Pattern Mixing Guide with I Dream of Dapper

For some people it’s the sound of the coffee pot brewing that gets them out of bed in the morning, but for me it’s the endless combinations of colors and patterns that wait for me.

I lie in bed and compose my outfit in my head before my feet even hit the floor. It’s no secret that I love a good bow tie and vest pairing; you don’t name your blog over something you feel partial about.

photo credit: Boogie

By Guest Blogger, I Dream Of Dapper

Usually I’m feeling a bit sassy and playful, which for me means fun with colors and patterns. Mind you, I picture myself as Mark from Ugly Betty on these days. I usually start out by choosing my shirt, sweater, and vest/blazer combinations before adding neckwear. I really like using similar patterns that vary in size; but pairing different patterns can also be rewarding. Subtle patterns are great for jazzing things up without looking like a complete clown.

Here are some of my favorite pattern mixtures put together from my wardrobe:

Stripes and Plaid

Stripes and Plaid

I find the clean straight lines of a striped shirt accompanied with the complexity of the plaid pleasing to the eye. Try and match colors with this combination to avoid a clownish appearance. This button-up has very thin navy stripes, which pair well the navy bow tie.

Gingham and Paisley

Gingham and Paisley

Gingham and paisley are great together. The curves and shapes of the paisley add a level of fun to the clean lines of the gingham. When starting out, choose a paisley tie that contains the same colors of the gingham to help bring everything together.

Stripes and Polka-dots

Stripes and Polka-dots

Lines and polka dots are a crowd pleaser. Just keep the patterns small and subtle; otherwise you’ve crossed the line from dapper into clownville.

Gingham and Plaid

Gingham and Plaid

Gingham and plaid is a more complex and tricky combination. It risks appearing too busy. But when done with thin lines and subtle colors, it can be really dapper! It also helps with the busy factor to mix bigger patterns with smaller ones. Those who know me know that I like taking risks and being a bit more daring. Taking risks can result in big pay-offs and many compliments. 

Floral and Paisley

Floral and Paisley

One of my signature mixtures is floral & paisley. The features of these traditionally feminine patterns compliment each other and create a fun and playful look. I find that it works really well to mix dark shades with light ones.

Check back soon for more of my outfits IRL!

Ashleigh Bingham better known as “Bing, ”creator of I Dream of Dapper, is a dapperwear Tumblr style icon. She contributed to popularizing the long-haired "queer pomp" and is known for her daring pattern mixing, complimentary rich colors, lapel pins, wild thrift finds, variety in neckwear (featured in her "50 Days of Dapper" project), & ability to write about Harry Styles. In the past, Bing has contributed to Autostraddle, and has been featured on DapperQ, S Moda, HudsonBuzzfeed, and included in the top 10 of a national menswear online competition. With a tendency to mix fashion with satire, Bing aims to explore fashion as a tool for self-expression rather than an industry.