Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mixing Patterns and Prints

It's no surprise that mixing patterns and prints is huge this season.  It's a great way to spice up your wardrobe and create more variety in your outfits, especially when aiming to have that individual, unique look.  Mixing patterns and prints may seem scary to some people, so there are some simple guidelines you should follow when mixing prints.

1.) Make sure to repeat one color in every piece of clothing in the outfit.  Your patterns/prints should have the same color scheme.  For example, navy polka dots with navy stripes.  Colors that have more flexibility in prints are black, white, gray, brown, and navy because they are more versatile and can lend themselves to a bolder print or color.  Below I've paired navy and white stripes with a textured and printed shirt.  I kept the accessories neutral to let the clothing do the talking.


2.) Combine structured prints with loose prints.  For example, animal prints with  plaid.  Mixing two bolder patterns can look a bit overwhelming.  It's good to take risks with pattern mixing, but you don't want it to look like you got dressed in the dark! :)  Below I've mixed leopard with classic tartan that had a beige undertone to complement the undertones in the leopard.  I paired it with black leather leggings and accessories to give it an edgy, yet polished look.


3.) Blend small designs with large designs, such as small gingham print with large polka dot print.  Mixing too many large patterns can make you look wide, while mixing two smaller prints can make your overall appearance look busy.  The only time it works to mix two smaller scaled prints is if you break it up with a solid color.  Below I've paired larger, more spaced out polka dots over a smaller polka dots in inverted colors and then added a pop of mint.


I would LOVE to wear all three of these outfit inspirations! Mixing patterns and prints in the same outfit can look very chic and fashion forward.  Don't be afraid to go bold, just follow the three rules!  Allow texture, patterns and prints to tell your style story!


  1. Love this post! I am new to mixing prints, as well as slightly overwhelmed! I have only gotten as far as pairing larger, spaced out polka dots on smaller polka dots :) I will definitely be using this post as inspiration to try more combinations!

    xoxo Meghan

    1. Thank you! Yea, the rules are so helpful :)

  2. I love all these sets! You have such great style:)