Five Ways To Mix And Layer Striped Patterns

Delfina Farias

My name is Delfina Farias, and I’m from Argentina. My interest in fashion goes back to my childhood and has grown now that I am going to be part of the Fashion Institute of Technology community this Fall 2018.

You wake up one day and decide that you want to have fun with your clothes- (background music) “Oh girls they wanna have fun, oh girls just wanna have fun” –

However, you don’t want to look like a crazy person or someone that threw themselves the first thing they grabbed from their closet.

Every year, striped patterns are all over the runways and stores. That is why you probably own a significant number of striped clothes. The great news is that there is always a new way to style your looks and keep you engaged with fashion.

The mixing patterns game has been of the recent new styles that have opened various opportunities for the picture. What is more, this trend has become stronger than ever; we have seen combinations of dots and stripes, flowers and plaid.

Another trend that has imposed recently is layering, which apart from being a functional concept – as you can add or remove layers according to the weather and occasion- it is a terrific chance to add an extra “Je ne sais quoa” to your look.

Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that most garments with patterns are vibrant pieces. Therefore, you can quickly saturate your look. In other words, there is a fine line between an attractive striped mix and a striped disaster one.

Here are five ways you can mix and layer striped patterns like a pro.

Match monochromatic pieces

Mixing patterns with the same colors is the easiest way to combine models. Do try to go for colors with the same tone; it is different a lime green and a pine green. Usually, you can find exact ones when the garments are from the same brand collection. For that same reason, I usually go for black and white as is the easiest one to get a perfect tone match. What is more, it lets you add a handful of color to the rest of the outfit without looking overdone.

Make sure to keep the number of striped items small; just because they match doesn’t mean it’s right. As I already said, there is a slim line between stylish and crazy.

Here you can see two examples of how I matched my striped clothes following this rule.

Choose one color for the rest of the outfit

If you are dealing with a striped pattern mix that is hurtful to your eyes, you must get the rest of the of the outfit the same color. By doing so, you can unify the look cohesively and even highlight the mix of stripes. If possible, go for a unifying color that is neutral. This suggestion is essential because, unless you have shoes, accessories, and purses from a handful of tones, you probably have a small selection of items that comply with this rule.

Besides, when pulling an outfit that has two flamboyant garments, try not to add items that compete for the spotlight. The same goes for makeup, keep it simple and neat.

20% of one and 80% of the other

In this case, you know that the two striped pieces’ tones combine well. For instance: two pastel patterns, a red and green, blue and light blue. In other words, look for colors that are part of the same category – Monochromatic, Complimentary, Triadic, Neutral, to name a few- The rule consists in showing 20% of one pattern and 80% of the other one. The only way for this to work is to have one part larger or smaller than the other one. It doesn’t need to be precisely 20% and 80% as long as it is close.

This trick is perfect if you want to layer your clothes as you need to combine small with large pieces; don’t be afraid of layering crop tops over shirts or other t-shirts. Below you can see two example of how to pull a 20% & 80%

Combine opposite patterns

A striped pattern has three main factors: color, thickness, and orientation. If the garments have these aspects opposed, then you have an excellent matching opportunity. Sometimes, they may still combine smoothly with only two opposed factors. Apart from that, this opposite game trick works for any pattern mix – The factors might be different for each pattern type, but the concept is the same-

Here are two outfits that I combined from my closet. You will see that one of them has all the factors opposed while the other one has two. To my mind, the look tends to work better when you have a contrast of exact opposites; but that is just a matter of personal preference.

One striped piece is very subtle

Some striped clothes are so subtle that when you look them from a significant distance, you can’t see the pattern. If you have a garment like this, you just got yourself a joker card. As long that the protagonist color of the striped piece looks nice with the rest of the outfit, you are ready to go; because the two patterns are not competing; hence, there is no tension to cause a matching disruption. Down below, you can see two clear examples of this rule. I chose two tops that were so strong by themselves that were harder to mix with other stripes than any other of my clothes.

We are at a lovely time in fashion where everything is possible and were your uniqueness is your best suit. Don’t be afraid to layer your clothes in unconventional ways as long as you feel comfortable and beautiful. With this in mind, recheck your closet; you might find disguised diamonds.

With all the rules I mentioned, you may don’t know where to start. Here are four simple steps for you to follow:

  1. Go to your closet and pick everything with striped patterns.
  2. Separate them into tops, bottoms, and others.
  3. Divide them into color categories of your pick -Monochromatic, Complimentary, Triadic, Pastels, etc.-
  4. Start trying on different looks until you find one that you love.
Now that you have added that twist you wanted to your look, it is time to rock the day!