Once again, our friend Peter in San Francisco shows us how to mix patterns easily and successfully using just two rules-of-thumb:
- Vary the scale and density: Scale refers to how large the pattern is, while density refers to how closely things such as dots and paisleys are set next to each other. However you’re mixing patterns, just be sure to vary the scale and density of your pieces. Otherwise, you risk looking like this guy.
- Cheat: Subtle patterns are the easiest to use. Such as a hairline striped shirt with lines so fine that the color resolves to a solid from more than a couple of feet away. Or the wool tie Peter is wearing in the first photo above, which features a pick-and-pick weave with dusty greens and golds. That’s more of a texture than a print, but the effect of textures is the same: they help add visual interest to what you’re wearing.
Of course these are just general guidelines – things to help you choose what to wear in the morning. In the end, dress according to your eye. If it looks right, then it looks right. And know that if things get too complicated, it’s always easy to wear just two patterns. That’s pretty much failproof.