My Minimalist Pattern Mixing Challenge

pattern mixing over 40

How many patterns does this outfit have?

OK, we all know I’m a bit of minimalist… Or, at least I’m leaning more towards minimalism, preferring understatement and clean lines over in-your-face colour and print. 

So, it’s probably no surprise that even when mixing colours and patterns I still want to remain true to my own style (clean lines, simple shapes, mixing brights with neutrals…), and I think I managed to do it quite well here. There were a few challenges, though.

stripes and flowers

pattern mixing summer

summer pattern mixing

The starting point was the skirt as I just fell in love with the print. Yes, I know, it’s florals, but hey, even I try something new every now and then… Actually, I fell in love with a dress with this print (unfortunately sold out online) but when I tried it on, it didn’t work as the waistline was bit too high for me (I’m quite long-waisted). So, I tried on the skirt, and had a lovely surprise. I was able to go a size smaller than usual! That’s solely because I could choose a size fitting my waist; with this style I didn’t have to try and squeeze my bum into the skirt…

But the skirt also presented a challenge

It’s (mostly) white, not exactly the best colour for someone as pale as me. And forget fake tan (let alone real tan), this pale girl is fine the way she is. But I also knew that adding some colour to the outfit couldn’t hurt.

So, I tried the skirt with a number of bright tops, and decided that I needed something that didn’t contrast so much with the skirt. Enter the trusty old Breton top. Navy and white stripes, that’s practically a neutral, right? Well, as far as I’m concerned, Breton stripes go with anything…

And once I got started with mixing patterns, I just added my old Coach tote bag and my new Marimekko sunglasses…

So, that’s four different patterns. Or five, if we count the shoes (Technically, they’re perforated, not patterned…). That’s quite a pattern mixing challenge for a minimalist, don’t you think?

cat eye sunglasses

40+ pattern mixing

Outfit details:

skirt: Seasalt Cornwall / t-shirt: Zara / bag: Coach (old) / shoes: Gabor (old) / 

sunglasses: Marimekko / sun umbrella: James Smith & Sons

location: Suomenlinna, Helsinki
(Yes, I’ve used the same location before. It’s less than fifteen minutes by ferry,
a great place for a day trip and there are some good restaurants…)

How do you mix patterns?



Linking up with: 

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishGaray TreasuresHigh Latitude StyleSydney Fashion HunterThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirGet Your Pretty OnHappiness at Mid-LifeA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeCoco et La Vie en RoseFashionably Employed,The Fabulous JourneyLiving on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleSheela Writes 


  1. josep-maria badia
    30 May 2016 / 7:23 am

    I like the set and the combination of colors. I love the skirt, has a beautiful print.

    • Tiina L
      30 May 2016 / 6:19 pm

      Thanks. I loved the print the moment I saw it, and I just had to get it.

  2. Nancy's Fashion Style
    30 May 2016 / 7:24 am

    I saw the picture on Instagram yesterday and thought:Wow, I love that skirt(lovely site by the way. I was atracted by the name)I am curious aboute the rest of the outfit. What a lovely Summer look!

    • Tiina L
      30 May 2016 / 6:21 pm

      Thanks, Nancy. The location is a cluster of interconnected islands, with an old fortress. It's also a residential area, so there is a regular ferry service about 4 times an hour.

  3. Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop
    30 May 2016 / 1:26 pm

    Found you on the Visible Monday linkup! This is the perfect stepping-off point for a minimalist and pattern mixing. It's pitch-perfect, and you really don't even read it as "two patterns" because it is so balanced! Well-played!here

    • Tiina L
      30 May 2016 / 6:22 pm

      Thanks, Kristin.

  4. Anne M Bray
    30 May 2016 / 1:49 pm

    5, it's 5 — perforations are a pattern! Great mix, it makes my pattern-loving heart smile. 😉 Now you need a patterned parasol to have a pattern on EVERYTHING! xxox

    • Tiina L
      30 May 2016 / 6:23 pm

      OK, 5 it is. Even better, right? A patterned parasol? Hmm, you give me ideas…

  5. Suzanne Carillo
    30 May 2016 / 8:11 pm

    LOVE this look! I think it might be my favourite of yours. bisousSuzanne

    • Tiina L
      31 May 2016 / 6:59 am

      Thanks, Suzanne!

    • Tiina L
      31 May 2016 / 7:00 am

      Thanks, Rania!

  6. Shelbee On The Edge
    31 May 2016 / 11:50 pm

    Perforation/Texture definitely counts as a pattern. But I also see a hint of striped texture on skirt underneath the beautiful floral…so that makes 6 patterns, you over-the-top minimalist pattern mixing genius! Just gorgeous! Well done!

    • Tiina L
      1 June 2016 / 4:39 am

      Thank you, Shelbee. That's so sweet of you.

  7. Mummabstylish
    1 June 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Tiina this looks super, great for any day out. Cute skirt, really summery..popping over from

    • Tiina L
      2 June 2016 / 5:52 am

      Thanks, this is actually one of my favourite outfits, too.

  8. Carey Garcia
    2 June 2016 / 4:03 pm

    I adore pattern/ texture mixing, and you've done it beautifully! And I'm thinking I need those sunglasses ASAP!! — Carey | Drew & Alice

    • Tiina L
      5 June 2016 / 6:06 pm

      Thanks, Carey! I fell for the sunglasses the moment I saw them, too.

  9. Jessica Jannenga
    2 June 2016 / 9:11 pm

    WOW, I think this is a fav for me. I know you know I love florals but the print is especially pretty with the green grass below repeating pattern. Love it with the stripes on youThank you for linking up with Turning heads Tuesday!jess

    • Tiina L
      5 June 2016 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Jessica, that's quite a compliment coming from you as florals are sort of your 'thing'. I usually only have florals on scarves, if even that, so this is a bit of an experiment for me.

  10. Nicole Mölders
    3 June 2016 / 4:16 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style

    • Tiina L
      5 June 2016 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Nicole!

  11. Alice Warren
    3 June 2016 / 5:20 am

    I want to this outfit in my closet, please send it to me when you are tired of it :)Thank you for joining TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you next week. Have a great weekend!

    • Dawn Lucy - Fashion Should Be Fun
      3 June 2016 / 10:57 pm

      Then I get it! ;P

    • Tiina L
      5 June 2016 / 6:10 pm

      Ok, but you may need to wait a while. I tend to hang on to favourite outfits…

  12. Dawn Lucy - Fashion Should Be Fun
    3 June 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Print/pattern mixing perfection! You look extra lovely here, Dear! Thanks for linking up with Fun Fashion Friday and have a fab weekend!OXOXDawn Lucy

    • Tiina L
      5 June 2016 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks, I'm actually quite pleased with how this outfit turned out, and pattern mixing is certainly out of my comfort zone.

  13. Melissa Convertino
    4 June 2016 / 4:59 am

    Totally love the skirt! These prints and patterns go perfectly together ;-)Thank you for linking up with Weekend Wear, have a great weekendxoMelissa

    • Tiina L
      5 June 2016 / 6:14 pm

      Thanks, Melissa. I'm 100% convinced that stripes go with anything…

  14. Jennifer Connolly
    8 June 2016 / 10:28 pm

    I love how you mixed these patterns! Perfection!Thanks for sharing with us on My Refined Style!Cheers,Jennifer

    • Tiina L
      12 June 2016 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer!

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