Prints, patterns, and polka dots…oh my! Have you ever sifted through your closet looking for something new and fresh to wear, but it all just seems a bit blah? Looking for a way to breathe some new life into your daily style? Fear this style slump no more because with a little bit of curiosity, bravery, and some style know-how you can become a master at mixing patterns.
Yes, you heard me right. This post is all about mixing prints! I will be the first one to admit that mixing prints can seem downright tricky. The overall look should be unique and interesting…yet it should not give off any “displaced circus clown” vibes. Mixed print outfits can also go from cute and quirky to “did she get dressed in the dark?”
Let’s try and keep this whole mixing prints thing simple with just a few basic suggestions.
1. Keep it subtle.
I love how my fabulous friend Lauren P. layered a neutral sequined printed tank under a cardigan, and then added a floral print scarf that picked up on the tank’s hue. With accents of each pattern showing, this combination is a smart and subdued way to capitalize on your closet’s offerings.
2. Play with the scale.
Scale is the relative size of one object to another. As you can see in the example below, the polka dot print on the pants is much smaller in scale than the stripes of the sweater. Through optimization of large- and small-scale items, the sweater and pants do not compete with one another. Instead of visually sorting through jumble of stripes and dots, one will notice the stripes and then the dots, or vice versa. Add a bold pop of color in there for bonus points too!
3. Match the colors, mix the prints.
With this sassy, classy, and retro outfit, the warm tones of the skirt and shirt make the outfit cohesive. The polka-dotted print is crisp and sharp, while the lines of the tweed skirt are a bit muddled. Because polka dots and tweed are decidedly feminine, these two prints are well suited to each other. Other options might include floral prints and soft stripes, plaid and and geometric prints, etc.
Mixing prints isn’t so difficult now, is it? If there is one point to take away about this technique, it’s to make sure that the chosen prints aren’t fighting for attention against one another. Keep that in mind, and you should be good to go!