The Ultimate Guide To Mixing And Matching Patterns Like A Pro

Wearing bright patterns in your graphic designs may also inform your audience about you as a business. 

Your logo and brand colors can help communicate to the people that you are a team of busy professionals or a company that is leaning towards playful or fun activities. 

If it’s too intense, the people might not be able to remember something about the service that you provide. 

The color choices should be determined by various factors such as sky, land, and even other clothing fabrics used in the design. 

Colors can also help identify different aspects of your business being expressed through its website design.

How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro
– Mixing and matching patterns is a creative way to express your personal style.
– Experimenting with different patterns can result in unique and visually appealing outfits.
– Understanding color palettes and complementary colors can help create cohesive pattern combinations.
– Balancing busy patterns with solid colors can prevent outfits from appearing overwhelming.
– Pattern mixing can work for both casual and formal occasions with the right combination and styling.

Start With Two

When you’re first learning how to match patterns, it can be tempting to try and match three or more.

But there are some drawbacks with this approach. First, it takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to make the right color choices for each pattern combination. 

Second, if one pattern isn’t quite right especially if you use a vibrant color like yellow you may find yourself overwhelmed by all of the different combinations available in your wardrobe that don’t work at all.

Instead of trying so hard at first (and failing), try starting with two patterns instead: one primary color and one secondary color or neutral shade will give you plenty of options when creating new outfits! 

This way, if something doesn’t match perfectly the first time around (which happens often), there’s still plenty left over for future attempts!

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Throw in a Third

You may have noticed that I’m not a big fan of mixing patterns. But sometimes, it’s necessary to do so in order to create a cohesive look for your home.

The third pattern should be different from the first two patterns, but still complement them well. It’s also important that this pattern is either in a different color or texture from what you’ve already used (or both). 

This will help tie everything together and keep things interesting while still being easy enough for anyone to understand at first glance and even if they’re not as familiar with decorating as you are!

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Pattern CombinationDescription
Stripes, Florals, and GeometricCreate a visually dynamic and balanced look
Polka Dots, Chevron, and HerringboneAdd a playful and modern touch to your space
Plaid, Toile, and PaisleyAchieve a rustic and charming aesthetic
Ikat, Tribal, and DamaskEmbrace a bohemian-inspired atmosphere
Gingham, Moroccan, and TartanInfuse a sense of eclectic style into your decor

Make It Personal

Choose a pattern that represents you.

This is the most important part of this step, because it’s what you’ll wear every day. You want to choose something that is uniquely yours and reflects your personality. If you don’t know what to do, ask your friends for advice! 

They’ll likely be able to help find an outfit or two that will work well with whatever pattern they’ve chosen at some point in their lives (unless they’ve been dead for years).

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Know Your Neutrals

In order to mix and match patterns like a pro, you’ll need to know your neutrals. This means knowing which colors work well together.

Knowing what color combinations are considered neutral can help you make better choices when it comes to mixing and matching patterns. 

For example, if you know that shades of red, green, blue and purple are considered neutrals in the color wheel (they all have different lightness levels), then you can use those colors together without looking like a clown or like someone who just got back from a fairytale forest adventure.

Hues that aren’t part of the color wheel are usually considered “hot” or “cool” tones and they require more care when combining them with other hues because they’re easier to overpower than their monochromatic counterparts. 

It’s also important not to mix patterned prints with solid colored garments if one isn’t patterned themselves this will give off an unintentional costume vibe instead of looking put-together!

Color CombinationNeutral Pairing
Black and WhiteClassic and versatile choice
Navy and BeigeTimeless combination
Grey and BlushSoft and feminine palette
Brown and CreamEarthy and natural tones
Tan and OliveRich and rustic blend
Charcoal and MaroonEdgy and sophisticated contrast

Repeat the Patterns

Repeat the pattern in a different color, size, location and texture. For example: repeat the pattern in a solid color or a gradient. Or even use the same fabric with different techniques (like this tutorial).

Repeat your favorite patterns multiple times throughout your work to add depth and variation to your piece. For example if you want to repeat one main motif over an entire outfit but don’t know how many times? Try repeating it 5 times! 

This is especially helpful if you are working on an asymmetrical garment like this dress from Stella McCartney where there are two different necklines with matching sleeves (and no buttons).

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Make Sure There’s Contrast

Contrast is one of the most important things to consider when pairing patterns together. It can be in color, size or texture: anything that draws the eye away from one pattern and toward another will help create a focal point for your room. 

For example, if you have a striped rug and then add some paisley pillows on top of it which are both bright colors the striped rug will draw attention away from those bold prints and make them look less busy than they would otherwise be if placed next to each other. 

If you want an accent wall but don’t have enough wall space available for something big like our large gallery wall above (or even smaller pieces), it may be easier just to use multiple smaller patterns instead!

Key PointDescription
Contrast is crucialEnsure there is contrast in color, size, or texture between patterns to create a focal point and visual interest in your space.
Consider colorChoose patterns with different colors to make them stand out and create a dynamic visual effect.
Vary pattern sizesMix patterns with different sizes, such as large-scale florals with small-scale geometrics, for an eye-catching and balanced look.
Play with textureIncorporate textures like velvet, silk, or woven fabrics alongside patterns for a tactile dimension that enhances the overall design.
Use focal pointsDirect attention to specific elements or objects in your room by strategically placing contrasting patterns to create visual focal points.
Opt for complementing brandsPair patterns from complementary brands to maintain a cohesive aesthetic while adding visual interest to the space.

Key Points for Mixing and Matching Patterns with Contrast

  • Contrast is crucial in creating a focal point.
  • Consider color variations for visual impact.
  • Vary pattern sizes for an engaging look.
  • Blend different textures to add tactile elements.
  • Create visual focal points with strategic placement.
  • Opt for complementary brands for cohesive yet interesting design.

Protect Yourself From Overwhelm

If you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of patterns and colors in the world, take a break. Go outside with your dog or cat and spend some time looking at nature.

If you’re still overwhelmed by all of this information but want to make sure that your decisions are right for you, ask someone who knows what they’re doing (like an expert at PatternMixer) for guidance on which combinations would look best on your body type.

If neither of those options work out well enough for you which happens sometimes because we all have our own unique preferences the last resort is taking a nap!

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I hope this guide has been helpful for you in your quest to mix and match patterns like a pro. I know it’s not always easy to know what looks good together or how different patterns can work together so I wanted to give you some tips on how to make the process easier!

To start with, make sure that your patterns are different sizes and types (i.e., don’t pair up two small checks). 

Also try using complimentary colors in order achieve a seamless look when mixing prints like stripes or polka dots with larger floral designs on dresses. 

Lastly, don’t forget about accessories like scarves or belts which can add more dimension if needed!

Further Reading

The Ultimate Guide to Mixing and Matching Prints Like a Pro: Discover expert tips and tricks on how to confidently mix and match different prints to create stylish and unique outfits.

Mixing Patterns: How To: Dive into this article to learn the essential strategies and techniques for successfully combining patterns in your outfits, ensuring a fashionable and visually appealing look.

How to Mix Patterns: Unleash your creativity and experiment with pattern mixing with the guidance provided in this article, helping you achieve stunning and harmonious combinations.


How do I start mixing and matching patterns in my outfits?

Combining patterns in your outfits is all about experimentation and finding what works for you. Start by choosing one statement piece with a pattern you love, then look for complementary colors or similar styles to pair it with.

Can I mix different types of patterns, like stripes and florals?

Absolutely! Mixing different types of patterns can create a visually interesting and dynamic outfit. Just ensure that there is a common element, such as color or scale, that ties the patterns together.

Are there any rules for mixing patterns?

While there are no strict rules, there are some guidelines to keep in mind. Consider the scale of the patterns, balance busy patterns with solid colors, and experiment with different textures to add depth to your look.

How can I avoid clashing or overwhelming my outfit with too many patterns?

To avoid overwhelming your outfit, start by incorporating one statement pattern and keeping the rest of the pieces more subtle. Additionally, choose patterns that share similar color palettes or complementary colors to create a cohesive look.

Can mixing patterns work for formal occasions as well?

Yes, mixing patterns can work for formal occasions too! Opt for more sophisticated and subtle pattern combinations, and consider using patterns in smaller doses, such as on accessories like ties, scarves, or pocket squares, to add interest to your formal attire.