9 In Anatomy of an Outfit/ Styling Tips

Accessorizing a busy print jacket with a busy print

Mixing prints

A person on Instagram was intrigued about this outfit and wanted to know more about how I styled it. Dive in with me and see why I accessorized a busy print jacket with a busy print scarf.

Jacket gets styled in spring and fall

You’ve seen this jacket before. Here’s the post about how I styled it for Caitlin’s baby shower back in March, which was the very first time I wore it.

I liked how the gingham print shirt contrasted with the splatter print of the jacket and my Mickey Mouse pearl pendant provided a sublime focal point.

Oh, by the way, a baby update

I can’t help but give you an update on my granddaughter. How’s that for a baby shower segue? Baby Vivienne is 5 months old. We had fun playing fort last week with the pillows at the She Shack, my little studio apartment away from home.

Okay, I had to see her smile in this post. Now let’s get back to fashion.

Styling my summerweight jacket for a fall transition outfit

mixing prints
Mixing prints that are similar

This jacket will hibernate over the winter months so, on one of last week’s warm days, I pulled it out for what may be its last hurrah for the season. (The jacket is by Bitte Kai Rand 1981 and I bought it in Sonoma at Artefax.)

This time I wanted to wear it more as a tunic than a jacket so I buttoned it all up. I did have a Plan B: I had a T-shirt underneath it and a necklace on if I decided it was too warm to keep the jacket buttoned all day.

I looked in the mirror and felt I wasn’t done styling this outfit. It needed more.

Print on print on purpose

With my nose in my scarf bins, I managed to find this long, silk, patterned scarf and delighted in how the colors in it were similar to the jacket colors. The scarf is a tad brighter, which I liked. The two pieces share similar shades of blue and mauve, and pink and black. This was bound to turn out well.

mixing prints that are similar
The prints look so similar here

The scarf is rather full and the jacket is rather lean so I decided to fold the scarf in again and again inside itself until it was long and narrow like the jacket. I didn’t trust that it would stay in that shape so I knotted it loosely for added incentive.

Bringing some quiet elements to this outfit

I loved all the action of the scarf and the jacket tunic. Because of the sheer volume of print, I decided to add several bracelets on my wrist to balance out the design volume I already had going on.

mixed texture in bracelets
A stack of mixed textured bracelets and bangles

One thin bangle would have looked mighty lonely and insignificant. I decided to stack mixed metal bangles, my Yurman slinky bracelet, and my button bracelet. I made this button bracelet using the backside of antique Mother-of-pearl buttons in all sizes and got more depth and dimension by layering some of the buttons into stacks.

The volume of this wrist stack would be quite noticeable if I was wearing a simple navy silk top. But with this pattern parade going on, they’re more in the background.

A gorgeous earring moves to the background intentionally

I added my large moonstone earrings. Again, with a simple top, this earring can be a showstopper, a real focal point. You saw it have more presence in my Wine Country wedding outfit. In this outfit, with all the print going in, it blends right in.

Mixing prints in jacket and scarf
Moonstone earrings have a quieter role in this outfit

I decided against wearing red or blue eyeglass frames and went with my tortoise frames which don’t take anything away from the prints. (Eyewear is by l.a. Eyeworks from Uber Optics.)

Since I’m going for controlled chaos, my focus now was quieting the rest of the outfit down. I added some Zen to this outfit with my shoes. I wore my patent taupe AGL oxfords. The sheen can get lots of attention, but this time they’re neutral and in the background.

The fun of mixing new and old pieces to make new outfits

The super fun thing about adding items to your wardrobe here and there is that when it comes to styling an outfit for right now, you have ingredients that have never shared the stage together. I’ve worn this scarf for a few years, but now it takes on a whole different look with the jacket I bought this spring.

Have you had some fun surprises mixing things together that you never wore together before? Of course, we want to know all about it! What new pieces have you mixed with old ones lately? Do share!


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  • Reply
    October 17, 2019 at 3:41 am

    Oh my your baby has grown so much and is absolutely adorable! Those cheeks and what a smile! At first the top/scarf looked la bit overwhelming to me. As always your thoughts and selection process gave insight to putting it all together. After reading the post once again my addictive personality wants to see what I can come up with from my closet. I have several floral skirts that I have been mixing with stripped tops lately. Not very creative but a risk for me! Love your posts Brenda! What a wonderful gift God has given you and you have developed! Best

    • Reply
      October 17, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Thanks so much, Kathy! And thanks for hanging in there with me as I explained the reasoning. I LOVE stripes with floral skirts. One of my favorite looks. Keep it up and it is creative. At one time that combo looked odd to me and then my eye accepted it and of course, I love it now. Giving our eye time to get used to something usually reaps rewards. So appreciate your comments! Hugs to you, B.
      PS Oh yes, that baby!!!

  • Reply
    Sue NZ
    October 17, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Wow that looks amazing. I’m new at this and have a very plain wardrobe. I’m going to play! Thanks for your help!

    • Reply
      October 17, 2019 at 11:12 am

      Have fun playing, Sue! We’re all for that

  • Reply
    October 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Dear BK, thanks for the beautiful baby pic/update, isn’t she doing well, what a delight Xxxxx

  • Reply
    Trinnie q
    October 17, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    What a darling darling little possum she is !! I love seeing her, those little toes poking out from the pillow fort! Thanks for the update ! And .. that outfit ! I already loved that jacket, but absolutely loved the pairing of it with the scarf..I agree, if I pair two quite busy patterns together that have similar colours and tones, it seems to work . I especially try and do this in Winter, when everything can get so drab and dismal… Colour never ceases to lift my spirit.. I loved hearing about your She cave also… The quiet of the country, and the aliveness of downtown… Good on you Brenda.. Sending love from Oz to you and all the lovely gang… x

  • Reply
    October 18, 2019 at 5:11 am

    I need to learn from you how to mix prints and this was helpful. Viv looks beautiful with all of your amazing pillows at your She Shack. Hope to see it someday.

  • Reply
    Elaine @ Following Augustine
    October 19, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks to you, I’m learning to be much more adventurous in the pieces I put together!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Gosse
    October 22, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Being a more “conservative” dresser in that I don’t take risks like wearing two prints as you’ve done here, which I secretly love(!) and am envious of…your playful courage inspires me to dig into my closet and “try it on for size”! As a recent retiree, I’m becoming more encouraged to play with my clothes rather than putting on “ the uniform”. Thanks for explaining how to enjoy that process!
    A side request: as the fall/winter season fast approaches here in the Northeast, i’m Seeing lots of velvet pieces. Can you do some pieces on how to include this texture into a wardrobe?
    Thanks! I continue to love your blog and your life story updates! Especially love the Russ and Viv pieces!
    Liz from CT

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