Pattern Play

Photography by Dan Austin
Hair and makeup by Patricia Uiterwyk and  Giselle Oliveras  of Venue Salon
Models: Brandon  kaleiwahea – BMG / Cameron kaleiwahea – BMG/ Deshlee ford – MOdern muse / Gio thorton – MOdern muse / Madi urban – MOdern muse

From timeless stripes and plaids to eye-catching animal prints and abstract florals, spring is the time to play with pattern and have some fun with your daily style.

Spring is a season of new beginnings, so it’s the perfect time of year to invest in a wardrobe refresh. When the days get longer and nature is in full bloom, I crave sun-washed pastel palettes with strategic pops of color, classic lived-in denim, easy lightweight linens, and lots of print.



Saltwater Luxe floral jacket  m.marie  /  XOXO sweater tank  Macy’s  /  jeans  Levi’s 501  /  espadrille sandals  TJ Maxx  /  Costa sunglasses  Andy Thornal Company



Tasso Elba linen shirt and pants  Macy’s  /  Sperry loafers  Andy Thornal Company  /  Maui Jim “Spinnaker” sunglasses   Andy Thornal Company  /  Yeti Hopper Flip cooler  Andy Thornal Company

woven basket bag  /  Lasater Flowers

If you’re new to playing with print, start with something subtle: classic plaid trousers in a neutral gray or tan can be as versatile as your favorite pair of jeans (go for a modern ankle length this time of year); blue and white striped button-down shirts and striped Breton tees are closet staples that work with just about anything; and swapping your neutral shoes with a leopard print sandal or loafer will instantly elevate your basics.


RVCA striped dress  m.marie  /  sandals  Vince Camuto  /  Cuyana mini circle belt bag  I.N.C.


I.N.C. striped shirt  Macy’s  /  I.N.C. pink linen shorts  Macy’s  /  Olakai leather sneakers  Andy Thornal Company  /  Maui Jim sunglasses  Andy Thornal Company


Consider scale and proportion when adding printed pieces to your closet, as patterns can alter the visual perception of size and volume. Delicate florals and mini polka dots add a dose of whimsy without overwhelming petite body types, while taller frames can play with bigger prints and bold patterns.

Whether you’re a print beginner or pattern-loving aficionado, bring some color and texture into your closet, mix things up, and be playful with your style this season!

As a rule of thumb, remember that larger prints increase volume while small prints decrease it. If you want to balance wider hips, wear a large-scale print on top with a solid bottom, or a solid top with a small print on the bottom; and narrow vertical stripes to create the illusion of a long and lean silhouette.


Southern Tide polo  Andy Thornal Company  /  Southern Tide pant Andy Thornal Company  /  Olakai leather sneakers Andy Thornal Company


Joah Brown sweater  m.marie  /  striped Cuyana mini circle belt bag  I.N.C.  /  pants  Macy’s


Want to level up? Try mixing prints. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, your wardrobe can become an inspiring source of endless creative combinations. Make this the year you ditch the thought, I can’t pull that off, and get playful with your style!

Here are my favorite tips for pattern mixing like a pro:

1. Think of leopard and stripes as neutrals that work well with almost all prints and textures;

2. Stick to a limited color palette, and mix prints in the same color family (or for a more graphic look, go black and white with a single pop of color);

3. Play with scale, like pairing a windowpane blazer with a camisole in a smaller version of the print; or

4. Combine the same pattern in different neutral hues, i.e., floral-on-floral or polka dots.


Olive + Oak sweater  m.marie  /  Blank NYC denim shorts  m.marie  /  Baggu canvas bag  Lasater Flowers

If the thought of wearing multiple patterns in an outfit still feels daunting, try pairing your printed pieces with textured fabrics and textiles for more visual interest. I love incorporating natural textures into spring looks, like raw silk, rattan, and leather. Wicker statement earrings are a fun contrast to a silky floral jacket; basket totes make perfect weekend carryalls, from the farmer’s market to a lakeside picnic; a bright leather belt bag transforms a simple striped dress into a fresh (and effortless!) outfit; and a woven leather slip-on sneaker adds an interesting detail to casual menswear.

Whether you’re a print beginner or pattern-loving aficionado, bring some color and texture into your closet, mix things up, and be playful with your style this season!