Thursday, September 18, 2014

Prints & Patterns 101

Mix and matching prints can be a daunting task but it doesn't have to be. In recent posts titled Monday Blues and Tropical Thunder I showcased ensembles of mixed stripes that can make any less than enthusiastic shopper cringe. It's time to relax those muscles with tips that can help anyone recreate the look without the added hassle.

Recreating a look of similar prints/patterns can be done in a few easy steps. First, pick a star piece whether it be a top, skirt, jacket or pant, in this case lets use the striped top as an example. Create the outfit around this piece, that all other pieces may serve as complimentary, drawing the focus back to the star of the outfit.

Then, using colors as cues, choose pieces within the same color family, blues on blues and blacks on blacks. This creates a boundary and eliminates excess options while lessening the possibilities for error. One can be more elaborate in mixing colors against similar patterns with more experience but if you're a newbie, take your time and keep it simple. Once you have similar colors compare the fabrics against one another, observe the patterns and see if they play nice. Using this particular example, stripes come in different widths, some thin, some wide, some with a combination of both. Different styles of stripes can look good or be disastrous so use your discretion, do not deviate from instinct, your gut will incline you to what seems most comfortable within your style. I get it! Not everyone is as fashionable but everyone has a sense of their likes and dislikes, use it to your advantage.

Mixing prints can be a fun challenge. While in this particular post, these prints were obviously competing for attention, not all mixed prints will have the same effect. If the camouflage on this pant were more subtle leaning towards a lighter camo print, the combo would be less alarming but it worked well in illustrating a point for the post. Oddly enough, mixing prints can be even easier than matching. All you have to consider is the color wheel, complimentary and opposite colors attract. 

I can create a whole new look using the striped top in Monday Blues paired with this camo pant simply because greens make nice with blues. Think of the colors that come to mind when thinking of christmas (reds, greens, blues) or spring (pinks, purples, mints), the pairs have been laid out for you in seasons and you are familiar with them, all you have to do is apply that knowledge. 

When in doubt, ask. 

For details on where to get these pieces check out their post.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tropical Thunder

For a couple of weeks now I've had this outfit in mind, a pair of army green cargos against a floral print and simple blush sandals. The mental image of the combination brought about excitement yet, not so much when actually putting it together. Carrying hints of greens, purples, pinks and more, the jacket against a subtle camo print would've worked perfectly but what you envision and what is available can often be two different realities. I couldn't escape the truth of it, the prints were competing. While the mix of complimentary colors worked well, it was clear to any fashionable eye that war was waging. It was then I had to make a decision, either keep the vision or give it up. Why would my first instinct draw me to this combination if it was all wrong? Or was it wrong? After much thought and hesitation I decided to go through with it. Truth be told, doubt surged and invaded throughout the shoot but it was all short-lived as reassurances followed. The experience of it all got me reflecting on its relation to everyday life, and I couldn't help but be more determined to make a head turning point of it. 

Often times our plans don't match up against the dealer's cards. As much as we dream, calculate and execute ideas there is a wrench, refusing to settle with the current marks of our foundation. In those moments we are left with nothing more than to face the derailment of our plans. Broken and disillusioned we drop our faces to the ground indicating the loss of all hope, but if only we would stop and reflect on those obstacle ridden moments that have passed. We would find that the change in plans worked out for the better. Even in the worst of outcomes, there are beautiful scars to behold and growth achieved. Less on the outfit, more on its implications, the competing prints reflect the dream against the wrench, the plan against the unplanned, the beauty against the beast. And to some, the thought may occur that if only we faced the day expecting the collision of competing prints maybe we'd be less affected by their existence, but if thats the case I'd rather be vulnerable. I wouldn't want to miss out on the reminder of the wrench, that life does not revolve around me and yet in some way it all serves for my betterment. Bring on the collisions, fashion included.  

(Floral Jacket: ASOS, Camo Cargos: Zara, Blush Heels(Alternative): ASOS, Pearl 360 Studs Earrings: Baublebar)