PATTERNS AND PRINTS
The density of the pattern means the amount of coverage versus negative space. It ranges from low to high depending on the negative space between the elements.
The scale of the pattern defines the size of the pattern. The smaller the pattern, the easier it is to wear. Generally, larger patterns are recommended for taller individuals, or they can be placed in the areas where you might need volume.
The contrast is a result of combining dark and light colours or colours that are far away on the colour wheel. The greater the difference between the colours, the high is the value of contrast in that pattern. Low contrast patterns and prints are easier to wear and mix rather than high contrast ones. Strong contrast makes the area appear larger. If you naturally have high contrast in your features, then you can use higher contrast patterns and prints.
The order/layout of the pattern determines if the pattern is orderly arranged/structured or loosely/randomly across the garment.
Saturation defines the intensity or purity of the colours used in that pattern. The scale is between muted/soft and bright/clear.
All-over patterns have no negative space; the entire garment is covered with patterns such as plaids, stripes, dots, and checks.
PATTERN VS PRINT
Often the terms PATTERN and PRINT are used incorrectly but they are not the same. Printed patterns are very different from woven patterns.
A PATTERN is any repeated design, such as a floral, geometric, medallion, etc. It can be woven into a fabric or printed on top.
A PRINT is a pattern, however, it is not woven into the fabric but applied to the top with dye by various methods such as digital printing or screen printing.
Try flipping the fabric over to the backside, if you can no longer see the pattern, it is probably a print. When in doubt, refer to fabrics with a design as a pattern, because ALL prints are patterns, but not all patterns are prints!.
HOW TO WEAR PATTERNS&PRINTS
There are different ways to use patterns and prints in your combinations. If you are not a big fan of using them, you can add some accessories with patterns to start with, or you can choose one low-density, small-scale classic pattern for your top. You can always combine printed garments with plain, neutral colour fabrics. If you'd like to wear more than one printed item in your combination, then there are some basic rules to mix and match different patterns and prints.
Pattern mixing seems like that scary realm that only fashion bloggers, celebrities, and models can enter. But wearing only solid colours is easy, the hard but the fun part is throwing more colours into your outfit by using and mixing patterns. To give you a better idea of where to start, check out these patterns mixing combinations guidelines:
Match the colours first
If the colours look good together, more often the prints will look good together too.
You can choose two different prints that share at least one dominant colour.
Pair two neutral colour prints. That combination style is a good alternative if you prefer a calmer look.
If you want to use the same pattern, you can invert the colours.
Bright and Neutral
Pair bright prints with neutral colour prints.
Pair the same print with a different colour. For bold combinations, choose the ones that contrast each other.
Dominant and Accent
Choose one print to dominate and one as an accent.
Mix same prints; different scales
Use two different density types of the same pattern.
Use the same pattern with different scales, like large on the top and small on the bottom.
Simpler graphic prints are easier to mix
The easy way to pair plaids is to combine opposites. A large, simple plaid looks perfect when paired with a smaller, busier, more colourful plaid. Or you can pair it with other patterns as you like.
Stripes, especially black and white stripes, go with everything. They're so simple, they're pretty much the neutral of prints.
Graphic prints go great with each other and with more complex or organic prints like floral or animal prints.
Mixing a polka dot print with another contrasting one with larger or smaller dots is very popular in pattern mixing. Try a larger polka dot on top and pair it with a small polka dot print skirt on the bottom.
Distribute them nicely
* Try distributing your prints more evenly by doing one on the top and one on the bottom, that way your outfit would be less busy
* Spread your prints out across your outfit
* Break up the look with solids. If print-on-print-on-print is too much for you, you can layer in some solid-coloured clothes and accessories like belts to calm things down and ground your look