Why do we have pattern?

Believe it or not, there is something of a history behind pattern.  I discussed the reasons for it in home décor, but there are also reasons in fashion fabrics too. There is, of course, the tribal reason, to help distinguish friend or foe.  It was also used to distinguish rank within a community.  More importantly, it was developed to help women stand out, without really standing out.  Ah….we are a complicated bunch.  In any community, there is always an underlying competition among women, trying to attract the perfect man or keep him.  But, within that community of women, an unwritten rule not to make the others look too bad, or you too different.  We are to be “distinctively conformed.”  

So, how do you do this when your community has all the same tools for making clothes, limited dyes and fabrics from which to make them?  In other words, if a tunic is a tunic is a tunic how then do you make yourself “distinctively conformed.”  Yes…you guessed it…through pattern.
Calico is a prime example of a pattern that allows women to be “distinctively conformed.”  If you look at it up close, the patterns swirl and then course along the fabric at a frantic pace.  From a distance, however, all the colors and pattern blend together creating a look that is unified, almost solid in color, but inexplicably captivating and lively.  
Fashion designers have taken these traditional patterns, and played with them past their traditional looks.  However, I would point out that for all the change, the use of pattern hasn’t changed that much. The goal is still, “distinctive conformity.”
Again with the Animal Prints

A type of print that is gaining in popularity, I guess because of our new digital graphics, is portrait or themed prints.  They are beautiful.  I haven’t seen fashion dress fabric in the stores yet, but it usually takes a year or two before they show up.  

These fabrics are great for large, especially tall women.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we have room to tell a story.  These fabrics allow us to be fascinating.  

With the prints, there are several things to remember. 

1.  If the pattern repeats along a line, vertically or horizontally, treat it like a stripe.

2.  If it is irregularly repeating, treat it like a polka dot.

3.  Be very careful where various elements of the pattern will fall on you.

4.  Take a good look at the dark areas and the light areas.  And where they’ll fall.  

5.  Make sure you select a pattern that will allow the story to be well displayed.

They seem to be using this fabric with long dresses, specifically sarongs, but, so long as you are “getting the story out” how this is done is not as important.  For instance, a shirt and skirt or a shirt and pants.  A long jacket and shirt and pants or skirt.  A long jacket and shorts.  In fact, you could do a short dress and purse or a short pants and umbrella.  There are patterns for virtually everything now, including umbrellas and purses.  

My point is that if you select an outfit, or if your body is not well suited for displaying all of the pattern, there are many paths to achieving the same goals.

Please see my blog on home décor fabrics, specifically, on the bird panel for tips on sewing up this type of large print fabric.
Polka Dots

When discussing polka dots the phrase, “It is better to have tried and lost than never to have tried at all” comes to mind.  Style, color and size of the polka dot all come into play. But there are certain combinations that seem to look very nice on large women. 

Much of this has to do with the eye, perspective and optical illusions.  So, for instance, an extra-large white dot in a black background will highlight only the white dot—thus giving the illusion of less volume.  However, a medium or large black or dark dot, tricks the eye into seeing depth.  And, therefore, less volume in between the color.  In this case, the light or white medium dot does just the opposite.  And the white dots can add a look of volume.  

Having said this, a medium sized white  or light dot can be very flattering with a dark back ground.  As seen in the blue and white dress, to your right.

The reverse again, occurs with a small dark dot and light background.  You will find a dark background with a small light dot looks better.

Polka dots can give you a lively exuberant look and, if done well, slenderize and flatter. Do not fear, they are your friend, and do belong, and are a must, for any large or tall woman’s wardrobe.  

Thank you for visiting, God Bless and see you next week.



Wow, I really like all of these dresses because that are amazing specially that black dress with white circles is fantastic. We can overcome our fear by different ways according to this writer.


At first, I thought this article is a serious post about pattern of whatever, but turns out it's about fashion, dresses and skirts! Those skirts are so lovely! I'm a type of girl who loves to wear long skirts and I love every single skirt posted in here. Right now, what I'm wearing is a long pink skater skirt. I used to dream of becoming a fashion designer when I was young. Thank you for giving us knowledge about selecting a pattern in order to achieve a good style and design.

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