dress.
5. Do pair patterns that come from the same basic shape and colour, like gingham and plaid. Don’t follow our advice if the colors clash. Try to find at least one common shade in each.
6. Do keep a floral print babydoll dress from looking too precious by adding a long striped vest, solid blazer and combat boots. Don’t go overboard with color. Floral or not, a subdued color palate comes off as edgy.
Article by Wendy Toth & Amy Sung
Styling by Wendy Toth and Amy Sung.
Photos credit: Wendy Toth and Amy Sung via iVillage Beauty & Style (click for article).
Follow me on TWITTER!