Pattern Play: How to Pick Your Perfect Pattern

One of the best ways to add interest into your wardrobe is to step away from solid colors. While we love their sophistication and ease of pairing, patterns have a bit more personality and movement. From paisleys to plaid, this season there are a plethora of patterns to choose from. Here are some tips to help you narrow the playing field.

When searching for a pleasing pattern, first start with your mirror. Notice your own physical characteristics. Are you warmer or cooler in undertone? Think about the metal that flatters you most.  If you shine in silver, your undertone may be cool. This would mean the most flattering patterns on your skin would have cool undertones as well. Do you gravitate towards gold? You could be a warm undertone and flattered by warmer colored patterns.

In addition to your undertone, observe your level of value contrast – a.k.a. the dark/light differential between your hair and skin. If your hair and skin are closer in “value” (for example, blond hair and fair skin), you are considered lower contrast and will be most flattered by lower contrasting patterns.  However, if your hair and skin are markedly different (think dark hair and fair skin), you are higher in contrast and will be flattered in high contrast patterns. “Like enhances like” so stick to the pattern colors that best suit your undertone and contrast level.

Another consideration is the line movement of your facial features.  Are they more curved or angular? Patterns that echo the curve or angularity of your facial features will always be a friend. Curved facial features are well suited to rounded patterns like polka dot, paisley or abstract prints, where angular facial features will find harmony with geometric, stripe or plaid patterns. Separate but related, don’t forget to keep the scale of your features in mind when selecting the scale of your pattern. This is yet another instance of “like enhances like.”

In addition to these helpful tips, don’t forget to take into account your personality and preferences. Wearing a pattern that is both true to you, as well as technically flattering, is the key to finding your perfect pattern.

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