Keep in mind that horizontal lines can make your figure looks wider while vertical lines do the opposite. Small prints will make you look subtle, while large patterns really highlight your looks, but can look busy and loud.
When you are styling an outfit, you must be mindful of proportions and silhouettes creating balance and rhythm. The following guidelines will help you think about harmony when styling a look:
- Vertical lines lengthen the body.
- Horizontal lines emphasize width.
- Straight lines are perceived as hard and masculine.
- Curved lines are considered to be soft and feminine
There is no science behind the use of pattern on pattern, so mixing patterns is more rule-of-thumb based and a process of trial and error. Luckily, you can profit from others' investment in bad pattern- and texture-mixing to steer you in the right direction using mood boards and styling.
Here are some rules of thumb for mixing patterns and textures:
- Vary the scale of the patterns. Do not mix large patterns together; they fight for dominance. Mixing too many small patterns together can have dizzying effects. The overuse of many patterns can create a mess and make it look like you dressed in the dark.
- Don't use patterns and textures that compete with one another. The use of solids and color blocking can also lend order to outfits with pattern and texture. Don't be afraid to break up patterns and textures with a color block.
- Use the same color family. Working in the same hue can help pattern and texture work together more as a cohesive whole.
- Don't try to overmatch. There can be too much of a good thing, and less can be more. Layers of the same print can be dizzying and redundant as a fashion statement.
- Some patterns work as neutrals. Houndstooth, tweed, and other plaids and prints work like neutral colors and readily accept other prints and patterns.
- Try easy mixtures by varying the scale of your patterns, and try to repeat the same colors in each of the prints you use. Most importantly express yourself this coming season!