I adore the perfect use of two different patterns. In contrast to my usual adage of pairing a pattern with a solid colored item, when done correctly, pairing a pattern with a pattern can be incredibly unique and utterly stylish. I know I have already written about it a couple years ago, but I wanted to show you some modern day examples and give you a little reminder.
Allow me to begin with, if you really don't get it you probably shouldn't try it, but here are the basics. One, there needs to be something that unites the patterns together. It could be the color tones, it could be the size of the pattern, it could be the graphics. There must be a common bond between the prints and the fabric should be the same. Silk with silk, cotton with cotton and linen with linen. As you can see on Leighton Meester the two patterns that are paired together have the same color tones with one color tone matching exactly (the yellow). Also the patterns have a similar rhythm. Both patterns resemble flowers and are a bit pointy. Lastly, the fabrics are have the same weight and consistency.
Pictured above on Kristen Bell is the epitome of mixing patterns for beginners. She let Louis Vuitton do the work for her when she chose an outfit pre-made to match. As you can see the top and skirt have something obviously in common. It is the exact same pattern, but in different uses of the same color tones. Although less interesting then Leighton's version of mixing patterns, this is still a solid look of style and a great example of pairing patterns that don't overwhelm your entire look – which is what can happen if you mix patterns badly. You can become an eyesore stat if you have mixed up the wrong concoction of print. Pictured below is mixing pattern no-no's.
What Not To Do.