Lately I’ve totally been into mixing and stacking patterns. Whether it be variations of the same pattern stacked on top of each other over and over again or different textures and patterns all mixed together….It’s a vibe.
Last week I went to a friends going away dinner and I literally put on every plaid I had in my closet. Lol. When I walked in she said something to me that I hear all the time from people. She said “That would never work for me, but somehow you made it work.” Lol. I don’t necessarily take that as an insult or compliment, but more-so as an indicator of someone not really knowing how to take the risk themselves and make it work for their individual style. Stacking or mixing patterns can be intimidating at first. Most of us were raised with the idea that “clashing” isn’t a good thing in fashion. So I can see why at first thought it’s quite intimidating or aversive to think about.
That’s why I would definitely recommend stacking patterns as a first step to pattern mixing. Stacking is quite different from mixing patterns. Stacking just involves one pattern base of different variations stacked on top of each other, over and over again in the same outfit. A tangible example of this would be starting with a small leopard print dress, then adding a large leopard print blazer. You could then incorporate a blue leopard clutch bag or red leopard shoe. The pattern of choice would be leopard print. You would then stack different variations of leopard print in the same outfit as much as you feel comfortable doing so. Someone more conservative would probably only stack once, someone who takes more risks would probably stack over and over again. It add dimension to a pattern and eliminates the “blah-ness” of matchy matchy.
Mixing patterns definitely takes more confidence. The easiest and smoothest way that I’ve found when blending patterns is to make sure you have a mutual color in all the patterns. This means that if you decide to mix checkers with polka dots then make sure they both have at least one mutual color in common. That provides a seamless blend between the textures and makes it not look tacky. You don’t have to stack or pattern mix the entire outfit. Throw in a small clutch or shoe to add variation to your outfit and see how you like it. Do you already pattern mix or stack? What’s your go-to?