Mixing It Up

Want to see what I am wearing today?

Stars and Stripes. I am almost obsessively into mixed prints right now.  And yes, that is a maternity skirt, but NO, I am not maternitized.

Let’s talk clothes.

I’ve been mixing prints for a while now.  I grew up in a world where you wore print as an accent, and always with a solid, never mixing stripes with dots, or plaid with florals, but I think all those cute little, mixed-print dresses you see in the Zulilly type ads for girls seeped into my brain and suddenly, I find myself actively seeking prints to mix.

I mixed Thor’s prints at my cousin’s wedding a few years ago, and I was inordinately proud of myself for having done. Plaids and stripes–see his little collar and sleeve cuffs? So GQ. I just wanted an excuse to post this picture because it is a favorite of mine.

For me, the trick to mixing prints is color and size of print.  Your colors have to match or blend impeccably, and your prints need to be of very different sizes.  For example, I wouldn’t match a big floral to a big plaid.  I would match a tiny floral to a big plaid, or a big floral to a tiny plaid.  I probably wouldn’t match florals and plaids at all, actually, unless I was using the floral as an accent on the plaid.  I could see a floral necktie, or waistband/belt on a plaid jumper dress, but not a floral top with a plaid skirt.  Chloe Sevigny?  She can see that, and it looks good on her.  Not on me.

The other night, to the play, I wore a mixed-stripe cardigan over a floral dress.  I liked it.  Thor approved of it.  It certainly got some looks.  Whether or not other people liked looking at it is up for grabs, but I was happy wearing it, and that’s really what matters. 

Wide and narrow stripes with a tight floral. It made me happy.

Fit, when you’re wearing prints, is also very important.  If it is a rosebud, you don’t want it stretched out to the point it looks more like a carnation.  (I used to have this glorious gored skirt–it was white with huge pink rosebuds on it.  Apropos of nothing, other than that I love rosebud prints.)  Now, I am not one of those “never wear horizontal stripes unless you are thin” people, however I am a “wear white whenever you want to” person, so take my opinion for what you think it is worth.  If you are going to wear horizontal stripes across your hips, make sure the fabric drapes smoothly from the widest part of your hip, otherwise you can end up looking like you have big rubber bands wrapped around your body. My look, today, comes courtesy of teensy stars and chevron stripes, and the Misses and Maternity section–my skirt is a maternity skirt.  No, I’m not pregnant, I just like some maternity clothes.  I think it is actually a well kept secret that the only difference between maternity pants and skirts, and regular pants and skirts is the waistband, and the ease across the hips and thighs.  There is some cute stuff in the maternity section! Maternity pants/skirts are cut to fit an expanding belly (by offering stretchy, often fold over waistbands–think about your favorite yoga pants), and wider hips and thighs (by offering a more relaxed cut across the bum.) Thus, if you’re looking for a fit that accommodates some junk in the trunk, and you don’t mind a more casual waistband, the maternity section might have something for you.  This is especially true if you aren’t quite big enough to fit well into a Plus Sized cut, but are a skosh too big to be comfortable in a Misses Sized cut. (Now, if someone will just make a button down shirt that fits a big bust without looking like a button down tarp…)

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