Patterns can be a tricky thing to master. Especially if your trying to mix patterns, which is why a few rules should definitely be followed, to ensure a successful outfit. The wrong color or print mixed, could completely clash and leave you in your own personal Fashion-Police fail. To avoid a fashion faux pas, and adventure into some bolder looks, follow these simple steps below. (I included some of my favorite Fashion Bloggers/ Celebrities, who do mixed print right.)
Tip #1: Stick to two different prints.
Don’t freak out too much if your an avid rule-breaker of this first tip. This rule can be broken, in the right circumstance, but typically you want to stick to two prints to mix together. When you start adding more than two prints, the look becomes too busy, and the opportunity to make a bold impression quickly changes from fab to cat-lady drab. If your going to break the rule, and attempt a third pattern, make sure it is simple and contains a color that is within another pattern. I love Rihanna’s style in general, and love how she always goes for bold looks, tackling the mixed print with ease in cheetah print and an abstract floral skirt, above.
Tip #2: One Color Must Repeat
One color must repeat in each of the patterned items of clothing you are trying to mix. Whether it is a background color, or a main color, the key to making sure the patterns don’t clash, is to find cohesive colors that allow the mixture to flow. Follow this, and you can easily master the mixed prints look. I love this grey color toned print mix, that Vanessa of Late Afternoon, is effortlessly styling. Such a Cohesive and complimentary look.
Tip #3: Mix Both Big and Small Prints.
I’m sure you can imagine how much of an eye-sore mixing a large print with another large print would be. Avoid this, by choosing prints of different sizes, allowing for a balanced and harmonious look. The picture above is Aimee Song of Song of Style— Interior Design +Fashion blog, a favorite go-to blog of mine for fashion inspiration. Her outfit is showing a great example of using small and large prints, to create a cohesive, balanced look.
Tip #4: Mix Fluid + Structured.
Choose patterns that are fluid such as, flowers or swirls, and mix them with ones that have structure to them such as, stripes or geometric patterns. Too much of one type will surely overwhelm the look, so again the key to mixing patterns will always be about balance. The picture above is a great take on mixing fluid and structured, from Atlantic-Pacific’s Blog.
Tip #5: Dare to Mix or utilize your Accessories to get the job done.
If your not feeling bold enough to mix multiple prints into your wardrobe, than do the mixing within your accessories. Throw a fun printed belt, like a cheetah or chevron print, over that cute sundress, or a cool patterned clutch with your print bodysuit. Even the most shy fashion-goers can now mix prints at their own comfort level. I love Kristina Bazan of Kayture ‘s example of using accessories to mix a bold print, with her lace top.
For my own mixing of prints, I tried to stick to the rules above and this is what I came up with. I am wearing a super cute black and white circle skirt, with a geometric pattern. I chose to pair this skirt with a black and pink-toned flower print, with hints of baby blue. This pairing works really well, because the black in the skirt, and the background of the shirt go well together. Usually a geometric print, if relatively simple, will go great with a floral shirt or vice versa. I wanted to pull in some cohesion to the outfit, and lessen the busyness of all of the prints in this look, so I chose to wear a solid colored jacket, in a baby blue hue that pulls out the blue in the flowers. This jacket is great because it is a lightweight cotton, perfect for a light summer jacket, and maintains the overall balance of the look. I also chose to wear my Delicious black-velvet high heels, because the accessories should remain simple if your outfit is doing the print mixing. Jewelry details include my kiss charm bracelet from Betsy Johnson, and layered bracelets. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and show others how bold you are, with some print mixing! When you finally master the look, you will be mixing prints left and right.