Last week I took my first foray into the art of mixing prints. It was a small start–a patterned jacket combined with a patterned scarf, inspired by a look Marlene Dietrich first wore in the 1930s.
The outfit itself is not one I would normally wear, though. It’s a bit serious for my lifestyle and personality. In addition, the pattern of the scarf got lost in the pattern of the jacket. Still, it served a purpose. It was a good first step.
Giving It a Twirl
This week, I’m venturing out on my own–no history or starlets to fall back on. The look I have to share with you is one I put together myself. I kept things fairly simple: a fit and flare dress that twirls like nobody’s business and a red scarf with bubbly polkadots.
First, the details
The dress is a sweater dress I bought from Nordstrom in Seattle. I can’t find it for purchase online, but if you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will find links to several similar styles.
The label is Opening Ceremony. The dress has an art deco vibe to it with cascading stripes that widen as they near the hem of the skirt. Art deco is is soooo 1930s and both the fit and flare shape and the black band around my waist provide some visual cinching.
The scarf is a vintage 1960s chiffon I got from Road Kill Vintage on Etsy. The shoes were featured in a previous post. I bought them on sale from ColeHaan.com this past spring. They’re no longer available online, but I did find a black pair of the same style on sale at Nordstrom Rack. In addition, there are links at the bottom of my post to red, pointy-toed flats — all on sale at Nordstrom Rack.
And now for something completely different:
Take a look at those big, fat polkadots that tumble down the scarf on my back. I tied the scarf in the back, creating a choker effect in the front and giving the red a black and white canvas to drape across. It made me feel sort of “French Girl On a Bicycle.”
This look has whimsy. It has an artsy feel to it. It’s playful and fun. This outfit definitely fits my personality.
And check out the twirl!
You didn’t know sweater dresses and polkadots could be so fun, did you?
It occurred to me in the process of choosing this outfit that one of the things that attracts me to the idea of mixing prints is the fun involved. Whenever I see two kinds of patterns on someone else, I always smile. Those who wear them seem like fun people. And I’ve discovered that it’s fun for me to try these different combinations. It’s fun to wear it. It brings out the playfulness in me.
There are several bloggers out there who are masters in the art of mixing prints and every single one of them seem like the kind of person I’d like to hang out with. These ladies understand in an organic way how two different prints can work together. They have fun with their clothes and they look like a million dollar painting wearing them. Below are just a few of the women whose print-mixing skills I admire in the fashion blogging world.
Samantha Blair of Fake Fabulous:
Samantha lives in Scotland where layering is a necessity because of the weather. Her “necessary layers” become works of art.
Suzanne Carillo of SuzanneCarillo.com:
Suzanne from Ontario is not afraid of bright colors and bold prints. In one of her most recent posts, she showed how to style patterned pants. One of Suzanne’s pro tips: When combining patterns, choose a bold print to coordinate with a smaller, more subtle one. Also check out the mastery of her color coordination — green, red, blue, etc. So cool.
Anna of Anna’s Island Style:
Anna runs a small art gallery on an island southwest of Cornwall in the UK. The sensibility with which she puts together her gallery must inform her great talent in mixing prints. She does it with ease and the effect is delightful. Check out her summery outfit below and then go to her blog by clicking here.
Melanie of Bag and a Beret:
Melanie may be one of the most adventurous print-mixers of all! She lives in British Columbia and is an artist through and through. In fact, from the looks of it, when she’s not creating art in fashion, she creates it with paint. I can never read Melanie’s blog without coming away with a smile on my face. Her sense of fashion and her sense of humor shine through every post. To visit her blog, click here.
Melanie was also featured on the cover of July’s issue of SheSpark Magazine. The magazine was created and is edited by beauty blogger, Audrey Stefanik of Cremes Come True, and Austin-based stylist and blogger, Thea Wood. SheSpark is packed with information and resources for women over 40 and — get this — it’s free!
No discussion of mixing prints would be complete without including Anne from SpyGirl blog. Not only do I FanGirl over this woman’s ability to throw together a whole mess of patterns and make it work, I love reading her posts that reflect back on fashion from her personal history. She also takes readers on trips to fashion museums with fabulous pictures and a narrative that makes me wish I could tag along for real.
And, if that weren’t enough, Anne draws the best illustrations of herself and other fashion bloggers. She is, after all, a 2D visual artist who designs prints for underwear, so of course!
All these talented women are just a few of the ones who constantly inspire and encourage me as I try on the iconic trends of the past in search of my signature style. I’ll continue to glean inspiration from their posts and push myself to grow ever bolder in my pursuit of learning the art of mixing prints.
For now, though, I’m off to put together posts that involve sparkly bracelets for dainty wrists, dramatic scarves from Ethiopia, accessories that could be considered works of art, and romantic ruffles. I hope you’ll join me for all of it.
Shop My Outfit:
My dress is by Opening Ceremony
from Nordstrom in Seattle.
Similar styles below:
My scarf is a one-of-a-kind vintage find
from Road Kill Vintage on Etsy.
Similar styles below:
My shoes are Cole Haan,
bought this spring online.
Similar styles below:
My sunglasses are Kate Spade
Career Oversized Sunglasses.
I got them on Amazon. Click the photo below to go directly to the page.
1930s Dance Music:
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