How to Mix Prints (and Look Fabulous Doing It)

26 Jul

In the same way you have one or two “go-to” drinks at Starbucks, you also have “go-to” outfit pairings.

Having these favorites can be helpful, but also a bit boring.

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That’s right: I’m challenging you to wear two different prints. What catches my eye—whether in a magazine photograph or a woman on the other side of the street—is an outfit that’s visually exciting. Usually, that head turn, comes from bright colors, unique shapes, or interesting pattern play.  I have to admit, I’m not great at mixing patterns so I will also take this challenge and get out of my fashion box this week!

Not sure where to start? Here are five styling principles for pulling off any print, no matter how wild!

1. Go With The Same Motif

Whether floral or dots, the designs should balance each other out (e.g., shiny with matte or tiny with oversize).

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2. Stick to Two Shades

Use a reverse color scheme.  Here: navy on top, white on bottom.

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3. With A Head-To-Toe Piece, Keep Extras Basic

Your bag and shoes should quietly complement, not scream.

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4. Bookend Two Bold Prints

Enlist a neutral item (like washed-out boyfriend jeans) to act as a buffer.

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5. Do Variations on A Theme
The top and shorts each feature the same ikat pattern in different proportions.

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Mixing prints can elevate simple or inexpensive pieces to create a more high-end look.  Take that little striped tee you’d usually pair with jeans and the floral skirt you often wear with a white tank, and suddenly you’ve got an outfit that leaves you feeling more inspired and confident.   If you stick with black and white, you don’t have to worry about certain hues playing well together—these two are always a match.

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So the next time your closet leaves you feeling blah, why not try a new look by pairing two of your patterned separates?

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