Fashion Over 50: Guidelines for Mixing Patterns and More

Mixing Patterns on Over 50 Feeling 40

Today, we are discussing some style tips to keep in mind for mixing patterns.  Why?  Because so many of you were IN LOVE with the Would you Wear It Look last weekend on this blog.  Mixing Patterns is one of the favorites of bohemian style which several readers have said they love.  So, I thought I would occasionally share some tips for wearing the different designs that get a garment or outfit labeled bohemian.



Stripes and Bikes on Over 50 Feeling 40

In fashion design, this is perhaps one of the most controversial creative techniques and may be the most controversial when it comes to bohemian style.  Some women love it…some hate it…and most men do not get it at all!

I am wearing a nod to mixed prints in this picture.  This is not a bohemian look, but sometimes I subtly enjoy wearing the style (though Mr. B just does not like it at all…or understand it). 

Style Tips:

  1. As the first outfit above, one print should be the star and the other the supporting act.
  2. I am wearing different prints in the same color families…black & white. This is an easy way to mix prints.
  3. Consider wearing the same print with one garment on a large version and one in a smaller version.
  4. For some reason when it comes to mixing prints, fashion professionals say to treat stripes as a neutral …meaning, any other print will go with a stripe.


Mixed leopard prints on over 50 Feeling 40

  1. The known tip for wearing prints is to select prints in the same color families or that share a dominate single color. In the first picture, the dominant color is the peach or coral.

I hope this will help you going forward.  It is fun to play with the prints you currently own and mix in another piece or a scarf that you had not considered before.  You just might be surprised on how great it will look.



Bohemian on Over 50 Feeling 40 

 Yes, straight from a screenshot on my phone is the idea of mixing textures instead.  Pay attention to the top under the kimono above.  This is a nice way to “mix things up” a bit.


Mannequins on over 50 feeling 40

On Friday, in Texas, retail will open, malls will open, restaurants will open and the stay home guidelines will lift for everyone but ME!  Actually, not just me, but for anyone 65+.  Though I understand why, I am wondering if I would get “carded” if I just ran into the mall to shoot the picture of a mannequin for Would You Wear It?  A friend suggested a baseball cap and sunglasses. HMMMM…the incognito senior! Do you think security will believe me when I tell them why I am there?  The Governor is looking at salons for May 18….by then I may have to go into hiding.  I promised my hair stylist no home remedies.  I have never been a baseball cap fan, but desperate measures are on the horizon.

 Stay tuned…this could get interesting!

Back to the topic at hand, how do you feel about pattern mixing.  Do you do it…do you like it…do you stay away? 

Please share and enjoy the Fabulous Find Slideshow!  I am celebrating today, because I finally figured out how to get my server to link to Nordstrom Rack again.  I celebrated by ordering a kimono…will show you soon, but here are more options plus JJill has some incredible sale prices and there are so many pretty options for home now.  Enjoy!


Remember, in our social distancing world, your smile is the way you send hugs! 

KEEP SMILING and hugging!

Hair Accessories on Over 50 Feeling 40



AND!! Don’t forget to enter the Mother’s Day giveaway here to win beautiful hair accessories!  





By Pamela Lutrell


  1. I really like how you subtly mixed prints. The bicycle scarf and stripes really work together. I also love the bohemian look on the model in the first picture. I have a black pencil skirt with tiny white dots on it, and it’s easy to mix prints with that, like how you did it with stripes. I love the kimono and textured top!! That’s something everyone can get behind, even those who would never mix prints. That look on Saturday was just plain amazing!! A few kimonos are on my shopping list, really want one with lots of pink. Our retail is opening soon too. Can’t wait! You should go for it Pam, you don’t look 65.

  2. I promised my husband that I would behave! At least as long as the numbers are increasing locally. But, once the decrease begins…I am out of here!

  3. I love it, but I’m a boho girl. Thanks for the tips … wasn’t sure how to “do” it correctly without looking weird.

  4. Just look at these tips and practice with what you have. It is fun to play with this in the closet!

  5. In home decorating there is a rule for mixing … it goes in threes: a plain, a pattern, and a geometric. It helps if the prints are of different scales. Geometric of course includes stripes, but also checks, plaids and regularly spaced polka dots. I’ve tried this in my fashion and it works, especially if the floral or other true print is in the scarf or bag, or is just a triangle of top peaking out from under the third layer. I’m not a fan of bohemian on me (one of my adjectives, and perhaps my most important one to ground my style, is Polished). That said, I also have Creative and Interesting. Mixing prints is a great way to get there. I think one of the reasons your pic works as non-bohemian print mixing is because, in addition to the classic color scheme, your print is not a floral.

  6. Good Morning! I noticed as a young woman traveling abroad that other cultures often put together mixed-pattern outfits, and although it shocked my eye at the time I loved the colorful, joyousness of their choices. I most specifically remember seeing Japanese high school girls wearing brightly colored and kind of crazy (to me) combinations. Later I realized this was probably a reaction to having to wear a school uniform most of the time. Again in Costa Rica I saw mixed patterns, especially in more rural locations of the country. Rather than a style choice, it appeared to be one of economic necessity. I see this still in my travels within Mexico as well, a utilitarian “this is what’s in my closet” way of making do each day. People of greater means seem to adhere more to what we see here in the states, but I so admire those who haven’t the filter of wealth or “fashion” to guide their selections. They just get dressed, period. And I have to say I think there is something refreshing in that.

  7. Pam, Thanks to you I’ve been paying close attention to what I wear and don’t wear in my closet. I’ve learned that I don’t like prints. So mixing them is definitely out for me! In some cases I like the way it looks on someone else, but if I bought it, I would probably only wear it a few times. (And that would be out of guilt for having spent money on it) I do like stripes though. As long as they are horizontal! I would love to wear your striped shirt and black vest…without the scarf. I think I’ve narrowed my style words down to: simple, classic, practical, conservative. (For the 5th word, I need one that is the opposite of artistic or bohemian – think Grace Kelly.)
    Thank you for your continued encouragement and helpful tips!

  8. Thanks Debbie. I love to hear that you are finding ways to hone in on your true style adjectives. That is how we developed what our own personal style really is. Loved your comment.

  9. Thanks Connie…love this new perspective you brought to this discussion. It made me think of San Antonio with it’s inspiration from Mexico and other cultures. We see mixed patterns often and now I will think about the cultural influences behind all that I see.

  10. I live in Texas too. I know the openings as of May 1 but didn’t hear of a +65 exception. I don’t plan on going anywhere until June 1! I booked a cut and color for June 1! Thanks for keeping the blog going regularly.

  11. I don’t think it is a rule, but the way Gov. Abbott said it was as if it was a rule…I am going to behave and lay low for awhile, but if salons open in mid-May, I will probably be there! Happy to have another Texan join us here, Debbie!

  12. I am not a big fan of pattern mixing as shown with the outfits from the fashion shows. I did like Saturday’s outfit & your black & white mix. I think that is because one of the items was an accessory instead two articles of clothing. It is much more subtle that way & not as jarring to my eyes.

  13. Thanks Becky…you are not alone. That is why I said it is controversial…so many people feel differently about the styling.

  14. I enjoy experimenting with colors and textures. Sometimes they work, sometimes not so much. But the process is fun.

    Thank you for the tips. Now that I am furloughed I have time to play around with my wardrobe and put different outfits together (since I probably won’t shop and add new pieces for a while).

  15. I’m playing catch-up with this post but wanted to thank you for a really intriguing discussion. I’m an old hippie straight out of the 60s & am boho to my bones, but I’ve never been a fan of mixing prints — I think because my mother, a very elegant Englishwoman who unsuccessfully tried for years to turn me into a “young lady”, was horrified by the idea. Interesting that at least ONE of her lessons stuck with me! When I look in my closet I don’t even SEE many prints (except for some black & whites), which I also find interesting — I have lots of embroidery & beads & fringe & gauzy tops/jackets, but few actual prints. I have to explore this further 🙂

  16. Loved your comment, Janet! Let us know if you learn anything as you explore!

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