STYLE GUIDE: Embrace the Clash!
How-to expertly clash prints the next time you want to make a statement
If curating an outfit could have beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of expertise, putting together various prints to make a “productive clash” might be considered the equivalent to defending a Ph.D in style. But hear us out! Clashing can be cool, and it’s much easier to accomplish than you might realize. You only need to know “the rules”.
Rule 1: Choose a lead pattern.
Like people, some patterns are dominant, while others might be more submissive. Though it might be subtle to detect, a dominant pattern will make you go wow and hit you right in the gut, or even the heart. Let that pattern shine, while choosing a less-dominant pattern (think gentle polka dots, stripes, geometric motifs, or soft florals) to play supporting actor to the bolder pattern’s leading role.
Rule 2: Choose an accent color.
This rule is like the gateway to becoming a clashing master. Start with a show-stopping pattern that has at least 3 colors in its design. You can easily choose a color from that pattern to highlight with a monochrome pattern boasting that same hue. Or maybe your original pattern possesses a single dominant color. In cases like this, consult the color wheel. Colors on opposite sides do an excellent job of highlighting the beauty in one another. So if you have a mostly blue skirt, oranges and yellows will make it burst. Mostly red? Purples and greens will
make it glow. And if your original pattern of choice is like an overturned rainbow, spilling out its colors every which way, then you have free rein to choose whatever accent color you please!
Rule 3: Forget the rules.
The bottom line is that fashion is meant to be fun and personal. Iris Apfel (who just turned 102!) says that if it makes her happy, she wears it. Apfel is the veritable Queen of Clash, who transforms the boldest and least conventional outfits into statements of effortless chic, simply because what she chooses brings her joy and intensifies her uniqueness. And when we’re joyful and feeling authentic, we wear our style choices, and not the other way around.
So forget about the rules and just have fun!