How to Inject Patterns in your Wardrobe

By Salma Falah
Photographed by Kathryn Margiotta

Staying stylish and warm in Boston is oftentimes a struggle. On one hand, you want to be comfortable and snug, and on the other you want to feel cool and confident. Every morning, it is a dilemma for me, and the biggest trick I have learned is layering. Layering keeps you warm and cool at the same time (get it?). I love to layer many different patterns. Patterns make me happy; they are colorful and fun and make Boston’s weather more bearable. You can honestly go crazy with all the different patterns you want to layer, and as long as you feel confident you look good. You can mix and match plaid with polka dots or stars with stripes.


I like to start off with a base. Start off with a patterned button down and then go crazy from there. You can layer a sweater on top or a blazer or a sweater and a blazer. You can also match it with a cool pair of pants or a skirt. I want to emphasize that there are no rules. If you prefer matching two of the same print in a very Clueless-like fashion, go for it. If you want to be funky and match two totally different patterns, go for that too. Moreover, I refuse to believe that there are certain colors or patterns that do not belong in the winter. Winter is dark and dreary enough, we do not have to make it worse with wearing all black. So, if you want to wear yellow, pink or white then you should wear it.


If you have a hard time finding prints you like, stores like Zara, Forever 21, J Crew and Urban Outfitters sell tons of different and fun prints. I find my favorite patterned T-shirts at Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, and I love Zara and J Crew for cool blazers. However, I often struggle with finding the perfect patterned pants. I recently found a few pairs that I love from Zara and Urban Outfitters, but I am still trying to integrate funky pants into my wardrobe. Overall, fashion has become more about creating your own rules than following the status quo. Try it out this season, you will not regret it.