As a girl who loves her some patterns, one of the struggles I am constantly facing is trying to style those gorgeous bigger patterns on my not so big frame. I have all but mastered the stripes, the polka dots, the subtle florals and the plaids (I like to think of myself as a maverick), but when it comes to the big patterns, I don’t wear them so much as stare longingly at them while sad violin music plays in the background.
When I saw this dress in LOFT’s Fall line, I immediately fell in love. But it was a cautious love, a love full of qualms (similar to my love for Tom Hiddleston; you just know that man is a heartbreaker), because usually a love between myself and a big pattern goes unrequited. And yet, somehow when I tried this dress on, it actually seemed to work! More than likely, I just got lucky with this one, but I would like to give myself a little credit for finally having figured out a few secrets for styling larger patterned dresses for a petite frame. My reward for uncovering these gems of fashion knowledge is I get to share them with you and sound like I know what I am talking about! (At least this once, let’s pretend, shall we?)
One is that unlike in High School, geometry is actually your friend (but only when it comes to big patterns). I’ve lusted after my share of big florals and crazy abstracts, but sticking to a more geometric style for your larger patterned frocks keeps lil ladies like us from getting lost in a sea of fabric and color. Because if I am gonna get lost in a sea of something, let’s have it be wine…or chocolate… (or Tom Hiddlestons…)
Another secret I have discovered is that a waist is a terrible thing to waste. Big patterned dresses need to have some sort of cinch at the waist or they just end up looking like a very stylish nightgown. A belt, a tie, a rope (no, not a rope), anything really as long as you give your frame some definition and structure.
Finally, big patterns are one of the few times I adopt the “less is more” policy. I’ve never been one to turn my nose up at a statement necklace or a cute scarf (A fact I believe my past posts and credit card statements have proven), but with a larger patterns, it’s nice to let the piece itself make the statement and let every other aspect of the outfit support rather than compete.
So there you go, my fool-proof way to style bigger patterns! 60% of the time, it works every time and that is a fact. Oh and Tom, if you’re reading this (which I know is super likely), these rules are not for you, you can wear whatever you want.