Black & White Patterns + One Bright Color

Pattern mixing has been floating around the fashion and blog world as far back as I can remember. Throughout the years, I am sure I have unconsciously styled mixed. Put a printed scarf with a tweed dress and you are wearing two patterns. Have I ever put something together with the sole purpose to mix patterns? No, at least not until today.

Multi pattern design has been around for years, centuries even. Sometimes it was out of necessity. Throughout the ages, humans have used scraps of material to create practical and beautiful multi-patterned objects. Quilting is just one example.


During World War II, European fabric was hard to come by in the United States. To keep American woman fashionable, Claire McCardell designed frocks from different patterns of humble American gingham. Adrian, another American designer, used various striped cotton poplin for evening dresses.

I love design. For this article, I spent probably way too much time looking for samples of pattern mixing in different time periods and different media–but it was so much fun! Knowing a few might not share my passion, I didn’t include most of my findings here. However, if you are interested in seeing a more historical viewpoint of pattern mixing, you may visit my newest page on MeadowTree: Mixing It Up.

But it’s time to find out how I decided to go about doing this pattern mixing.


The Patterns

Nothing is new here. I looked at what I owned and went for it. Owning an abundance of black and white, I decided to keep all  pattern mixing to those polar opposites. The black and white patterns are created with:

  • 8’ x 54’ black and white abstract sea shell motif Vera scarf (eBay)
  • Black and white stripped ¾ sleeve Liz Claiborne 100 % cotton knitted top-I have had this for years, from when there was a Liz Claiborne company and it sold in stores such as Dillards.
  • Black and white tweed flats by Dolce Vita (new from eBay)


I consider the quilted Big Buddha bag also a pattern because of its texture. Big Buddha bags are trendy but not especially well made. If carried everyday, they may only last six months (my daughter’s experience). Some years ago, this Buddha bag called to me from the clearance table at TJ Maxx. The bag’s quilted pattern called to mind the cable pattern knitters term ‘The Horseshoe Cable”. The bag functions for me as storage for my three vintage Koret bags. It is usually a bag full of bags!


The Pop of Color

Just one strong color is needed to make black and white pop. I found it with my turquoise jacket (with one awesome button) by Juliana Collezione (eBay). Julian Collezione was a multi level direct marketing enterprise that I am sure is no longer in existence. I really don’t know anything about the company or when it operated, but the items I found are excellent quality and usually made in America.

Other objects used in this styling are black and white jewelry (flea market) and Marc Jacob’s sunglasses (The RealReal).

Still Life in Black, White and Turquoise

So what do you think? I liked the outcome of this exercise and even wore the outfit to help judge a student art show.

2nd Loved 1st Friday Blogger Spotlight


This week’s spotlight is on Jodie of Jodie’s Sense of Style. Jodie’s blog is very unique because she styles along with her mother and stepmother for a 50/60/70’s viewpoint.

Jodie is another high/low stylist; mixing new with seconded loved and from her closet (sounds like someone else I know). She is always innovative and isn’t afraid to try something adventurous. Jodie is one who encouraged me to explore pattern mixing–and I’m so glad I did.

Remember, you can still link up to 2nd Loved 1st Friday until the next 1st Friday. To be featured, your contribution must tell us what you have used that is bought “not new” such as finding things at thrift shops or on-line consignment shops, etc.

Links To Places and Designers Mentioned in This Article

Jodie’s Touch of Style

Big Buddah

Dolce Vita 


Mixing It Up– images I found when researching pattern mixing.

The RealReal

Vera (how to date you Vera scarf from The Vintage Traveler)

Don’t forget, the 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup is all month-so if you have found that second hand gem, get it on, snap a picture, post on social media and linkup HERE with us!

That wraps it up for this style adventure So adieu until next time and in the meantime….

Happy Styling!


I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.

Michael gets credit for the blog photos today. Thank you to a couple of friends who snapped some Instagram shots for me.

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22 thoughts on “Black & White Patterns + One Bright Color

  1. That’s amazing that you talked about quilting Terri!! Because when I was thinking about the print mixing when I was responding to comments—it popped into my mind. In fact, I was thinking of creating a series relating our styles to art & crafts!!
    Thanks so much for the spot light—what a wonderful surprise!!
    I’ve actually been trying to mix my prints more consciously lately—and I have to admit that using black & white seems to be the easiest way!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The arts and crafts angle is interesting-is it because of your knitting? I have never used my knitting in any of my style posts, only when i was basically writing about art and design. Also, I just haven’t gotten anything knitted in forever!-that probably has more to do with it LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jacqui. what I like about this formula is that any color (with the exception of brown and black) would work for the jacket. It’s sort of a fail safe as far as I see it. I will wait in anticipation!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jumped over from the Senior Salon
    I’m not personally crazy about pattern mixing unless it is subtle – but I love black and white with a pop of color and this outfit looks great (especially with your hair, as noted in an earlier comment) so perhaps I’ll use this post as an inspiration to see what I can come up with from my own closet. Thanks for sharing.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”


      1. Black is one of my favorite clothing colors, and I’ve always loved black and white – since pre-school, actually. 🙂

        My little girl dream dress one Easter was black velvet with a white lace-trimmed collar, which my grandmother insisted was not an appropriate color for a dress for a child! lol (Her gift was often the holiday outfits and BOY were we attracted to totally different colors!)

        My yearning for that dress continued to be ignored, even though I asked for it again once Christmas rolled around when I spied it in a catalogue. I had to wait until I grew up and moved to NYC to attempt to satisfy my lust for black.


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