A guide to clashing prints and patterns

Clashing colors used to be a fun experiment to see what we could get away with; today, it is a full-on fashion statement. If done correctly, it can turn heads and impress passers-by. Knowing how to clash colors perfectly is an art form, so here are a few ways you can craft gorgeous outfits with colors that you wouldn’t normally dream of putting together.

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Use a belt

Separate the clashing colors with a thick, strong belt. This breaks up the patterns and will help you – and everyone around you – to see the patterns as two separate entities rather than one endless maelstrom of color. This method can work for block colors, such as a purple top and yellow skirt, or for completely different patterns, such as leopard print and florals. Just make sure the belt is a neutral color, such as brown or black, and that it doesn’t fade into the patterns too easily.

Leave one piece neutral

If you want to clash your shoes and your trousers, for example, it is best to leave your top half neutral and unassuming – it is careful clashing and then there is simply over-the-top. Having only two pieces that clash reduces how ‘busy’ the outfit feels and gives out the message that the clash is intentional rather than the result of poor taste.

Do it yourself

Many dressmaking fabrics come in weird and whacky prints that will clash, no matter what you put them with. Stockists such as http://www.quality-fabrics.co.uk/dressmaking-fabrics-14-c.asp can provide a wealth of material for you to build up your beautifully clashing wardrobe. Prints that look like they came from the 70s and 80s seem to work best, along with animal prints and bold geometrics.

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Be the boss of your wardrobe

Risky combinations require a certain level of confidence. Savile Row models strutting their stuff exude confidence, and so should you. The whole point of clashing colors on purpose is to create a statement and to make people look at you. If you simply can’t find a way to artfully clash two patterns, it doesn’t matter – just whack it on, get out there and walk with confidence.

Clashing colors in your wardrobe can be a difficult job; however, with a bit of practice and a healthy dose of over-inflated ego, anyone can succeed in this game.