The other day, I headed out for an evening with friends in my new favorite look:

When I got there I had the following convo:

Friend:[furrowed brow, tilted head] You don't match today.

Addi:[raised brow] Says who?

Friend: You just don't.

Addi: No, really--says who?

Friend: You're wearing plaid and stripes!

Addi: Yes. That's true. Does it look bad?

Friend: No, it's cute, but plaid and stripes don'tgo.

Addi: But...according towho?

And so the conversation continued.

Here's the thing--'matching' is a social construct.

For example--I think yellow and red is a horrible combination, but I bet McDonald's (and their one billion served) would disagree.

Matching is super subjective. There's not really a 'correct' way to do it. We, through our influences, experiences and through the gentle shepherding of fashion editors, have agreed upon a shared set of aesthetic rules, but really? What matches is as big and bright as your invention dares it to be.

So, when I pattern-mix, these are 3 rules I'm sure to keep in mind:

Rule# 1: Stripes with Everything

Make sense? Ok, now let's look at this:

Same, skirt, same shirt, same tights, yet, something isn't right. Let's figure it out:

Rule #2: As Simple as Black and White...Right?

Potentially. Black and White are classic colors and so, one would think when getting fancy with patterns, it's best to go simple with all else, yes?

Well, let's see:

Egads. My eyes.

It's black and white. The colors work, the proportions of jacket and dress work, but 2 &2 are not equaling for 4.

Although everything matches, both patterns are competing for attention because they are so similar . In order to mix prints, one print has to somehow take a back seat. And none can if both prints are essentially making the same statement in exactly the same way.

Ok, how do we fix it?

PS. Cheetah print jacket, tribal etchings on dress and elephant on necklace=brownie points for cohesive outfit ethos.

Rule #3: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close(in Pattern):

Let's revisit that first black and white dress:

How do we pattern-mix such a cacophony of an outfit?

With something even louder!

Alright; let's review:

Do you all have pattern-matching tips? Do share!

Thanks for reading!

Rule 1:

Sweater & Button-down: Old Navy

Skirt: Rachel Roy

Tights: Spanx

Shoes: Zara

Rule 2:

Jacket: Vintage

Necklace: Fennimas

Dress: BCBG Max Azria

Shoe: Ann Taylor Loft

Rule 3:

Jacket: Vintage

Dress: Fashion to Figure

Shoes: Chelsea Crew

Earrings: Hello Drama

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