How to Mix Patterns and Textures
It may seem like a dreaded fashion faux pax, but an outfit with a mix of textures and patterns can work. You just need the right combinations, and once you master the technique, you can create a variety of new and exciting looks that let you step up your fashion game.
Before learning how to style patterns and textures, you need to understand the different fabrics and textures available to use.
What Are Clothing Weaves?
The type of weave determines the texture of the fabric. Understanding these weave types will help you when deciding which options to put together. Here are three of the most common.
Twill often features a rib pattern that runs diagonally, and it's made of a dark-colored front side and a lighter back. Denim is an excellent example of twill, along with tweed and houndstooth. Twill also has a high thread count that makes the fabric thick and durable.
2. Satin Weave
Satin weave is a shiny and soft fabric with a hint of stretch. One side is silky and shiny, and the other side has a duller, matte surface. This fabric is perfect for haute couture-style clothing and clutches.
3. Plain Weave
Plain weave makes up your average run-of-the-mill fabric such as canvas, taffeta and muslin. Overlapping vertical and horizontal threads create a criss-cross pattern on both sides of the fabric.
The Most Common Fabric Types
As you go through your closet or shop for new clothes, you’ll encounter many different fabrics. These are some of the most common.
You will see denim most often in jeans and jackets. It's a classic, durable fabric with a twill weave, and it's crafted from cotton.
Broadcloth is a plain weave fabric that was traditionally made from wool. However, it can also be made from cotton as well as silk, rayon and polyester. This fabric tends to be resistant to wind and water due to its sturdiness and stiff makeup.
Seersucker fabric alternates tight-tension yarns with loose-tension yarns, giving it a puckered look. It's a thin cotton cloth similar to poplin that is popular for summer styles.
Corduroy is a soft, durable fabric that's most commonly made out of cotton, but it can also be made from wool. It's known for its parallel cords, called "wales", that run along the surface of the fabric.
Leather is any fabric made from animal hide, with the most common being cowhide. You might see leather used it items like jackets, pants and even dresses, as well as accessories like belts.
Suede is a specific type of leather that is made from the soft underside of animal skin. Suede tends to be softer, thinner and more delicate than traditional leather.
Brocade fabric often features beautiful woven patterns. However, instead of embroidery being used to create the patterns, the designs are actually woven into the fabric itself. Brocade was originally most commonly made with silk, but nowadays, you can also find it made with cotton, wool or synthetic materials.
Silk often has a very satiny and luxurious feel. It's a natural fiber produced by silkworms. Silk is a very durable material, but it does require dry cleaning since getting it wet can eventually cause the fabric to shrink. You're more likely to see silk used in more formal attire and accessories.
This incredibly soft fabric is crafted from the wool of pashmina and cashmere goats. It provides excellent insulation and tends to be lighter than other clothing made out of wool.
The soft, stretchy fabric known as jersey was originally made from wool. Today, though, it's typically crafted from cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester or other synthetic materials. Its softness is ideal for clothing items like T-shirts and other everyday wear pieces.
Flannel is a soft woven fabric most commonly made from cotton. It can also be made from wool or other synthetic fabrics, but regardless of the material it's made from, flannel's softness makes it a favorite in cooler weather.
How to Style Patterns and Texture Together
Once you've determined your favorite weaves and fabrics, you can start mixing and matching to create eye-catching outfits that make you feel fabulous. To get started, follow these steps.
1. Find Similar Colors
Find two articles of patterned clothing that share a color. If you want to style a floral skirt with navy blue as its primary color, for example, choose a navy blue textured top. If you don’t have two items with similar colors, try matching them to a neutral textured top.
Also, try to mix textures and fabrics that are in the same color family. Earth-tones will always complement each other. Using all pastels can also work well for a brighter look.
2. Choose a Base Color
Whether it’s white or red or another color, choose a base color that appears in each piece of clothing. This will make the outfit look more coordinated.
3. Use Solid Colors for Textured Pieces
Give your outfit a bit of extra class by using a solid textured article of clothing. Sticking to one color for your textured piece can help to bring the look together.
4. Add Stripes
Stripes are a great way to start mixing textures and fabrics. Using stripes can give your outfit a classic and simple look. You can also pair stripes with more intricate designs.
5. Use Opposite Colors and Textures
Choosing opposing colors and textures can help balance out your look. For instance, black and white can give your outfit a modern feel. An oversized sweater and skinny jeans can also make for a great outfit pairing.
6. Pair Different Sized Patterns Together
Pairing a small texture with a larger print will help the two pieces complement each other. Avoid mixing textures and fabrics of the same size, though. This common mistake can make your outfit look overwhelming.
7. Throw in a Solid Color
Adding a solid layer can help to pull the outfit together. A solid jacket, cardigan or blazer can help tone down the patterns in the outfit.
Things to Avoid
As you work on combining patterns and textures, be sure to avoid these mistakes that can throw off your look:
- Having patterns that are too similar: Matching two small patterns or matching two large patterns on the top and bottom can make the outfit appear busy and uncoordinated.
- Straying too far from your color palette: When matching different patterns, use coordinating colors as a unifier.
- Forgetting to supplement with solids: Solids help to break up your patterns and make your outfit look more balanced and less overwhelming.
Find Stylish Textures and Patterns at Perfectly Priscilla
Shop for your next favorite outfit from Perfectly Priscilla to feel more positive, energetic and confident. We offer a wide range of high-quality boutique clothing options designed to make every woman feel radiant, beautiful and ready to take on the day. If you're ready to choose a style that expresses your personality and positively impacts your feelings and emotions, we can help.