Learn to mix clashing patterns


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/ Iowa State Daily

Choosing an Aztec tank top and striped shorts, Sarah Van Berkum creatively follows the print-mixing trend. When describing her style, Van Berkum said, “It is comfortable and loose-fitting. It might be a little tomboy. I would say Bohemian with a little bit of edge.”

Mary Kate Knabel

A fashion barrier. In laymen’s terms, this feat of style is what society calls fashion garments, styles, textures or patterns that shouldn’t be worn together. Luckily, today’s style elite ignore those boundaries. Taking the lead from top fashion gurus, confidently, the brave warriors of fashion are taking a stand at Iowa State.

Although the fashions of New York and Paris seem light years away, this campus deserves credit for being a forerunner in creativity and innovation through fashion. Students from different majors and backgrounds break fashion barriers with style and grace. Taking inspiration from recent trends and designer collections, students are taking on a huge fashion barrier: the pattern mix.

Sarah Van Berkum, sophomore in pre-graphic design, understands the once-unbreakable rules.

“Where I come from, if you wear anything out of the norm, people look at you weird,” Van Berkum said. “I don’t have a specific person I get fashion inspiration from.”

This combination of individuality and ignorance toward the ground rules of fashion give Van Berkum confidence to take on the idea of pattern mixing.

Like Van Berkum, Emily Bird, freshman in apparel, merchandising and design, sees the fear of pattern mixing as a thing of the past.

“I really enjoy breaking the rules and just doing it. With the right patterns, it can be really cool,” Bird said. Her love of classic style brings a new twist to the edgy, pattern mix trend.

With styles unique from each other, Van Berkum and Bird share a similar, intriguing confidence in their personal style. Both of these trendy young women show no fear while taking on the pattern mix.

“My advice would be to start off slowly and don’t jump in too quickly. You may think something might not look good together, but try it anyways.” Bird said.

Van Berkum added to the advice, saying, “I like to put on two completely different things and pull them together with my shoes or accessories.”

Pattern mixing is just one barrier, but both feel trying this trend is a great start. Today’s world of fashion praises the breaking of these barriers. With each season, ISU students continue to shine with individuality in fashion, making the campus a safe-net of acceptance style wise. Take a chance and break a fashion barrier. Van Berkum and Bird assure that no harm will come from it. 

Easy steps to conquer pattern mixing: 

  1. Pick two patterns with at least one color in common.
  2. Stay neutral with solid colored accessories (shoes, jewelry and a purse).
  3. Put on a smile and work the pattern mix.