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Deb's Desk: Transitioning Seasons with Pattern Mixing

This Friday marks the official start of fall.  I sensed the approaching deadline after receiving the gentle prompt from a fellow southern rule-follower that the time had come to cast off and/or lock up any traces of white, linen, etc. (I don't actually follow this "rule," by the way, and neither should you!).  If you're anything like me, then picking an outfit in the morning seems tantamount to being a contestant on the Great British Bake Off.  You look at your garment rack in panic as if you've been given an almond and orange, then asked to make 24 fortune cookies.  Before you start screaming, having a meltdown and making yourself late for work: stop. Take a deep breath.  The answer is right in front of you and much easier than it seems...

Our Chief Creative Officer, Deb, wants to help you out. So, she's come out from behind her desk to provide you with some crucial tips for transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall.  In a mere 45 minutes, Deb created 6 different looks from 3 different Georgetown retailers.  At first, our teammate, Carson, was wary when we came to her requesting she model "transitional pattern mixing and matching for fall" (that's a mouthful).  But all concerns melted away within 5 minutes of entering our first store, Zara.  Deb was working styling magic that would have had Fraulein Maria (and her dresses made of drapes) completely gobsmacked.  She made it look so easy!  And, it is easy, if you just remember her simple breakdown.  The key to mixing pattern is to make sure it connects on either like pattern or like color.  This makes it easier to work patterns together that don't "match."  So, the goal is mixing two of the same pattern rendered in two colorways.  Mixing different patterns with like color palettes will work as well.  A varying scale of two identical patterns is also another technique for mixing.

Deb's got your fall looks covered, so you can focus on those fortune cookies.

We began our beautiful and brief pattern journey at the local Zara.  Zara is a pattern mixing mecca this season, a fact perfectly illustrated by Deb's first ensemble.  If you don't already have a reliable knit t-shirt dress on standby, then look no further.  This simple, streamlined piece pairs with just about anything.  And, we mean anything (even a silk kimono with fur cuffs). Long pieces, like this one, draped over something short immediately create a contemporary look. The open kimono over a knit t-shirt dress = boho-chic. The dark brocade, tapestry stitching, deep maroon and navy contrast nicely with the light tones in the two pieces. The deconstructed and loose "brocade" is the perfect addition to a classic, preppy stripe.

PRINTED KIMONO WITH FAUX FUR|RIBBED DRESS

Well, well, well look who we have here.  Our old friend, bouclé.   Deb gave us the ultimate "classic with a twist" vibe by pairing the tweed jacket with a micro-houndstooth mini dress. Houndstooth is a well-known classic among men's suits.  Pairing this print with tweed blazer provides a feminine contrast a la CoCo Chanel.   Notice how the black and white unifies the varying textures, fabrics, and patterns. The 3/4 length blazer, mini dress, and contrasting patterns make for another more contemporary look.  Throw on an over-the-knee boot and hit the streets!

TWEED JACKET WITH FAUX BUTTONS|FULL SLEEVE DRESS

Spoiler alert: this is my favorite example of pattern mixing by Deb. The airy and bohemian maxi dress shares the same rich color palette as the cropped-kimono cardigan. The woven cardigan’s white and black accents perfectly anchor the jacket to the dress and it’s deep, warm tones. The Moroccan-inspired color schemes of wine, russet red, gold, and evergreen unify the look. A gauzy, flowy maxi is the dream canvas for elegant, elongated stipes separated by fine, gold tinsel. Ensconcing Carson in a textured, technicolor dream-coat created the perfect combination of flat, smooth and dimensional. Trust Deb’s process, for you, too, can mix your own delicious outfit sangria. Get adventurous with ingredients, use a classic recipe for reference, and shake up your look for a chic take on Boho.

YOKO KIMONO CARDIGAN|ARTISTA MAXI DRESS

Carson's wearing a plaid coat and tiled tunic tucked into wide-leg jeans. Black, navy and white unify this sophisticated, modern, and comfortable look. We've mixed the geometric, macro "windowpane" plaid coat with the neat, reptilian tiles of the blouse. The white accents are crisp and pop amidst the deep navy and black tones. This is a great yo-pro look that can transition Day-to-Night.

MARGOT PLAID COAT|GRAPHIC CUTOUT TUNIC|DENIM EFFECT KNIT TROUSERS

 

Blotchy camo, meet sharp diamonds.  Sharp diamonds, meet blotchy camo.  In this look, we’ve merged a camouflage canvas jacket with a “Marni” inspired, geometric shift dress.  This may sound like a wild combo, but Carson is a testament effortless and hip final product.  The moss, putty and olive tones neatly tie together the angular structures on the dress.  Mixing a casual patterned jacket with a rigorous, geometric pattern gives a more modern take to daily dressing.

CAMOUFLAGE UTILITY SHIRT-JACKET|SILK DRESS IN RATTI GRAPHIC DIAMOND

The geometric daisy pattern on a lace, belle-sleeve shell adds a nice touch of femininity underneath a rich topper of multicolored, bouclé stripes. Deb grabbed dark wash cigarette jeans for the ideal base to ground the heavily textured and patterned motifs of the top and jacket. You gotta love our go-to, old reliable, bouclé tweed jacket with bow accent at the neck. The jacket is a textbook "classic with a twist" selected by Deb. It acts as a rich overlay on the airy and feminine lace base. Deb creates a harmonious union among dense, textured stripes, pale blue lace, and classic navy denim. Above all, the color palette connects and balances the varying themes of each piece. The final product is a lovely marriage of casual and elevated.

TWEED LADY JACKET WITH TIES|DAISYLACE BELLE-SLEEVE TOP| 9" HIGH-RISE TOOTHPICK JEAN IN RESIN WASH

Quick reminder: pattern mixing isn't just for clothes. It would be a crime if we didn't provide a guide to pattern mixing your SCOUT bags. We've provided a few examples of Deb's technique translated in our own product.

The Duffy in Crocotile and the DJ Bag in Desert Rose share tiled and stamped motifs.  While Crocotile is a black and white mosaic take on an alligator print, Compass Rose is a hand-stamped print with a disintegrated feel.  The contrasting clean and blurred lines compliment each other, and black and khaki atop white background are the perfect neutrals to effortlessly mix and match.

A Weekender in Buzzworthy, Little Tripper in Dippin' Dots, and Daytripper in Monet Chambray all share the naturally soothing tone of chambray.  The blurred handdrawn hexagons, dots and lines, and smooth, painterly stripes combine for a whimsical and irregular motif.  The textural honeycombs and classic brush strokes are punctuated nicely by the fun dotted and striped pattern.  Purple and pear accent tones give a little extra flair to this assortment.

A Weekender in Elizabeth Bayleaf, 3-Way Bag and Daytripper in Honeydo, and Gossip Girl in Dot Flash each share olive and white tones punctuated by lemonade pink.  A crisp, white background make the perfect canvas for allover leaf drawings, hand drawn honeycombs, and repetitive dotted and srtiped lines.  The diffused simplicity of the leafy print easily melds with both the geometry of the rigorous dot and stripes, as well as the textural, multi-tone ikat.

For your own fall mixing pleasure...

Now, go forth, mix, mingle, match however you please! The fashion's of fall are callin,' y'all. Patterns are begging for you to mix them together like a bowl of assorted Halloween candy. So, dig in and don't be afraid to try new flavors.

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