Love: A Patterened Interview with Melissa

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As you all know by now, my interpreter day job means I spend most of my life in various shades of black, gray, and white so I don’t have much experience in the mixing and matching department. When I ran across Melissa from A Working Mom’s Closet, I was so fascinated by her use of prints and bright colors that I spent my lunch hour pouring over her blog. When I asked her to share some of her knowledge with all of you, she very kindly agreed to be interviewed and the following is the result. 🙂

Do you have any ‘rules’ for mixing prints?

I haven’t done a whole lot of pattern mixing but the times that I have, my thoughts are to keep the patterns within the same color family, or keep one of them black and white and only add in one other color. It also helps to use accessories as one or both of the patterns. A belt or leopard print shoes or scarf can go a long way to adding some pizazz with an extra pattern!
What do you look for when buying printed pieces?
Mostly just prints that appeal to me. I don’t have a standard print that I really like, as some others do. Some people really like stripes or polka dots or florals or abstracts…I like them all. It depends on what catches my eye and if the color scheme is suited for my coloring. I will intentionally look for certain things that seem to be trending, like the stripes and polka dots, but generally it’s just whatever is pretty. 🙂

What does your closet look like? Do you put all your prints together or keep outfits together?
I organize my closet according to type of clothing. Dresses, arranged by sleeve length, then skirts, then cardigans/jackets, then long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, then short-sleeved tops and then tanks and camis. I don’t keep outfits together because I don’t usually pick them out until I wake up in the morning!
You’re also an expert at layering, how do you build complete outfits?
Ooooh…I’ve never been called an expert at anything! Thanks! 🙂 It depends, really. Sometimes I’ll start with a basic piece like a dress or skirt and go from there, deciding which top would look best with it, if I need another layer underneath for warmth or if I want to throw another color in there for fun. I wear a LOT of cardigans, plus there’s the fact that my boss has issues with anyone showing too much in the chestal region (not just cleavage, but anything in the chest area at all!) so I have lots of camis and tanks to layer underneath.
I try very hard not to wear the same outfit twice, unless it’s one that made me feel really good, so I consider it a challenge to come up with new ways to wear the same piece (which for me only happens with layers or accessories). I have one piece that I’ve worn as a skirt the way it was made, but also as a tunic and as a tube top to work – with a blazer! Blazers and cardigans can make almost anything work-appropriate.

What are the go to pieces in your wardrobe?
My purple dress (that I desperately wish I could buy in every single color but so far haven’t found any more like it!), my black dress, my black rosebud boots and pretty much any of my belts and cardigans. I wear belts and cardigans ALL the time. It’s almost absurd how often I wear belts. I think I might have a problem.
What inspires your unique style?
Belts and cardigans. 🙂 Honestly, reading blogs has been incredibly inspiring to me. Before I ever knew style blogs existed, I never wore skirts or dresses and thought belts were ridiculous. Now you can’t get me to wear pants much and I have LOTS of belts! It’s through all of these friends I’ve met through blogging that I’ve been inspired to push my boundaries, try new things and thus figure out what *my* style is. I’m a belter, a layerer and a cardigan/jacket/dress girl. I love wearing at least one color, usually more and would like to venture more into pattern mixing territory. I haven’t done that enough or at least not bravely enough.

Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for interviewing me! I’m incredibly flattered that anyone would be interested in my answers to these questions. I hope I’ve been able to help someone push their own boundaries to find their personal style, too!
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