Pattern Play: A New Mix

While pattern play maybe a common term in sports, in this post the reference is about mixing together several prints into one cohesive look. Inspiration for this look came from an ad I saw this past weekend in the October issue of InStyle magazine. Go figure, after looking through all the other pages in the magazine, it would be a paid advertisement for a department store that would grab my attention and motivate me to create this look.  There were other great inspirations in this issue that may be showcased in a future post or two.


The ad copy says “from runway to your everyday, the hottest trends in modern, southern style” and I don’t think they mean Southern California. I’ve never been to one of these stores because the closest one to where I live is three states away. The image in this ad reminds me of the inventive pattern play looks that Jess at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish and Samantha at Fake Fabulous are often sporting on their respective blogs.

For my take on pattern play and in creating a mix of prints, I’ve pulled together a light gray tweed moto style jacket, a floral top, and a gray/black zebra print skirt. This look started with the skirt.


Skirt – Spence, thrifted (similar look); Blouse – Mossimo Suppy Co, old (option); Jacket – Loft Outlet, old (option)

I had originally thought to put together a look that had a mix of animal prints but I don’t have enough in my wardrobe that would play well together. Perhaps that is why the image in the magazine ad stuck with me because one of the prints in the outfit is animal. My skirt is a fairly new acquisition but a thrifted one from a few months ago. This is its first showing as I’ve been waiting for Fall to wear it. After deciding on the skirt, I was tempted to stick with a mostly gray palette but this floral pattern blouse I bought earlier this year seemed to call out to me and say “pick me” so I did.



I’m fond of the “top hanging lower than the jacket” look but in this case, but now that I see the photos, I’m thinking that maybe I should have worn it tucked in. Fine, whatever. Next choice, cardigan or jacket? Here again, my first thought was to go with animal in the form of my newly thrifted cardigan with faux fur collar but the silhouette wasn’t right. A search through my other options led me to this knit tweedy moto style jacket. Normally I might have chosen a black completer piece but I like how the lighter color of the jacket allows the zebra pattern to stand out.

Brooch – vintage, gift (similar look)

Shoes – Adrienne Vittadini, Marshalls (similar look)

Since the blouse has a tie with tassels closure and a pleated detail on the yoke, I opted to not wear a necklace and instead went with a marcasite brooch which continues with the gray palette. The cutout design in my shoes brings another type of pattern into the look and being gray, they tie into the palette as well. It’s only my mock croc purse with its reddish brown tone that adds any real accent of color to the outfit.


How many prints and patterns are mixing together in your outfits? If you’re already pairing up two, try it with three (or even four) and take a walk on the wild side.


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20 thoughts on “Pattern Play: A New Mix”

  1. Wow First, thank you for the mention, Rena! I love this look from tip to toe. Those deep grey suede shoes are so gorgeous and the mix of light and dark print with the top and skirt, lovely! The jacket is sharp as well, I love the fitted moto style and how you personalize it with the vintage brooch, you know I love it!
    thanks for linking up with turning heads tuesday
    jess xx

    1. Thank you, Jess. I was hoping to get a seal of approval from you. You are a master at putting together outfits like this so your compliments mean a lot to me.

A comment from you would be lovely