In the first month of my job at my current company, I wore an acid bright printed Lilly Pulitzer x Target button up shirt with a neon large patterned floral a-line skirt. The colors of each garment were in the same color palette, but it undoubtedly was not mistaken for a coordinated set. One of my (male) coworkers made a comment about the combination. Without missing a beat, I replied that I am an expert at power clashing.
If Blair Waldorf (or costume designer, Eric Daman) taught me anything, it was to not to get intimidated by pattern mixing. Stripes and floral? Yes. Plaid and gingham? Bring it. Windowpane and herringbone? Not enough! (Name the character who owned that catch line in the comments.) Bonus points for wearing a combination with patterned tights!
I purchased the skirt in this post four years ago. Give me any excuse to break another fashion rule and pair navy and black, but especially when I procure a piece that matches them for me. The skirt is long gone, but available on the secondary market (size 2 via eBay, size 2 via Poshmark, size 6 via Poshmark, size 8 via eBay).
Rather than wear it with a solid sweater, knit, or woven, I opted to wear it with a two year old plaid J.Crew shirt (last worn here, another piece that is long gone, but available in a sleeveless version). I was obsessed with the shirt the moment I found that it was available in tall and took a close look at the color palette, which weaves both the blue and the black from the skirt into it.
I think what makes this combination work is that one of the patterns (the plaid) is significantly bolder than the other pattern (the stripe). Making sure a strong statement with the top and the bottom calls for a mellow shoe, so I picked a low heel embellished style. I have said this before: this shoe looks like a style I saw in The Preppy Handbook. The OG, not the 2010 update. Finishing the outfit is a pearl embellished bee cuff, gold scallop earrings, and pearl embellished headbands. I am calling it now: headbands are back, although in my book, they never went away.