Friday, July 16, 2010

Fashion Fridays: Things I'm Loving - Pattern Pairing

Recently, I came across a very inspirational designer, who puts together colorful prints with whimsy and flare. Her name is Maya Lake and her line, Boxing Kitten can be found at She is on a whole other level with her prints, so prepare your eyes! She is widely popular—especially now that bolder, African inspired prints are trending. Her celebrity clientele includes Solange Knowles, Erykah Badu, Beyonce, Fergie and Rihanna ("Rude Boy" video)

Ok. All that aside. Reading about Maya (and getting a request from a friend) has inspired me to write about something I love to see and do--mixing prints (or pattern pairing)!

This is one of those things that people are intrigued by but never want to try themselves. I can understand because it seems so effortless when done right, and yet it doesn’t happen so easily when you are a beginner and deciding on what to wear.

Print pairing is fun, and it is common these days to see people pairing bold stripes or polka dots with florals or plaids. So I challenge you to get those creative juices flowing! Here are some guidelines on mixing and matching prints--so be not afraid:

1. Pair the same type of print. This could be 2 different stripes together, 2 different polka dots, or 2 different florals etc. as seen here -->

2. Pair prints with similar colors. This could be black and white stripes with black and white polka dots with black and white plaid (although it will depend on you how far you want to go). You don’t have to stick to 2 colors, but I would make sure that at least 2 of the colors in your prints match. For example, I have paired a green and white striped shirt with a red, yellow, green and white floral skirt as seen below (excuse the wrinkles!)

3. Be fearless when mixing and matching—don’t limit yourself.

4. Pattern mixing isn’t limited to just clothes. You can pair a striped tote with floral ballet flats...or you could add subtle striped tights with a polka dot skirt.

5. Kelly Framel* advises “don’t just throw things together and hope for the best." She went on to say that, "there’s an art to mixing prints…see things in absolutes, [and don’t] be distracted by the details…looking at broad tones over trivialities allows you to mix tenaciously.” (excerpt from an interview on

Here is one last pairing that I put together for you to use as an example--enjoy!

*The ever fashionable Kelly Framel has by far one of the best fashion blogs I have ever seen. She is truly an inspiration and you can check out her blog here -->

She also inspired the newest Twelve by Twelve line at Forever 21 and has a fashion spread on their website. To see it click here.

That's all for today! Have a wonderful and fashionable Friday!


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