Touted as one of the IT trends for spring, mixed prints definitely have some people straddling the fashion fence. One the one hand, mixing prints totally exude an innate sense of styling know-how (ever notice how street style bloggers like Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist manages to capture wacky-yet-somehow-effortlessly-cool ensembles?), yet on the other hand, people fear mixing prints lest they end up looking like a kaleidoscope.
Fear not, because with some key style tips you can become a mix master.
The first thing to remember when attempting to mix prints is that there IS a sequence to how items should be layered—simply raiding your closet and pulling on every printed item you own will look as though you dressed yourself blindly. Trust.
The easiest way to incorporate different prints into a particular outfit is to focus on a main piece and match a different printed item that is within the same colour family. The combination could be as simple as combining a black and white abstract-printed skirt with a black and white striped sailor top. A more advanced example would be pairing items that are complementary in colour: blue and orange, yellow and violet and red and green. Choosing to mix patterns and prints that are complementary in colour will make each item appear brighter when worn together.
There are also some prints and patterns that look effortlessly chic when styled together. Pairing stripes and florals is one of the easiest ways to pull-off the mixed print look. A bold striped blazer would look impeccable over a flirty floral dress, but if you’re too timid to make such a statement, opt for a pairing of a floral scarf with a sailor-striped tank. Another easy pairing is to combine artsy polka dots with stripes; this could be as simple as wearing a polka dot top with a striped sweater, but do remember to vary the scale of the print to add more visual interest.
Now that you’ve mastered the tricky art of mixing prints, there are some key styling tips to remember! Do mix prints within the same colour family. The exception to this rule would be if your outfit were entirely black and white, you could add a punchy graphic accessory like a bright yellow patterned bag. Don’t wear a print head to toe. Throw in a basic neutral item to break up the prints, especially if you’re wearing bright, bold all over patterns. And lastly, less is more with prints — if your outfit resembles as though you’re applying for circus school, chances are the public will think so too.