How to Style Patterns

With the warmer weather around the corner, bold prints are sure to be a major trend for the spring and summer seasons. From trendy leopard prints to petite stripes and sweet florals, the options for prints are practically endless. With so many patterns to choose from, incorporating prints into your wardrobe can be tricky. We know that it can be difficult choosing a pattern to rock, so we came up with a few tips to help you effortlessly introduce prints into your wardrobe. Whether you consider yourself a pattern-pro or are totally new to the prints world, we’ve got you covered.

Pair with a Neutral

A checkered pattern dress with simple accessories
Photo credit: Somewhere Lately

Some may find patterns to be challenging as they sometimes can seem loud and distracting. One of the easiest ways to wear a pattern is to layer it with a neutral fashion essential. By layering a floral dress with a classic leather, moto or denim jacket, you can instantly tone down the print. Whether your occasion is work-related or a much-needed Sunday brunch, you can create a different vibe with a variety of layering options.

Layering a neutral with a pattern is great way to transition your wardrobe from cool to warm weather. This trick will make your transition to spring effortless. You can easily push the look a step further by pairing a few on-trend accessories with your outfit. Add a silky scarf or neutral liquid lip to complete the look.

Pro-tip: Match your small accessories, such as a clutch or minimal jewelry, to the subtle colors in your main pattern to really make your accessories pop and your outfit look more unified.

Be Bold and Mix it Up

Mixed patterns
Photo credit: The Atlantic Pacific 

One of the best ways to bring patterns into your wardrobe is to fully embrace them with pattern mixing. If this is a new concept for you, don’t stress. Pattern mixing is fun and easy when you learn a few simple tricks.

The goal of pattern mixing is to create balance. You want to think carefully about what patterns you decided to pair together. The key to finding a good pair of patterns is to style a large-scale prints with a smaller pattern. For example, a petite stripe tee with a large print floral skirt— or a bold stripe sweater with a leopard print pants— would work great together! By pairing something a bit more low key with something bold, prints balance each other out nicely! However you want to mix it up, follow this golden rule for a worry-free, bold look.

Another way to be sure your patterns work effortlessly together is to try to pair geometric patterns with organic patterns. A few examples of geometric patterns are plaids, stripes, and grids— prints that have a lot of structure. Organic patterns include the things we might find in nature, like flowers and animal prints. By wearing a structured pattern with a more natural one, you’ll balance the patterns well and avoid clashing.

Lastly, don’t forget color. When choosing your patterns to mix, think about the colors that would complement each other. One way to do this is by pairing one pattern with fewer colors with one that’s more colorful. Let’s say you have an adorable pleated skirt with red, navy, white, and black plaid. It would pair well with white and navy blue polka dot sweater. Pick your prints carefully, and have fun!

Pro-tip: Break up your patterns with simple accessories. A sleek belt or basic crossbody bag can make all the difference.

It’s All in the Details

Heeled leopard boots
Photo credit: The Sister Studio

Some days we need a more understated look. The easiest way to incorporate a pattern into any look is in your outfit details. Whether you are creating a glamorous prom look or casual school outfit, patterned hair accessories can revamp your outfit and add chic touches of print. With the right hairstyle, incorporating a printed wrap headband, flirty stripped scrunchy, or floral hair clip will make a huge statement in a subtle way. Another way to add pattern to your outfit is to use a trendy patterned purse, printed belt, or statement heel to add a bold touch.

Pro-tip: Pairing the same outfit with different bold accessories will let you create several different looks at a low cost. (Your wallet will thank you!)

Show us how you use pattern by tagging us on Instagram @Faviana, Snapchat @Faviana_NY, and Twitter @FavianaNY.



Written by Sydney Lenox
Edited by Erica Fouts

Sydney Lenox

Social Media Intern

Sydney is a Fashion Business Management Major at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She aspires to attend graduate school for Public Relations. Along with her passion for learning, Sydney enjoys discovering ways to connect with digital communities and creating new content.

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