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One of the best things about being at the shop is getting to know all the fabrics we carry—in addition to finding our favorites, it’s interesting to see how fabrics by different manufacturers can work so well together. Today we’re exploring the shop and sharing some fantastic fabric combinations that include different substrates (such as lawn, gauze, challis, and jersey) and different patterns (such as florals, stripes, and plaids) to show you how it works!
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You can bring fabrics together in so many ways! If you’re feeling bold, you can wear coordinating patterned garments together. Not quite that bold? Try a patterned fabric top paired with a solid trouser or skirt. If you prefer a subtle pop of pattern, we love using a coordinating fabric for garment details like bias binding, facings, or pocket lining.
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What’s the rule for bringing patterned fabrics together? There are no hard and fast rules, but we recommend consulting some principles of design as a starting point:

  • It is helpful for coordinating fabrics to share some common colors
  • Coordinating fabrics with patterns of different scale are more visually interesting than patterns of the same scale
  • In addition to varying the scale of patterns, you can vary the types  of patterns in your outfit. Try pairing florals with stripes (or florals with plaids, or plaids with stripes) based on these principles
  • These guidelines are merely suggestions! You may find that some of your favorite fabric combinations break one or more of these rules, and that’s definitely ok. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Once you’ve gathered some matching fabrics you really love, it’s time to figure out which garment patterns to use. Perhaps you’re thinking about creating a coordinating outfit, but what if you want to take that concept a bit further? In that case, we recommend creating a capsule wardrobe!
 
A capsule wardrobe is made up of a few select pieces that can be worn separately or together in various combinations. It’s a great way to build a versatile, functional wardrobe, and it’s perfect for traveling light, since you know that everything in your suitcase will match!
 
For our capsule wardrobe, we selected patterns that can be made with variations (such as short/long sleeves, pants/shorts, dress/separates) for maximum value and flexibility. These specific patterns were selected because they can be worn together in several combinations. Our picks include: a pants/shorts pattern like Rose, a jumpsuit like Zadie, a dress/top/skirt like Estella, a t-shirt like Concord, a blouse like Patina, and a jacket like the Ilford. If you decide to build your own capsule wardrobe, you can use this list as a starting point, but be sure to browse our pattern selection for garments that will compliment your personal look and work best for your lifestyle!
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If you’re interested in bringing prints and patterns together in one garment, we think you’ll love color blocking! It is easiest to select a pattern that already lends itself to this technique—we like the Block TeePinnacle Top, and Kalle Shirt for color blocking, because it’s easy to assign different fabrics to each of the pattern pieces. It’s a big help to use the same exact type of fabric for all of your pattern pieces (for example, a selection of lawns), but if you’re feeling creative, you can mix and match fabrics of similar weight and drape, as in the Given a Chance Dress pictured above.