Thursday, February 25, 2016

THE SECRET TO MIXING BLACK AND WHITE + LEOPARD

In a recent interview I was asked my secret to pattern mixing, and I didn't have a cut and dried answer or formula for that.  I generally just rely on my eye and what I think looks right.  However, after some thought, I have come up with a "rule" that I use for a combo that some might think strange, but can actually work if done right... mixing black, white, and leopard.

And here's the secret:  When mixing a black and white print with leopard, I've found that it works best if the black and white has a balanced, even pattern.

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

It's even better when one more colorful pattern is thrown into the mix!

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

These patterns are a little bit on the fence for me because they're slightly busier, but I think they still work because of the even weight of the black/white mix.

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor, brass trunk

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

A pillow and throw pattern mix-

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

So those are all examples of how the mix can work, but here's what I wouldn't do:

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

I don't think the mix works if the black and white is in a random pattern like this ikat, or really any pattern that isn't an even mix of black and white.

Here's a little slide show of all of my pillow combos just for fun-

black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

PILLOW DETAILS AND SOURCES:
Black and White Buffalo Check- discontinued Ikea fabric but similar here  ||  Leopard- Hobby Lobby or online here  ||  Bright Floral- Chiang Mai Dragon  ||  Green Fabric, Greek Key Trim- Hobby Lobby  ||  Ikea Lappljung Ruta graphic pillow  ||  Black Multi-colored Toile- vintage Markwood fabric (thrifted)  ||  Houndstooth, Diamond, and Ikat older fabric not currently found online  ||  Black and White Striped Throw


black and white, leopard, throw pillows, home styling, home decor

The same concept can apply for fashion as well! 

I wore a black/white/leopard combo almost every day on our cruise last Fall.

All outfit details HERE

For outfits, I recommend adding the leopard item through an accessory... most often shoes or a bag for me, but could also be a belt or bracelet.  In other words,  I wouldn't mix a leopard top with black and white pants, or vice versa.  I wore this outfit to church last week on Valentine's Day.

leopard heels, gingham shirt, leopard heels
Gingham Shirt (similar)  ||  Red poncho (old)  ||  White Pants (similar)  ||  Leopard Heels


Ray wanted a photo to celebrate the fact that we finally got a mantle made and up outside!  :)


Another tip:  I generally stick with ONE leopard accessory... you don't want to overdo it.  Every once in a while I might wear my thin leopard belt and my leopard sandals, but I really try to stick with a single leopard piece.

This striped shorts and chambray shirt outfit was a favorite last summer, and the leopard sandals added a pop of pattern. This is one where I probably added a skinny leopard belt also, but it wasn't enough to scream RAWR.  ;)

leopard sandals, chambray shirt, black and white striped shorts
Chambray Shirt  ||  Striped Shorts (old Gap)  ||  Leopard Sandals (similar herehere or here)


Occasionally, though, I will mix both patterns together on top, like this.

leopard cardigan sweater, black and white gingham shirt, statement necklace
Leopard Cardigan (similar)  ||  Gingham Shirt (similar)


When first considering the combo I wasn't sure about it, but by following the secret formula it works.

leopard sweater, black and white gingham shirt
Gingham Shirt (similar)  ||  Leopard Sweater (similar)


Here's your what NOT to do with mixing black and white with leopard for your outfits- see how the random pattern of the black and white competes too much with the leopard?



leopard heels, black and white, outfit ideas, fashion, chambray shirt


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 photo jennifersignaturetwo_zps56f3de87.png

7 comments:

  1. you are a mix master, and i love how your design aesthetics apply to your home and wardrobe.

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  2. I love it all! The pillow combinations are wonderful. I've been simplifying my pillows a little bit lately and that feels good. The day will come shortly though that I'll be adding back to them.

    Your outfits are adorable. I love a little leopard in my rooms and especially in my shoes and fashion accessories.

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  3. Lovely couple... but I just have to say a big WOW for Ray... he is beautiful... He has that 'presidential' look to him... He should run ;)

    Cielo

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  4. Wow! Love the many combinations you put together. I think the straight/geometric design lines in the black and white fabrics create a pleasing balance with the curving shapes in the animal print. Also, the scale in the various prints is pleasing to the eye. You have a gift for pulling together unexpected combinations. It is always fun to see your creations.

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  5. I agree with Cassie! You are a mix master.

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  6. You are so great at combining patterns that are pleasing to the eye, Jennifer! I love black and white for it's versatility but you are so right - the ikat doesn't work nearly as well as the buffalo check. This is why you need to move next door to me. I need your eye for these kinds of things!! I love how closely related your wardrobe is to your home by the way!!!! I am going to try to mix in my leopard with some black and white in an outfit today. Maybe you should start a fashion challenge series!!

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