Wardrobe Architect

Wardrobe Architect: Pattern II

I’m following the Wardrobe Architect series to help me build a well curated collection of hand-made clothes. You can find all my Wardrobe Architect posts in their own category. I’m very keen to see and talk to others, working through this series, so please share your experiences with me.

In my last post I explored How and Where I wear pattern in my wardrobe. Today, I’m going to look at what kinds of pattern I prefer.

I Love Pattern

I’ve thought a lot about this, as I feel very passionate about pattern.

Yes, I’m one of those people who are drawn to all the beautiful patterned fabrics in a store. This can be a problem; it’s where my stash tends to acquire the most bloat.

So, I’m also going to examine the kinds of prints that I love, and am drawn to, but don’t really suit me. Do you have patterns that you love but don’t fit in your wardrobe?

The patterns I love best have a hand-made quality to them. This is well demonstrated in my geometric preferences.


geometric patterns jujuvail.com

These are not in precise grids, but are off-kilter geometrics. I like them asymmetrical and hand-drawn looking.

I love spots of all kinds and sizes!

I love stripes and checks too. I prefer them to look hand-drawn or yarn dyed; I don’t want straight printed stripes when I could have them woven or knitted in.

Pattern: yarn dyed

I also like dyes to bleed and create organic lines, as they do in shiboiri dyed fabric.

It’s interesting how many black prints there are, amongst my pattern choices. I don’t like to wear black as a solid, but I love it in a print!

Floral and Novelty Prints

floral patterns jujuvail.com

I’m always attracted to florals. This is where I am most likely to buy a fabric that I don’t love to wear. I can’t resist a pretty floral, but I don’t want to wear anything too pretty, ditsy, cute or soft. I want my florals to have punch! And I prefer them on dark backgrounds.


I love a bold pattern that gets to play centre stage.

Antoni And Alison dress

However, smaller patterns create great textures and are easy to pair together. I aim to get more small, tonal, co-ordinating patterns into my wardrobe, to create a back bone for my bolder prints.

Marimekko dress


The Wrong Patterns

Here are some patterns that I can imagine buying, but not finding easy or comfortable to wear.

wrong patterns

As tempting as they are, they’re just too romantic for me. I could wear the one on the right if it were on a large scale, but they rarely are. Now I have to learn to resist buying them.



4 thoughts on “Wardrobe Architect: Pattern II

  1. What important realizations, and I can completely relate to “Now I have to resist buying them.” The temptation! The internet delivers it to my desk!

    I’m particularly drawn to the geometrics you chose (and the Chanin!).

    1. I’m beginning some Chanin projects myself this summer. I have always loved them but been reluctant to spend the time. Here goes.

  2. I’m loving reading your thought processes as you work through this. My preferences are probably the complete opposite to yours – I’m a ditsy floral print girl! – but your methodical analysis is a great help in guiding me through my own choices.

  3. I’m doing WA as well, although I am not as far ahead as you (I have just posted about silhouettes). I love patterns – I am torn between tiny patterns such as florals and large statement patterns, which I am more drawn to but are much more dramatic!!

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