I honestly love a good pattern, but typically I appreciate them more on pillows, wallpaper, curtains, ottomans… basically in home decor. The majority of the time, my clothes are simply a solid color and occasionally I’ll mix in a stripe or a leopard as an accent, but I tend to gravitate toward solids in my wardrobe… unless I find something with a pattern design that just pulls me in!
I recently stumbled upon a blue and white patterned dress online that I knew belonged in my closet from the moment I saw it, but it turns out that it was sold out on the retailer’s website… I really hate when that happens! 😩 I decided to use Google to help me find search terms to describe it in an effort to lurk Poshmark and other secondhand online shopping sites to find my desired dress! (What did we ever do without Google or the internet as a whole???) I kept seeing the same words repeated over and over in the descriptions for similar dresses, but I wasn’t sure if they were interchangeable terms or not… down the internet rabbit hole I went!
My research revealed that: toile is a fabric that originates in France and which pattern depicts a scene (e.g. a landscape that often involves figures); chinoiserie is similar, but has a decidedly Asian (specifically Chinese) flare – patterns of which are frequently found on classic ginger jars; and chintz is a pattern that originated in India and is most often a floral design (which is a “shabby chic” favorite!)… the more you know! I love all three options, especially when they are in a blue and white colorway.
I finally found the dress I was searching for (in my size!!!) on Poshmark and ordered it right away. I shared a photo of myself wearing it on my Instagram feed and it inspired me to share some other similar toile / chinoiserie / chintz finds!
(yes, I need a tan in the worst way 🤣#quarantinelife)
This dress is from H&M and is not labeled as any specific pattern so I had to just search “H&M blue and white pattern tie sleeve dress” on Poshmark to find it! It seems as though H&M really liked this print / recognized that their customers do (OR they just overbought fabric 😅) because they used it on multiple pieces…
Links for details below, but all pieces are from a previous season so you will probably have to hunt online for them secondhand.
Here are some other options that I found in similar patterns and colorway:
A few honorable mentions:
Again, some of these items have a restock waitlist or are sold out, but with the details from the links you should be able to find them from secondhand retailers (at a great price!) if you look hard enough. This is such a great way to keep clothing from ending up in a landfill — most of the secondhand items are lightly worn or even new with tags!
Look at you getting a bargain and being eco-friendly… 😏
I also suggest trying looking at options on Etsy… they have some surprisingly cute stuff by really talented people! This was my favorite toile dress option and this was my favorite chintz dress option!