Mix it up

Welcome back fashionistas!

On a rainy, fall day, you snuggle up with a blanket and turn on old rom-com movies like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Sleepless in Seattle,” or “Singin’ in the Rain.” The kinds of movies where there was true romance, chivalry, and graciousness. In today’s dating world, if you like someone, you send them a cute DM on Instagram instead of talking to them face to face. Friends playing Cupid and introducing you to your perfect match has become Tinder choosing your matches that allow you to swipe left or right on before ever meeting them. Instead of picking your date up at the door and ringing the door bell, you just get a quick text that says “here” while he waits out in the car. Much like the rules of dating, the rules of fashion have also been completely thrown out in the last few decades.

Back in the day, it was a major faux pas to wear navy with black. Now  it’s one of your staple outfits that you wear to the office. There was a rule that you weren’t allowed to wear white after Labor Day. Today, you’re rocking white denim year round. Mixing gold and silver jewelry in one outfit was a “no-no.” Currently, you’re wearing 3 layered necklaces; 2 silver, one gold. Nobody would be caught dead in a head-to-toe monochromatic look. In the present, you see an entire red outfit down to the shoes on the street. Mixing two different prints in one look was unheard of, but now it’s encouraged.

Does the idea of mixing prints excite you or make you cringe? An outfit with mixed prints can quickly go from chic and high end to tacky and tasteless, like those people you see at the grocery store in miss-matched pajamas. Mixing prints to create a stylish statement has only been widely accepted within the last few years and I’m sure many of you have had a struggle accepting it (if you even have accepted it yet). Your mom’s voice is in the back of your mind telling 5-year-old you that you absolutely could not wear your red and white polka dot skirt with a blue tie dye shirt and striped pink leggings to school. The other kids will make fun of your outfit, she had said. Now it’s okay? Not quite. You still can’t just throw together any print and rush out the door thinking you saved a lot of time not having to put much thought into matching your outfit this morning (if you’re still hoping for a polished look). In order to pull off mixed prints in a fashionable way, it must be strategically planned out. If you’re still on the fence about mixing prints, I hope I can change your mind!

Follow these steps and you will easily become a master at mixing and matching prints:

  1. Choose prints with the same colors in them to create a cohesive look.
  2. Choose prints that compliment each other to prevent one print from overpowering the other. For example, a bold geometric top might not look right with a light floral scarf.
  3. If you choose to mix more than two prints at once, choose subtler, less bold graphics to pair together. If too much is going on it will appear chaotic and the eye won’t know what to look at.
  4. Keep the proportions of each print in mind to create a well balanced look. If the patterns are too spaced out or one print is just a small part of the outfit compared to the other, the mixed prints will look accidental rather than purposeful.
  5. Less is more. As a rule of thumb, try sticking with only mixing 2-3 prints within the same outfit.
  6. When mixing prints, keep texture neutral. Don’t add a fur vest to an outfit that already has two different prints going on.
  7. Mixing the same type of print is also considering print mixing, such as vertical stripes paired with horizontal stripes.

In the outfit I’m wearing below, I chose a striped long-sleeved tee, a herringbone printed vest and a floral scarf. All of the prints I chose are shades of black and white. I am wearing three different prints, but each print is subtle. The floral print scarf is the focal point and brings the eye up to my face. I kept the rest of the outfit simple opting for dark wash denim and black boots. The vest adds volume to the top of the body, while the bottom half is slimming.

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I challenge you to try it for yourself! Let me know how the experimenting goes!

Until next time.


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