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5 Tips on Mixing Prints

5 Tips on Mixing Prints

One of the biggest takeaways from London Fashion Week was mixing prints. Armani, Burberry and Temperley London all sent out explosions of pattern and color on the runway, channeling effortless chic. While the trend of print mixing is not new, it is still a little too daring for most to try!

We totally get it -- many people shy away from attempting to mix prints, as it breaks one of the classic fashion rules we’ve had drilled into our heads since forever! However, true fashion is all about breaking rules! We’ve unlocked five effortless tips to incorporate into your newfound practice of mixing prints, patterns and colors. With these tricks, you’ll look ready to step from your house onto the runway in no time!

1. Match colors, not prints

The number one trick to matching prints is to make sure that you aim to match colors instead of prints. If you mix two floral pieces in different colors, chances are you’ll just look insane. However, if you match a red and white striped blouse with a red and white floral skirt for example, you’ll be looking more “awesome” than “asylum” in no time. Using one color can unify your look and easily tie each piece together! Unsure which color to pick? Chances are the boldest or most often-occurring color in each print is the one you’ll use, as it’s the color that naturally grabs your attention first. Identify the busiest print of your options, and use that as your base to match other prints with the same color to the piece. This ensures a cohesive, fashionable look that’s worthy of an IG picture every time!

2. Use one large print, and one small

The key to balancing your outfit when mixing prints is to use patterns and prints of differing sizes. If we were using the example of a red and white striped blouse with a red and white floral skirt from above, we would want to make sure that the stripes you select are small, and the florals on your skirt are a large print or vice versa. If you had a small floral blouse, you could mix this with shorts featuring large polka dots. Adding variety in the print sizes that you use avoids confusing the eye or making your carefully selected outfit look clownish. Instead, you’ll look poised, polished and fashion-forward!

3. Go bold but balanced with a third piece

If you’re planning on constructing an outfit that calls for more than two pieces, follow this easy formula: Solid Color+ Print Color+ Third Print! Your wardrobe piece in a solid color, for example black pants, should match a print color (a black and white polka dot shirt!). The third piece you add should be an unrelated print for a bold but easy look! In this case, a perfect example would be a third layer of a pink chevron jacket. The end result is still effortlessly put-together while refreshingly unexpected. What makes this three-piece combo workable is the fact that you aren’t using two bold colors. If you opted to try the same look using cherry red and ultraviolet, it would have the opposite effect of what you’re going for. Keep at least one color in this combo subtle to pull this look off with ease!

4. Keep print-mixing minimal with accents

Another unbelievably easy way to dip your toes into print-mixing is to use one print in a more minimal way, such as with the art of layering. Pulling a large-print polka dot sweater over a small-print plaid flannel is a great example of how to do this. In this combo, only the sleeves, collar and hem show around your sweater, making your print-mixing more of an accent than an in-your-face statement. Blazers, sweaters, cardigans and shawls all make this trick easy and fashion-forward!

5. Balance Your Busy Pieces with Monochromatic Prints

The last key to print-mixing successfully is to make sure you are balancing your busy pieces with more simple, monochromatic prints. A lively floral skirt is going to be harder to successfully match with a multi-colored flannel piece because of all the patterns, lines and colors coming into play. However, pairing that floral skirt with a monochromatic striped or polka-dotted blouse? Your look will be singing a different tune! In at least one of these prints, keep it simple. A simple piece paired with a statement piece is a vital and interesting balance to strike in your outfit, that will be earning you compliments and envious looks every time!

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