The vibe of summer is relaxed and fun! What better time to experiment with a little pattern mixing? No need to be intimidated – I’m gonna walk you through all you need to know in order to pattern-mix like a pro!
This post may contain affiliate links. These links provide a means for sites like NattyGal.com to earn a small commission when a reader clicks through and makes a purchase at no additional cost to the reader. See full affiliate disclosure in Privacy & Disclosures.
Pattern Mixing 101
There are two main rules to keep in mind when combining patterns, whether in an outfit or when decorating at home. As we talked about in this post, pattern mixing can be a fantastic way to add personality to your wardrobe!
- Keep patterns in the same color palette. For newbies, choose patterns in the most predominant color of the boldest print. For those that are ready to try something a little more out there, pick up one of the less dominant colors in the boldest print.
- Vary the scale of your patterns. Big floral with a thin to medium stripe or dot. Large polka dot with a smaller scale animal print. Two large patterns worn together will clash and two small patterns will look a bit chaotic.
Now let’s take a look at some fool-proof pattern mixing combos for summer!
Chic: Animal Print & Plaid
This urban look features a snakeskin cami paired with a bolder plaid kick crop pant. I kept accessories in the same color palette to maintain a sleek and chic vibe.
- Banana Republic Snakeskin Cami
- Michael Kors Plaid Crop Flares
- Mercedes Castillo Izar Mules
- Miss Selfridge Tortoiseshell Hoops
- Tory Burch Miller Clutch
Sporty: Polka Dots and Checks
For a sportier vibe try a medium to large scale polka dot print paired with a small gingham, hounds-tooth or windowpane check!
- Boden Amanda Dot Blouse
- Theory Windowpane Skinny Pant
- Khokho Zandi Bucket Bag
- Adam Selman x Le Specs Sunnies
Girly: Stripes and Floral
For a look that is both fun and feminine, pair a large floral with narrower stripe! In the first example, I went a little bit safer, keeping the overall color palette in the most predominant hue of the skirt.
In the second version, I went for a sassier look, pairing the same floral skirt with a coral striped top and shoes an emerald green handbag. Both of these bolder colors are represented in the skirt but don’t play the same dominant role of the pale aqua.
- Banana Republic Striped Tee
- Dressstore Vintage Pleated Skirt
- Kelly & Katie Kirstie Sandal
- Rebecca Minkoff Stella Mini Satchel
So what do you think? Let me know your favorite pattern mixing combos for summer in the comments below. Until next time,
3 thoughts on “Three Fool-Proof Pattern Mixing Combos for Summer”
Such a helpful guide! I almost exclusively wear solids and have built a closet where most pieces are virtually interchangeable, but mixing patterns always looks so chic. Thank you for this thoughtful primer!
So glad you enjoyed! I also wear mostly solids but adding in a few patterns helps lend a lot of versatility to a smaller wardrobe!
This post came out at such a good time for me, since we’ll be making our home base in the Republic of Georgia, and I’ll be able to experiment more with my fashion choices. I always had to play it safe, as a perpetual traveler and keep my wardrobe to a minimum, with clothing that could be mixed and matched. We’re still planning on traveling, but now I won’t have to take everything I own on a trip. I especially love the floral skirt that you showed with the stripe shirts. I think it would be a comfortable look for summer, and still keep the feminine look that I go for. Thanks so much for sharing, Elizabeth.