Every once in a while when I am thrifting, I come across garments or patterns that really bring me back to a place of nostalgia. Whether it’s a jacket that I totally remember wearing in the snow (oh, the bright puffy 80’s-ness!) or turtlenecks that take me back to my really nerdy multicolored Harry-Potter-esque glasses days (although I didn’t know about HP at the time), I love sorting through racks of clothes and being reminded of those years. Most of the time, those things make me laugh.
But here and there I come across a piece that is nostalgic in the best way. This dress is one of them. It reminds me of those days when I was five and I felt like a princess in the floral confections my mom would make me for Easter and Christmas and every other holiday where a little girl needs a pretty new dress. I am pretty sure my love for florals started back then, and never died. So of course, as soon as I saw this fabric — which is from the 80’s or 90’s, my baby- and childhood era — I couldn’t resist. I knew I would buy it before I even pulled it entirely out of the plethora of spaghetti strap Forever21 dresses that surrounded it. I held it up to myself and felt the urge to twirl just as I would have all those years ago. And when I tried it on, the love story was complete. It was mine, and it was going into my already-stuffed-with-florals closet to stay. I joked to my husband that if today’s thrifting trip had a hashtag, it would be #nopatternleftbehind. I bought a polka dot dress, a gingham dress, polka dot curtains, plaid toddler shorts, a floral dress, and a floral belt. And if today’s outfit was a movie, that would be its title. Sequins, stripes, florals, houndstooth, and gingham in one outfit?
While sequins technically aren’t patterns, I feel as though they qualify enough as one more thing added to the mix. Someone asked me once to teach them my ways, or to write a post on how to mix patterns, but if I was honest, my “ways” involve tossing every pattern I have onto my bed and deciding to heck with it. I wear what I want. I clash whatever patterns I choose to clash. There really isn’t much of a method, it’s just whatever strikes me as fun that day.
But, I have noticed lately that the rhythm of my pattern mixing often rests in mixing black and white patterns together, and maybe adding one color in. (I may have overdone it with all the links just then. So sue me, I mix patterns a lot, okay?) Keeping a color scheme overall definitely helps the outfit feel more cohesive and less as though there are a cacophony of patterns all vying for attention.
That, and wearing a belt. Belts fix everything, as I have said many times before.
Dress (vintage), shoes, and belt, thrifted | shirt, Walmart maternity | headscarf, Modcloth | glasses, Firmoo
And I think that’s the glue that holds my style aesthetic together — I’ve never stuck to just one era, and I’ve always struggled to define myself as a fashion blogger, but maybe we can just title my style as… the Wear All The Patterns style. It’s what makes me happiest. And if the contents of my closet are any evidence at all, that’s the overarching theme of what I wear. Heck, even my first pair of glasses had patterned rims! If you can call abstract mottled rainbow dot colors a pattern, that is.
What does that say about me as a person? I don’t really know, but I’d be fascinated to hear your theories. And what is the overall theme of your style, if you can’t stick to just one era or aesthetic?
Happy (very late) Friday!