The art and science of pattern clashing

I love patterns, motifs, ornamentation and decoration. In the space of a few minutes while looking around Miss Meg’s the other day I counted 20 different patterns and prints. There were stripes, dots, spots, flowers, animal prints, swirls, whirls, geometric, aztec and so on and so forth.

Imagine if clothing consisted of block colours with no prints and patterns. Borrriiinnngggg. No ornamentation, no decoration, no design. No fabulous, interesting, eye-catching clothes.

While Googling info about patterns and prints, I came across a wonderful Blog about pattern clashing (BuzzFeed, Nov. 15 2014, author: Maitland Quitmeyer). There is such a thing and there is definitely an art and a science to doing it properly. The blogger provided 21 rules for pattern clashing. I studied them all and wrote a few down that I liked:

  • One print to dominate and one as an accent
  • Pick two different prints that share a single colour
  • Pair mixed prints with neutrals
  • Textured fabrics count as a print
  • Pair two types of the same print
  • Use printed accessories for a lighter touch
  • Keep your fabrics in the same colour family
  • When in doubt, polka dots and stripes always work.

I decided to have a crack at it based on the rules I had chosen to concentrate on. Below are the results. Ta da.

Don’t be afraid to pattern clash. It adds interest to an outfit and shows you have a wonderful imagination and you’re not afraid to use it, and that’s what style and fashion should be about.

Miss Meg


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