The Style Guru: Patterns and Proportion

SWASH London 2013-13 fall/winterImage via fashionisers


It’s like that addictive game of Mouse Trap… patterns and proportions.

Okay, so just like the game, one little misjudgment and your whole look can be thrown to shambles! 

Patterns. We love them, but they can sometimes foil our attempts to create a stylish ensemble. We tend to meander toward patterns that strike us as pleasing to the eye. But “pleasing to the eye” can apply to window drapery. Or upholstery. When you’re talking about your own style, let this be a lesson first and foremost:

For example, if you’re petite and you choose a dress that screams, “GIANT POPPIES JUST EXPLODED ON ME!” Then please take this into consideration:

A) The print or pattern is too large for your size.

B) The print or pattern is too overwhelming for your simple silhouette.

Yes, pattern is directly related to proportion, people. It can shrink what needs shrinking, or it can draw major attention where extra attention is not ideal. Like I always say, dress for your body, your shape, your style, your inner self. 

Ask yourself before you buy:

1. What do I like most about this piece–pattern? Style?

2. Does it benefit my size and silhouette? Does it enhance my stature? (Here’s a thought: If you have a round shape and you buy a flowy, shapeless dress in a big, bold print, the answer will be no. If you have a straight shape and you buy a boxy dress with vertical stripes, the answer also will be no.)

3. How can I make this item the dominant focal point in my ensemble?

4. What else do I already own in my closet that might tone down the “roar” factor of this piece? Or, if you’re daring–What else do I already own that I could mix and match with this piece?

Here’s where to discover your most of-the-moment patterns in Kansas City:

In Clover Boutique in the Corinth shopping center

Under the Palm Tree a Lily Pulitzer Boutique at Hawthorne Plaza

3HOUSE at Town Center



Remember to be daring as you only live life once! Fashion should be FUN! So go ahead and have a great time with it!


Say “hello” anytime and please write in with more questions!


xoxo Katherine

 Katherine Brown is the owner of Chanari, a personal-styling and life-coaching company. She received her professional degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Her style inspirations include the spunk of Audrey Hepburn, the classic chicness of Jackie O., and the flair to be daring of Sarah Jessica Parker. She lets KC Magazine readers shop her wisdom in the exclusive “Style Guru” blog.