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
    May 30, 2016 / 7:23 am

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

    • Tiina L
      May 30, 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
    May 30, 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
      May 30, 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
    May 30, 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
      May 30, 2016 / 6:22 pm

      Thanks, Kristin.

  4. Anne M Bray
    May 30, 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
      May 30, 2016 / 6:23 pm

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

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

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

    • Tiina L
      May 31, 2016 / 6:59 am

      Thanks, Suzanne!

    • Tiina L
      May 31, 2016 / 7:00 am

      Thanks, Rania!

  6. Shelbee On The Edge
    May 31, 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
      June 1, 2016 / 4:39 am

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

  7. Mummabstylish
    June 1, 2016 / 9:05 pm

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

    • Tiina L
      June 2, 2016 / 5:52 am

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

  8. Carey Garcia
    June 2, 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
      June 5, 2016 / 6:06 pm

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

  9. Jessica Jannenga
    June 2, 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
      June 5, 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
    June 3, 2016 / 4:16 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style

    • Tiina L
      June 5, 2016 / 6:09 pm

      Thanks, Nicole!

  11. Alice Warren
    June 3, 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
      June 3, 2016 / 10:57 pm

      Then I get it! ;P

    • Tiina L
      June 5, 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
    June 3, 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
      June 5, 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
    June 4, 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
      June 5, 2016 / 6:14 pm

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

  14. Jennifer Connolly
    June 8, 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
      June 12, 2016 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Jennifer!

Leave a Reply