NOT LETTING AGE DEFINE MY LIFE OR STYLE

Pattern Mixing | Checks & Floral | Joggers & Jacket | Black, Grey, Turquoise & Snakeskin

Do you enjoy pattern mixing or are you so confused by it, you're not even sure how and where to start? 

Get it right and it can look like you've effortlessly walked off a catwalk.
Get it wrong and it can look like you've gone amok in a charity shop, blindfolded.

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Although I love colour and print, I've not done many full on pattern mixing outfits on the blog to date. My pattern mixing has gravitated more to the gentler, subtler end of the spectrum; usually a couple of accessories mixed with one, key outfit piece.

However, I plan to do more and my pattern mixing snakeskin & lace post a couple of weeks ago kick started this in style.  I see many bloggers pairing florals and stripes but with today's outfit, I've ramped up the ante.  Using two key pieces, I've mixed florals and checks for a more distinctive look.

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Where did I start?

I took a rather unusual approach when putting this all together but one which I do know well, to show that it is possible to use skills you have in one area to assist in a totally different one.  Step forward my knowledge of anatomy and the principles of Pilates!

Now before you think,

'Are you kidding me?  The study of anatomy can be applied to styling?  Have you been drinking too many vodka tonics?'.

Bear with me.  I promise it won't be an anatomy lecture!

The shoulder and hip joint in the human body share many similarities.  They are both ball and socket joints, are cup shaped, are the space holders for our limbs, and allow a high range of movement, more so than any other joints in the body.

Neat, huh?

They each have distinguishing features.  The hip joint is mainly but not exclusively, a load-bearing joint, requiring a high degree of stability whilst the shoulder joint requires incredible mobility for the work we ask it to do and has a shallower socket than the hip.  Of course, there's a lot more to it than just this but I did promise this wasn't going to be an anatomy lecture!

If both joints are healthy and fully functioning, they allow the body to perform many complex tasks on a daily basis in a harmonious way, thus minimising unnecessary movement or pull on other body parts.

With this knowledge in mind, I transferred it to creating an outfit.  I just needed to choose two key main pieces, similar in shape and style, each having their own characteristics that allows them stand out as individual pieces, but without pulling focus from the overall look.

We're aiming for visual harmony, not visual discord!

I settled on a pair of joggers that have a strong check - a solid pattern to ground the outfit.

Rather like the hip joint.

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

For the upper half, a light weight Summer jacket with a beautiful, swirling, interconnecting floral motif.

Kinda like my shoulder joint.

Wallis Petite Floral blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Joggers have definitely grown in popularity.  Only a few years ago they were considered just leisure wear, now they're mainstream garments; albeit still on the informal end of the trouser spectrum when compared with tailored trousers.

The jacket has no button fastening and is only semi-lined.  Less formal blazer, more kimono in feel.

Not only do the joggers and the jacket share common style qualities, the prints of each are in proportion and we've cascading shades of grey right down through the outfit.  The floral motif in particular, looks like it's been sketched in graphite by hand.

Just as each joint in the body is unique, here the joggers and the jacket stand alone as statement pieces.  Yet their similarities mean they're harmonious when paired together, without one pulling more focus than the other.

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

How to integrate these two pieces.  

We talk alot in Pilates about integration; specifically movement integration.  Aiming for the body to work as a whole, organised unit, from the centre to the periphery.  A major part of the support system to do that is the breath.  I teach clients to breathe down through the column of the body, creating space for the diaphragm to contract and expand three dimensionally.

Clearly, I needed to introduce a column of one colour that would link both pieces whilst giving each space to breath.  Turquoise so suits my colouring and being such a vibrant colour it stops the outfit looking too monochrome.  Whether it's also an excuse to wear my turquoise wedge sandals, I shall leave entirely up to you to decide!

In reality any bold saturation of colour would look wonderful as a integrating piece - think cobalt blue, hot pink, citrus orange, pillar box red.

Overall structure in place, I moved onto the finishing touches.  I could've added another colour with my bag but instead played around more with the pattern mixing - I mean why stop at two?

Let's bring in some snakeskin!  Spices up the floral, holds its own against the checks.

You'll notice I'm even mixing my jewellery!  I've truly thrown the pattern mixing kitchen sink at this one, I tell ya!  I've never been worried about matching my jewellery.  I wear what feels right to me and what amuses me at any given moment; hence a silver necklace and a coloured bracelet.

Even these two pieces share similarities if you look close enough. Both are geometric shapes - triangles and ovals.

Dear lord, pass me another vodka tonic.  I'm on fire here.

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Wallis Floral Blazer and New Look Silver Necklace | Petite Silver Vixen

Beginners Pattern Mixing Tips

- Choose two key pieces - one lower body, one upper body.
- Find common ground between them - colour, proportion, style (casual or formal).
- If you choose two upper body pieces. you can either keep the prints proportionally the same or have one big print and one small.
- Opposites attract.  Contrasting prints make playful companions e.g.

                           spots and stripes
                           stripes and florals
                           florals and checks
                           abstract and spots

- Choose a linking piece.  It can be a plain top or blouse or even a block of texture like lace or embroidery.
- You can even bring in a 3rd, smaller print with your accessories - footwear, bag, jewellery, scarf.
- If you do, create a cohesive look by finding a similarity to either the main prints or your linking piece.  Here the snakeskin is similar in shade to the two main prints.  I've kept the linking colour to the cami, shoes and bracelet.

Pattern Mixing Florals and Checks with ASOS joggers and Wallis blazer | Petite Silver Vixen

Wallis Petite Jacket SS16.  Sold out now.  Wallis Black Floral Blazer
ASOS Petite Joggers SS16 Sold out now. Boohoo Bohemian Print Joggers   Miss Selfridge Petite Tile Print Joggers or currently on sale these Wallis Petite Paisley Print Joggers.
Monsoon Turquoise Cami (old)
Vera Wang Clutch (e-bay, old)
New Look Necklace & Wedges (old)
Turquoise Bracelet (old)

Checks and Floral Footnote

I problem solved my way through the pattern mixing maze by taking lessons learned in two disciplines - anatomy and Pilates - and applying them to styling.  Not such a gulf as you maybe first thought!  

It's a skill we probably do more often than we give ourselves credit for in real life.  It's certainly one that high achievers, influencers and experts in all walks of life learn to hone.  Art can learn from science and science can inform art.  

Where and how do you transfer your skills?  Do you have a unique approach to pattern mixing?

Linking with 

Linking with  Fine What Ever / Not Dressed As Lamb / Confident Twosday / Garay Treasures /  Turning Head's Tuesday  /  Style Me Wednesday / ColorandGrace / High Latitude Style   / Happiness At Midlife / JerseyGirlTexanHeart  / Eleganceandmommyhood  / A Labour of Life / Fashion Should Be Fun /  A Pocketful Of Polkadots / Jeans And A Teacup / Nancy's Fashion Style /

44 comments

  1. Jacqueline am delighted to see this pattern play and done with such aplomb. Had to skip all of that wonderful explanation though - it's way over my head. I'm more an instinct player when it comes to patterns, but whatever the reasoning behind it, you've cracked the code! Wonderful x
    Anna
    www.annasislandstyle.com

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    1. Ha, ha, I'm sure it's not really over your head. You're one smart gal, Anna!
      It's fun taking different approaches, isn't it? I have to say I tend to veer more to the instinctive too but I thought I'd take a different tack this time.
      Chuffed you think I've cracked the code!

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  2. I love your pattern mix. You look amazing. Important for me is that the pieces are in the same colour. Perfekt!
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you Tina. I felt pretty amazing too!

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  3. I like this floral and check mix, PSV! It's always fun to dare something new. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks Patti. Indeed, always good to mix things up!

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  4. Love the pattern mixing here! I really like how you added color with it too!

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    1. Thanks Laura. The pop of colour makes it come alive I think.

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  5. I love how you took your anatomy and Pilates knowledge and applied it to pattern mixing! The two patterns look great together! And I love how the turquoise brought it all together (and the reference to the importance of breath; I love barre classes, so this was great! :-)

    I started pattern mixing only about a year ago and before that didn't really "get" it. Now I really appreciate it and do it more and more myself.

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

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    1. It's very satisfying isn't it when you 'get' something and it can really take off. I've done small amounts of pattern mixing but I'm getting bolder with it. Exciting to see how you're growing in confidence with it too.
      As someone who loves barre then of course you'd understand especially as there are many elements of Pilates in barre.

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  6. I think it is delightful you managed to integrate Pilates into fashion : ) Takes one skilled practitioner to achieve that feat!

    Pattern mixing is one of the things I love about fashion. I'm always trying to up my skill level without making people want to throw up. LOL.

    I love the black, white and turquoise together and the fact that you've paired two large patterns together.

    Cheers to your vodka and tonic!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I thought it was a fun angle to take and it seems to have paid off - thanks Suzanne.
      I adore your pattern mixing and certainly have picked up a few tips along the way from coo-ing over the combinations you put together.
      He he, yes, you definitely don't want to make people throw up!

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  7. You ARE on fire! This is awesome, and a great lesson that you can apply to so many things! Lovely mixing of the patterns, and the blue is lovely popping off them. Harmonious!

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    1. Sheila - I'm blushing. You're another lady after my pattern mixing heart so thank you. Harmonious is what we're after so I appreciate you saying that.

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  8. Your floral blazer is stunning! Such an interesting lesson too, I never thought of print mixing as being similar to anatomy before! :)


    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. Thanks Mica, I saw it across the shop floor and was immediately drawn to it and now it has a worth companion!

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  9. I love pattern mixing! Your black and white is fun. I think picking similar colored patterns is always a good place to start.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Absolutely Amy, similar colours are always a good starting point and help to link the pieces.

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  10. I think the black & white print mixing is one of the best ways to do it!! And of course adding in that turquoise color is fantastic!!
    As for the vodka tonics---they certainly help in my writing too---ha ha!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I can never resist a vodka tonic, Jodie! They oil the creative wheels! I did wonder if the black and white would be too dull but it's not at all and of course the turquoise does help!

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  11. Love this pattern cheat sheet, and your pants are so cute!

    Chelsea
    Chow Down USA
    Instagram

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    1. Thank you so much Chelsea. I've been wearing the joggers alot lately and they'll be so useful come autumn!

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  12. Im all about an anatomy lecture! I have learned quite a bit with my muscle issues and know them by name! I love the visual interest and contrast of black and white with the jacket and pants and the pop of blue is very becoming on you!
    Thanks for linking up with Turning heads tuesday
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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    1. I'm fascinated by anatomy - I never tire of learning more. Glad you like the visual contrast, Jess, especially as you're so good at pattern mixing.

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  13. You hit this one out of the park my friend! Those joggers were made to be worn with that blazer. And oh yes, the turquoise could not be more perfect to complement the two prints. Well done...and beautiful!
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.com

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    1. Oh, thank you Debbie, your words mean alot! Yes, it's definitely a match made in heaven between these joggers and the jacket.

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  14. I love the pants! Beautiful look, babe!
    Adi xx
    fancycorrectitude.com
    https://www.instagram.com/fancycorrectitude/

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    1. Thank you, the joggers are proving to be very versatile!

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  15. This tells me I need to be more adventurous. I know that I can be way too monochromatic. I like how the Blue tones really tie the look together. I hope you've had a great weekend x
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

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    1. Thank you Laurie. I'm glad I might be some inspiration for you! Always good to push things a little bit. I think I can be way too colourful sometimes and thought I'd rein it in abit! I guess we'll be meeting somewhere in the middle, us two!

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  16. Way to go with the pattern mixing! Loving the color combo too!
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

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  17. A great mix of patterns! I do mix patterns and always love how fun the outfits look. I adore your floral blazer, I have been wanting one but they never look right on me.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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    1. I wasn't sure about the blazer at first but once you find the right partner it so works. I love your pattern mixing Alice. You do colours so well.

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  18. fabulous pattern mixing and brilliant post!, I love those big patterns working together, and love how turquoise enhances everything! It's a vibrant color combo, even if it's almost black and white, but it looks bright and fresh! And I agree: it would look amazing with any other bold saturated color!
    gorgeous!
    (I'm back to my blogging activities!!)
    besos

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    1. I know you love turquoise as much as I do, Monica! Glad that you're back to your blogging activities - we've missed you.

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  19. The post is so great! Thanks for sharing:)

    irenethayer.com

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  20. It definitely works. I occasionally mix patterns although the combination I am currently wearing just around the house for comfort should NOT be seen in public (top half orange and white/navy checks and bottom half, royal blue trousers covered in rainbow stars!)xx

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    1. Ha, ha, Kezzie - in the privacy of your own home any pattern mixing goes! I rather like the idea of checks and rainbow stars!

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