Contrasting patterns is one of the latest crazes, it’s not new but in terms of fashion life cycles it’s having its time in the sun again. I haven’t always been a fan of mixing patterns e.g. stripes and dots but I think if it’s done with a method, it can be done very flatteringly for everybody. Of course that means picking patterns, colours and fabrics that suit you personally but also finding ones that have some matching feature even though they contrast. Oxymoron? Well, they don’t have to be polar opposites but they can be different enough to contrast yet still share some synchronicity. I think it’s achieving that balance which pulls a whole outfit together using the varying elements to set each other off but in a complimentary way instead of being too loud.
The example I give here is one of detailed florals and animal print – sound nothing alike eh? Very true, they don’t sound like natural bedfellows for non-catwalk fashion but I discovered that such striking contrast can work! How? By embracing their similarity and relishing their difference. Both the floral trenchcoat and the hat are Black and White, the ultimate flattering contrast. The coat is Black with White flowers and the hat is White with Black patches (faux dalmation). The coat pattern is small and intricate and the hat pattern is large and simple. If they had been different colours I don’t think the combination would have worked but because they are the same, they both maintain their individuality yet work well together.
I think this method could work particularly well for people who perhaps aren’t too comfortable wearing patterns let alone a lot of pattern or multiple patterns as they can experiment with ones that appeal to them and have the security of knowing that they have matching qualities. Wearing mis-matching patterns, colours (e.g. the latest version of the colour blocking style) and fabrics isn’t for everybody but that doesn’t mean they are a no-go area; with a little effort we can find what suits us best and with ‘safe’ methods like this hopefully there can be as little trial and error as possible!
What do you think of contrasting patterns and what your tips on wearing them confidently?
I took these photos for Chicstar Competition 3 – posting a pic of yourself or someone you know wearing an item of Chicstar clothing for $10 entry and the chance to win a further $100. If you like it please click on the pic, which will take you to their ChicStar page and vote Yes. Also why not take a look at the other entries and vote, perhaps even get involved yourself, it’s great fun and nice to see the clothing on different people.
This coat is now discontinued as I bought it a while ago but there are plenty of other cute ones available, if you see anything you like remember to get your 30% discount with the WINNER coupon code!