1. Consider the colors
This one tip will change your fashion life!
Ask yourself: is there a unifying color between the two prints? This is the simplest and easiest ways to ensure a common thread (no pun intended!) between two prints.
An exact color match is the most straightforward. But you can also achieve print unification via shades of the same color. You’ll be surprised at how many pieces from your closet that you can mix and match! For instance, check out the look above. To some, these polka dot jeans might not seem versatile. But to me, they are quite versatile. The soft gray color of this polka dot jeans ties in quite nicely with the gray tones in the stripes of this sweater (also here).
Just look for that common color!
2. Play with print proportion
Mixing all sorts of big scale prints at once will land you on the hot mess express! To keep this fashion faux pas from happening, study the scale of prints.
Let’s take a gander again at the striped sweater and polka dot jean look from above… Not only is there a unifying color (gray), but there is also a variation in the scale of the prints. The polka dot is subtle, while the stripes are bold.
The lesson here: the prints should complement one another – not compete with one another. You want one print to be dominate visually. This tip is particularly handy if you are mixing two of the same prints. For instance, if you’re pairing two polka dot prints, make it visually interesting by varying the size of polka dots.
3. Keep a keen eye on classics
They’re called classics for a reason. Lean into them when it comes to print mixing.
In particular, stripes and leopard print both can act almost like neutrals. They go with practically anything! Indeed, the easiest (and best) print mixing techniques often start with either a striped piece or a leopard print.
Did you see how I threw in a leopard purse with the bold striped dress above? Some might have thought to play it safe with such a vibrant dress which already incorporated a striped pattern. But au contraire! I tried to make the look more visually interesting by incorporating a leopard bag. Note that this works because (1) there is a unifying color, (2) there are varying print scales, and (3) leopard acts as a neutral.
4. Never neglect neutrals
Speaking of neutrals, solid, neutral-hued pieces have a place in the pattern mixing discussion. If you don’t want to do printed look from head to toe, break it up some. How do you break up the prints? Incorporate some solid, neutral items into the look.
5. Take the easy way out
Take the guesswork out of print mixing! Buy an item that has already done the print mixing work for you. Could it be any more simple to embrace mixed prints this season? I think not!
In fact, I’m noticing an abundance of clothing items with built-in print mixes this season (some of our favorites below). This dress in particular wins all the print mixing heart eyes from me!