Patterns. Are they always awful?

(68 Posts)
29redshoes Thu 18-Aug-16 10:00:20

I'm starting to revamp my wardrobe now that I've lost most of my baby weight, and have been reading S+B a fair bit in the process.

It seems patterns are often considered a bit of a fashion faux pas. Why is this? Does everyone think this way, or is it just super fashionable people? When I think about the clothes I own which have received the most compliments in the past, they're almost all patterned!

Just curious really - and conscious that I have a lot of patterned tops and print dresses in my wardrobe. Wondering if I should cut down and if this will automatically make me more chic grin

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 18-Aug-16 10:02:43

Very small subtle patterns are OK IMO.

lasttimeround Thu 18-Aug-16 10:27:47

I don't think so but plain items are more versatile imo. Also I find its easier to for patterns to look cheap (things don't line up, colours are garish or very recognisable as a particular brand - which I personally don't like maybe it's just me I had a great top which suited me really well but I found I was often a bit but 'I look so monsoon' no idea what that's about)

I also think clothes look worn much faster with patterns on as the fading varies across the different colours - faded one colour items look quite nice to me but faded patterns generally don't.

I don't feel pattern itself a nono just that its harder and pricier to fo well. I haven't much money and most of my clothes are cheap(ish) I stayed away from pattern.

Floisme Thu 18-Aug-16 11:09:48

Nah, I love a good pattern and they're much better for hiding chocolate and coffee stains. Admittedly I'm buying more block colour at the moment but that's because I just haven't seen many patterns I like. (I'm not mad about florals.)

There is a school of thought on here that says the only way to look chic is to wear navy and beige. Let's just say we don't see eye to eye.

DerelictMyBalls Thu 18-Aug-16 11:15:09

Flowery patterns are dowdy and chintzy, IMO. I like a bit of tartan, though.

camelfinger Thu 18-Aug-16 11:20:21

I think a pattern is harder to pull off than plain colours, and it can make you look bigger. That said, if you have a good figure, and get the pattern wearing just right, it looks absolutely stunning and far better than plain colours imo. But that's in a head turning manner. I think the goal for many on here is to look effortlessly stylish without turning heads. The most compliments I get are about polyester patterned tops, nobody in real life seems that enamoured with my creased natural fabrics.

rubybleu Thu 18-Aug-16 11:47:24

I wear patterns on my bottom half, and often for dresses. I steer away from any pattern that look like it might be sold in Phase 8.

The natural fibre, muted colour, drapey look also doesn't work for me. I just look creased and fat even as a tall size 10.

Cellardoor23 Thu 18-Aug-16 12:15:01

I don't think they're awful. Sometimes they can look really nice. But I would only wear one patterned item at a time. I have a lot of patterned scarfs and keep my clothes plain. Easier to pull off for me.

I like patterned shirts. I don't own any but I think they look nice on other people. Not overly loud but if it's in pastel colours it can look really nice I think. I think it's depends on the pattern as well.

Cellardoor23 Thu 18-Aug-16 12:17:49

Meant to add I like checked shirts. I don't own one of those either but they look good in bright bold colours I think.

DelicatePreciousThing1 Thu 18-Aug-16 12:22:40

A polka dot pattern especially white on navy is very acceptable. As are the Breton stripe in either navy or black.
Whatever gave you the idea all patterns are wrong. Paisley is great too.

toadgirl Thu 18-Aug-16 12:22:46

I have heard a lot of people running down patterns.

I LOVE patterns. If something comes in a plain or a patterned option, I will invariably choose the latter.

HOWEVER - I never have anything to wear, can never put an outfit together (not exactly a fashionista anyway) and am currently trying to organise a capsule wardrobe.

I have been reading a lot on capsule wardrobes and have realised how much my love of patterns has hindered me in having a cohesive wardrobe.

So I've had to cut back on that addiction. Just a few patterns and the rest can be mixed-up a bit with accessories. I am not great with accessories yet, but am learning.

I am still drawn to them though and have to give myself a good talking-to about it grin

DelicatePreciousThing1 Thu 18-Aug-16 12:25:24

As are Breton stripes...
...are wrong?

toadgirl Thu 18-Aug-16 12:33:59

I LOVE stripes. I am putting stripes into my capsule.

I am resisting the floral patterns though. I think I have a little old lady living inside me wink

JamieVardysParty Thu 18-Aug-16 13:46:12

I'm obsessed with stripes. I don't consider them a pattern, more a way of life grin

I don't like patterns. As a PP said, they can look great on someone with a really good figure, but more often than not, they just look frumpy. That being said, I do like a subtle pattern on a blouse with a plain pencil skirt.

29redshoes Thu 18-Aug-16 18:04:45

Interesting, thanks! More positivity than I expected.

I read most of the "how to look expensive" threads which were a great read. Everyone was very down on patterns. I guess those threads were for people aiming for a certain "look" though.

Like PPs I think I also look a bit crumpled in natural fibres and neutral colours. I look particularly awful in linen.

toadgirl yes I also have to give myself a good talking to when it comes to florals. I love them but try not to buy too many. I see them as more Holly Willoughby than little old lady though (but I think HW looks nice...maybe not everyone does!)

Most of my tops and dresses are patterned but because my trousers/skirts and cardigans/jackets aren't, it doesn't cause big problems in terms of putting outfits together.

dragonsarebest Thu 18-Aug-16 18:25:35

I love a good pattern but find a lot of them really unappealing or difficult to wear. That said, I think a print can really lift an outfit and look more considered than plain colours, I'm not a stripes fan though tbh. Like PPs, I definitely wouldn't wear more than one pattern at a time.

lasttimeround Thu 18-Aug-16 18:26:17

I'm totally with floisme on the stain hiding power of patterns tho!

ZaraW Thu 18-Aug-16 18:36:44

Love patterns I have some grey silk tasteful printed zebra trousers which always get compliments. Also, like a bit of leopard print. Really like Mother of Pearl cat print blouse as worn by Sail Hughes but to expensive for me. Patterns aren't cheap a life wearing solid colours is boring and unimaginative .

Ohchristmastreeohchristmastree Thu 18-Aug-16 18:58:31

I think I may have been anti pattern on a thread the other day!
I do very little pattern as stated above I find pattern less versatile. Plus I carry pattern and colour with me in the form of freckles and red auburn hair, so I personally prefer a plain top. I do have some patterned clothes but not many. Plus I love the stain hiding power of black.

Runningupthathill82 Thu 18-Aug-16 20:11:07

Patterns aren't always awful, but they are often awful. It's the way they're worn.

I think the main issue is when people don't think through their whole "look" before they step out of the door. For example, a colleague of mine recently wore flowery harem trousers with a plain top and sandals. Which would've been OK.

Except she obviously then grabbed her everyday jacket on her way out (Joules/Boden flowery print) and her everyday work bag (spotty Cath Kidston).

So then you have two clashing flower prints and a spotty bag, and look like a deranged Mr Tumble wannabe.

Also, supermarkets have a way of doing hideous polyester print things in the summer (usually harems and maxis) which generally are always awful. But a patterned Ted Baker flowery skirt, say, can look gorgeous. I'm also partial to a bird print.

So yeah, I think it involves keeping the (entire) rest of the outfit simple and going for good quality stuff rather than see-through Primark.

JuniorWhopper Thu 18-Aug-16 20:13:53

I love a pattern or stripe! Fuck what S&B says.

DerelictMyBalls Thu 18-Aug-16 20:31:20

Fuck what S&B says.

Why are you posting on it, then?

Judydreamsofhorses Thu 18-Aug-16 20:59:07

I like stripes, polka dots and leopard print in my own wardrobe and that's about it, but I think lots of people look great in bold floral prints. That said, one of my colleagues wears a standard work outfit (multiple variations) of Whitestuff floral jersey top plus black trousers, and this combo just looks tired to me.

toadgirl Fri 19-Aug-16 11:30:15

Some people look great in leopard print. I can't carry it off, but when people suit it, it looks really great.

toadgirl Fri 19-Aug-16 11:30:32

I can't wear yellow either, but I love the colour. My office is painted yellow smile

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