Mixing Patterns for Work

Catherine Hageman's stretching her fashion limits, and that means taking on something scary: outfits full of patterns.

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As I continue to stretch my fashion limits and expand my outfit options, I'm always looking to add more patterned pieces to my wardrobe.

Prints are hard for me. I know they're everywhere, but I tend to be really picky when it comes to those which I'll wear to work. I've bought more striped tees this spring than I care to admit (ok, eight — for now), but I almost always pair them with jeans or a solid-colored skirt. However, I've realized that plaid, polka dots and gingham, and yes, those stripes, are office-friendly and easily mixable.

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Combining prints is difficult — but it's also a lot of fun! My fellow bloggers constantly inspire me with their amazing skills, and as polka dots and stripes slowly take over my closet, I've tried wearing both at once.

I've also had some success pairing similarly colored pieces of different patterns. Navy is a classic (and also one of my go-to hues), and I've learned a simple plaid button-up is even more fun to wear with a striped t-shirt.

Mixing patterns can make work outfits as fun as off-duty ones — and it's hard to go wrong with a good button-up and comfy tee.

Catherine Hageman dispatches fashionista tendencies fit for a corporate career on Small Town, Big Wardrobe.

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