When it comes to mixing prints, I’ve always been a ‘less is more’ kind of girl. My motto is ‘stripes go with everything’, and they’ve usually been my go to for when I want to amp up an outfit or add an interesting layer to my look.
wearing: Sportsgirl spot top (old but I LOVE this one, and this is a great alternative, or an affordable option here), Houndstooth wrap skirt (also love this option), Vaneli two tone pumps (these are also lovely), Chanel boy bag (affordable dupe here)
My wardrobe might err on the more classic end of the spectrum, but on the journey to finding my personal style, I’ve had more than a few encounters with mixing prints. So today I thought I’d share my top seven tips to mix prints like a boss…
Keep all the items in your outfit within the same colour family
A great first step is to approach mixing prints like you would initially wear colour – keep it within the same colour family. The underlying base or key colour of each item should be on the same colour spectrum – this makes it so much easier to pair wildly varying prints.
Stripes are a neutral
As far as your wardrobe is concerned, stripes go with absolutely everything. I’ve paired a stripe with acid wash prints, florals, and polka dots, and it always results in fashion forward look, with minimal effort. This can work with either a fine or thick stripe, just remember to keep the stripes within a similar colour family to the other prints in your overall outfit.
Wear the same prints but in varying sizes
Think small polka dots with big polka dots, a subtle leopard print with a large oversized leopard print. This might sound like a super simple pairing, but it can look really effective and have a huge impact (depending on the print you choose to combine!).
Break up your patterns
Depending on the kinds of prints your planning to pair together, this can help to make your look appear a lot less ‘busy’. A wide belt can break up a printed top and skirt/trouser combo, or alternatively, look for a skirt or trousers that are a more neutral tone, with a block print at the ankle or hemline – not only does this make your outfit more interesting, but it adds a layer in between the two prints for a more effortless and pared back look.
Two different prints that share one common colour
Unlike my earlier point, with this particular look, you want to find one common colour in the two (or three) printed items you are pairing together. This common thread ties the look together, and helps you to avoid looking like you got dressed in the dark!
Incorporate a neutral to offset the patterns
Along the same lines as my earlier point, adding a neutral coloured item into the mix can help to tone down your overall outfit by breaking up the look a little. My preferred neutrals are usually anything in a beige, grey, white or black, but this ultimately will come down to the base colour palette of your wardrobe (which it’s worth noting is different for everyone!). But I love the idea of a creamy-tone sweater, worn with a printed blazer and a printed skirt, or alternatively a fun printed top worn with a beige pair of culottes and a gingham pair of shoes.
Wear the same pattern but invert the colours
This is a really bold look, but when done well, it can look absolutely incredible. The simplest way to pull this off is if a designer has done the hard yards for you and incorporated two pieces in their current seasonal collection which have inverted colours. But, if that’s not an option, simple prints like polka dots and stripes are a great option to go for. Think a top that has a white base and a black spot, paired with a skirt that has a black base and a white spot or vice versa.
The key to mixing prints – especially when you have a more classic wardrobe like my own – is to opt for a more subtle approach (though bold does look great when done right!). Think understated or neutral prints like I’ve paired above, and remember, stripes go with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. How do you like to mix prints?