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Flavors of Fashion: Dots and Stripes and Florals, Oh My!

July 22, 2010

This week we’re all about the variety of patterns available today, and the great options for styling them. Patterns are always in season, and knowing how to wear them can easily multiply your wardrobe! – Carolyn

In summer everyone wants to be lively, loud, and show their enthusiasm for great weather and fun times. For this reason, summer is no lightweight when it comes to apparel designed with vivacious patterns. Florals are especially big this time of year, but they are not the only pattern that can be found. Take a look below for some fantastic patterned pieces I found around town. And take note of the styling tips—no walking eyesores here!

Patchwork skirt by Alberto Makali, $155; Jan Byce Designs

The first patterned garment I want to present is, needless to say, LOUD. There are all sorts of different patterns, in varied colors, running every which way on this bold piece. But you can’t let this skirt’s zaniness deter you! Pair it with a solid white or black tank and a basic silver cuff or pendant and you can achieve a creative look that is elegant, instead of overwhelming.

Polka-dot blouse by Cathaya Collection, $66; Patricia Shoppe

This top is the exact opposite of the patterned skirt you’ve already seen. This piece has a completely different tone—its delicate ruffling and light polka-dot pattern create a sophisticated and feminine feel. Wear this top casually with jeans, or dress it up for work by tucking it into a pencil skirt!

Handmade headbands, $14 each; The Purple Goose

Handmade belts by Elizabeth Disalvo, $28 each; The Purple Goose

Patterned accessories can bring something fun to your outfit! Both of the bright items above would be best paired with an informal outfit, perhaps for going to the movies or a day of shopping. I suggest matching the belt with capris and colorful pair of wedges. You could also mix the headbands with a patterned bottom, since your torso would provide distance between the two patterns. Just make sure to keep the primary, neutral color the same in both patterns to cut down on the clash factor. Side note: both these pieces are handmade locally!

Mosaic shirt by G Wheels, $90; Jan Byce Designs

This garment is displaying a pattern reminiscent of a mosaic to create an intricate design, while the shirt maintains a silhouette with clean lines. To really accentuate the mixed color palette of this shirt, try coupling it with a white or black pair of denim. It will make more of a statement than just a regular pair of blue jeans. Also, the “V” shaped neckline is terrific for complementing a tiered necklace in gold or silver.

Patterned scarf, $45; Tan jacket by Insight, $140; Jan Byce Designs

This scarf sports a modern print, and could be a great addition to your late summer and early fall wardrobe. It could be worn with a lightweight jacket like shown above, a solid tee, or even used as a shawl to accent a dress on a cool, summer night.

Front zippered blouse, $55; The Purple Goose

Back View

And now we’ve come to florals! I love this floral print because it’s not typical. It has a graphic quality to the print and is uniquely cut, making it a statement piece. I think it would be put to best use with a coordinating pair of black demin. If you’re feeling daring, try a skinny jean. Then finish it all off with a pair of black heels and chandelier earrings, and you’re ready for a night out on the town!

The Purple Goose/ 400 West Verona Avenue, Verona; (608) 845-2368

Jan Byce Designs/ Hilldale Male; (608) 233-1606

Patricia Shoppe/ 137 West Johnson, Madison; (608) 256-1111

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