bREAK. THE. bOX. April 2014 - Page 26

A friend once said to me that she wasn’t trendy enough to pull off wearing just the one large earring (a la Janet Jackson’s key earring). I told her that taking risks in fashion is always necessary and threw one of her earrings in my bag. Your personal style is just one of the many ways you can express yourself.

It’s comfortable wearing the same outfits week to week, but switching up your look is easier than you think. I like to play with my day-to-day looks by mixing and matching patterns. Stripes, floral prints, tribal prints, flannels, graphics, polka dots, and animals are just a short list of the many prints and patterns that you can mix and match.

Now don't just go into your closet, throw on several patterns without thought, and call it style. Mastering the art of mixing and matching of patterns can take some time—it’s all about trial and error at first, but it’s doable and I have a few tips and pointers that I've learned to help you keep your look fashion-forward. Once you start creating combos that you’ve never tried before, your wardrobe combinations will become endless. All the best-mixed print outfits give the illusion that you can throw on all your favorite printed pieces and look stunning, but there is always a method to this printed madness.

Let’s start with the basics…

The Neutral

Just like when you're getting ready every day, there is at least something from your outfit that is the neutral. When mixing patterns, find one that can stand out on its own but isn't too loud or prominent. Prints like stripes, polka dots, and certain animal prints like zebra can all start your mixed print ensemble on the right foot. These prints are usually just two colors and tend to be on the smaller scale of prints.

Colors on Repeat

When looking at possible pattern combos make sure each print has one common color. Repeating a color in both prints helps to keep the prints from clashing with one another. They will blend with, and complement, each other easily with a shared hue. Neutrals are usually the best when selecting a repeating color because they are more than likely the base color of prints. Colors like black, white, and navy are used in patterns because they go with everything, but don’t be afraid to play with color. Remember to have fun (always), not only with prints and patterns but also with colors. Brighter hues like yellow, blue, red, and green can be great repeats as well and keep your look fresh.


Floral, flannel, and tribal prints tend to be on the larger scale of prints. Pairing those with smaller prints and designs (read the neutrals), such as stripes or polka dots, will keep the focus on the larger print while keeping the contrast of the two patterns in the forefront. Bear in mind that these patterns are always large or small. It all depends on when you make your combinations. Sometimes two large prints cna look amazing together and the same goes for sporting two small prints at the same time to keep the pattern play at a lower volume while your style is on full blast.

XO, Asha Janelle

Pattern Play

by Asha Janelle