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Easiest Pattern Mixing

Pattern mixing is a bit of an art. The results can be lovely and fun or go very wrong…depending on how you do it. And let me preface this by saying, there really isn’t a wrong way to do it, there are just some ways that produce a more visually cohesive result. As a newbie to wearing patterns, I take the foolproof route which is to combine patterns in the same color family.

woman wearing white tee, blue kimono and plaid pants

Today’s ootd has me pattern mixing with shades of blue and white which is a pretty simple formula. A geometric with paisley is as easy a combo as a stripe with a floral.


woman wearong blue and white outfit

Pattern mixing is easiest when you limit the number of colors involved. I’m just beginning to dip my toe into wearing color and tiny bits of a pattern so combing just two colors is a snap for me. This elegant kimono is reversible giving you lots of options. The high side slits help it flow and swish when you walk. It’s available in regular and petite, sizes 0/2 – 22/24. I’m wearing a 4/6 regular which is a bit snug across the back so I could have gone up to an 8/10.


woman walking in sun wearing white tee, blue and white kimono and blue and white houndstooth pants

The 3/4 sleeves are natural for showcasing bracelets and also help us look taller.

blond woman wearign blue duster and plaind pants with white shoes


woman's legs showing blue and white jacket mixed with blue and white pants


woman on path wearing blue gingham pants and blue kimono

The pants are Chico’s classic pull-on Bridgett in gingham. They didn’t make the blue and white gingham in petite so I bought the regular size 2 and turned the hem under, just once. That allowed me to keep the cute ankle buttons which really add a fun touch. These pants have a lot of stretch so I recommend you size down for the best fit. The pull-on style also means no bulky zipper or closure to show through a tee.


over 50 blogger modeling blue jacket and plain pants in park


blonde woman looking at camera wearign kimono and pants in blue and white

This outfit would also look really cute worn with white tennies, flat shoes, or sandals. If white shoes are not your thing, a soft metallic is a nice option. In fact, metallic shoes and bags are a great neutral for most outfits.

When mixing patterns with multiple colors, be sure each pattern has a sizable portion of the same shade. This helps tie them together.
Choose patterns that vary in size. Combining a large pattern with a small scale pattern gives the most visually pleasing look.


woman walking wearing a mix of houndstooth and paisley


Which do you prefer? The blue side of the kimono or the pattern side with the gingham pants?

I will be going live again today on Instagram with Susan, Deborah, and Tania at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET to discuss hair over 50. It should be a lively conversation and we’d love to have you join us.

And remember to join Pam and me back here tomorrow for would you wear it!

Thanks for reading ladies and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.



  1. You look fabulous! I like the rule of combining color patterns in the same family when mixing patterns. The gingham pants are terrific! Now in my senior years, I find myself wearing smaller patterns and save the splash for accessories. The whimsy outfits go out of style and don’t stay in my closet very long .

  2. Pattern mixing is SO hard for me but I really like the way you did it…and that kimono might be my favorite things I’v seen this spring!

  3. Great look, I like the reversible element. Fabric has a nice drape, and looks to fit really well in the pic. Nice!

  4. Love the blue and white combo…and the thoughtful pattern mixing. The other day I mentioned that I had been adding to a summer wardrobe of white and blues, which is such a fresh look on warm days.
    Never shopped before at Chico’s but just did so on-line , after seeing the kimono you wore, Jennifer. I added a couple of silk scarves to my order. Looking forward to the delivery.

  5. When I was in high school (about 200 years ago) I had a dress with orange and pink polka dots and stripes with the bodice in one print, the sleeves in another, etc. I loved that dress, but I had a devil of time getting my mother to buy it because one of her iron rules was not mixing patterns (not to mention orange and bright pink.) I think pattern mixing goes against that mother-in-my-head voice a lot of us live with.

  6. Pattern mixing is fun! You did it well. I like the patterned side better with the pants. Shakes things up a little!
    Have a great weekend!

  7. What a fun look at pattern mixing. Both the kimono and the gingham pants are beautiful statement pieces. The beauty of each piece gets lost a bit when they are wore together. When I saw the kimono styled with a white tank and white pants, it just elevated the kimono to front stage. The same would be true styling the pants with a navy or white linen top. You could then accessory a bit more too.
    You put together a gorgeous style of pattern mixing today.

    1. I love your blog and getting styling tips. However, on a retired budget I wish you had more links to cheaper alternatives! I would love this kimono but at $139, no way!

      1. Women all have different budgets so I do try to show different price points.

    2. Very smart look with both the solid & printed kimono. I appreciate you sharing your over 50 styles. I hate when women try to dress like we were still in our teens.

  8. Excellent tips, Jennifer. Having dabbled in interior decor I agree with Joanna (below) that the mixing of prints and pattern share the same principles as when dressing a room. Also shall add though; one can also take into account the weave of a fabric. i.e.: A plain corduroy will give the ‘ pattern ‘ illusion of a banker or bengal stripe for example. Do love the combo of the paisley and gingham. -Brenda-

  9. So, you’re saying I can mix my large blue and white floral top with my seersucker, small blue and white striped pants? WoW! Now, let’s see if I have the guts. You look perfectly matched. I probably wouldn’t necessarily notice the pattern mixing. Just that you looked good.

  10. Now this blue calls my name, as does the reversibility. It also jogged my memory and right there in the closet was a kimono bought in the airport in Seoul several years ago. Loved it the; love it now. Thanks.

  11. Love your pattern mixing. It always used to be a no no so trying it now will seem weird but fun. Thanks for showing us the way!

  12. Great outfit ! I prefer the print side of the kimono with the gingham pants, but I’m sure the solid side would be perfect with something else.

  13. This is a cute outfit. The gingham and larger floral work good together. It’s the same premise for mixing prints in decor. That I can do, but I’ve never felt comfortable mixing prints in clothing, except for adding a scarf with a printed top. I guess that’s a baby step.

  14. Have wanted to experiment with pattern-mixing, not knowing where to start. Thanks for beautifully modeling your attractive outfits with options. Now excited, not hesitant!

  15. Your outfits are adorable and look great on you. It is already too warm in the southeast for jackets. I love Talbots tee shirts they are comfortable and wash beautifully.

    1. I very much like the paisley side of the kimono and I like how you put it together with the gingham print pants. Unfortunately, the plain side looks to me like a housecoat. Thank you for all your great ideas and actually showing us how to put them together. I have learned a lot since I started following your blog.

  16. After colour, the most foolproof way to combine patterns is to vary the scale. So, pair a small scale print with a larger scale print. I find when people follow this simple rule the effects are always great. When you have a really small scale print, like the gingham, it almost acts as a neutral.

    Love your outfit today.

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