Mixing patterns, over 40 | Tartan trousers & Statement shoulders.

Mixing patterns without looking like you got dressed in the dark.

I was reading a blog post recently which had compiled a list of  “Worst fashion fails”.

Many of them I agreed with; Leggings worn as trousers and PJ’s/Onsies in public, for example.

But, I could not agree with one:

Mixing patterns.

I love mixing patterns.

I don’t do it “for a dare” or to “try and look cool”, as suggested in the article, it just comes naturally to me….and, I’m not going to stop anytime soon.

I picked up this vintage-inspired blouse in a charity shop and it has a definite 80’s vibe. (See another 80’s inspired look)
As soon as I saw it I knew just the thing to wear with it.
It would be the perfect partner for my tartan trousers!

I know that this kind of mix is not for everyone.
But if you want to give this a try, then pick items that have a matching colour palette and just go for it!

If in doubt, make one of your patterns a stripe or a spot. These can be easier to pull off for a beginner, as long as the two items have a similar base colour.

If you are nervous remember this:

“If you believe it works, then it magically does!”

(Wise words from my 10 year old daughter)

Fake being confident until you make it real.

Nobody will know the difference anyway!

This blouse has turned out to be a bit of a trouble-maker, almost starting a fight in my house.
It is the subject of a heated debate.
Comments range from:

“Wow! that is cool!!”


“OMG, what is THAT?!?!”

It is certainly what I would call a statement piece, with numerous folds and pleats on the shoulders and cuffs.
{It actually had enormous shoulder pads when I bought it, great big upwardly pointing ones, which were cool (on someone else) but not my thing, so I snipped them out}.

I love a good debate, so it was interesting to hear different (and extreme) opinions on this blouse.
Even those who don’t usually have an opinion about anything I wear, seemed to find a voice.
It seems to be a real love-it or hate-it item, no middle ground at all!

This really made me smile.
I wondered what it was about an item of clothing, especially this one, that evoked such an emotional response?
Despite the controversy,  I remembered the most important ‘Rule’ when getting dressed:

Please yourself.

So, because I like it, I was wearing it.

{Big “whoops” from the YES camp, and “Booo’s” from the NO’s}

mixing patterns over 40 tartan trousers

It was all hands on deck to help me button up these fiddly (and teeny) buttons, especially on the cuffs.
Even the ‘NO’ camp helped with the buttoning.

mixing patterns over 40 tartan trousers

These tartan trousers were the obvious choice for me.

They are really versatile, adding a punch of life to different looks (see how they liven up black HERE). They have only two colours in them, so they are perfect for complimenting another pattern.

Patterns are great if there are a few body imperfections (or lumpy and bumpy bits) you would like to cover up. Especially larger patterns, like these, they keep the eye moving and that is a good thing in my book!

I needed a layer of heat (and a grounding colour) so I wore one of my roll neck tops underneath.

I am not sure how to describe this colour, Nude? Beige? Taupe?

It is a good neutral anyway.

Now was not the time for a statement shoe, so I chose nude pumps with a slightly retro feel and a comfortable heel.
I am not usually a fan of the nude pump.
I know many people recommend them because they “go with everything” and ‘lengthen the leg” but I just find them a bit boring….and dare I say it…a bit old fashioned.
{I feel another ‘heated debate’ brewing}

Today though, I think they complemented things nicely.

Maybe I could change my opinion of the nude pump? Hmmmm……

They don’t deserve a close-up photograph of their own though, sorry!
I might nod off…zzzzzzzzz

I grabbed my trusty, old, mini tote and a couple of pompoms.
I know you are probably sick of the sight of these furry things, but I love them!

I forgot to get a photograph of my camel coat that I wore with this outfit (it is lying on the chair out of shot). You can see it Here, with a 70’s spin, including the story of how I found it.

Attack of the Scottish Midge!

I thought I would leave you with these shots of me spotting a cloud of midges approaching, then trying (but failing) to swat them away. They are so small and light, that all that wafting is totally useless.

Oh no here they come….

mixing patterns over 40 tartan trousers

…get lost you little monsters!

They are clever little beasties, and the pesky little critters ended up biting my ankles….grrrrr.
Maybe they disapproved of my nude pumps? Hahaha.

Would you be on team No? Or team Yes?
Do you like to mix your patterns? Or do you fear the “Oh, she must have got dressed in the dark”- look?
Please let me know in the comments….I’d love to hear your opinion.

Blouse: Charity shop. (This one would be easier to wear…no fiddly buttons)
Trousers: ASOS (these are fab!)
Bag: Hidesign (I am coveting this teeny one!…too cute!)
Polo neck: La redoute (I like this one)
Shoes: Vintage (these are cute and patent too!)

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