How To Mix Prints (Like A Pro)

As you know by know, we love to push fashion boundaries, and playing with patterns and colors is a big part of it. To some, wearing pattern at all might feel like a big step, but don’t worry, we covered the subject here. To the rest of you, here’s how to mix prints:

How To Mix Prints Like A Pro | The Fashion Folks

Why one should mix prints

To begin with, why should one even mix patterns with one another as one piece of it can be quite the statement? Well, there are several benefits, let alone the fun part of doing it. But matching and mixing prints makes any outfit look fashionable, with a little effort to it. Two or three patterns in one outfit don’t need accessories, statement silhouettes or matchy details. The patterns are enough as they are. This leads one to days where an outfit can be done within the minutes, and you’ll still look chic. Not to forget if you need to be dressed comfortable (but an outfit without details is boring) you can do the pieces in pattern and it’ll be fun as it is!

Three Things To Think About

When mixing patterns, there is mainly three things to think about. Or three different ways of doing it. These are not exclusive fashion rules, and doing them other ways works as well, but these are some guidelines on how one can pull it off. But as always, we encourage you to go beyond and trust your fashion eye!

Keep them in the same color scale

As one pattern can be crazy enough for the eye to register, keeping the patterns mixed in the same color is beneficial. This will make the outfit look more pulled together, and the patterns will blend as one. If you can’t do two patterns in the exact same color scale, we suggest that you keep at least two colors in common for the matching part. As humans register things that looks alike, the patterns will look matchy together, due to the common color. To make it even more difficult for you: 

  • Having the color base of two patterns as the same color, will make the outfit appear softer.
  • Pairing the color of the base with a same colored detailed pattern, will make it appear quite balanced.
  • Having two detailed patterns in common will make it look more messy.

Now we don’t stress one to be better than the other. But if we’re going to be harsh, the softer look is easier if you’re just starting out. After that, you can work yourself up to a more messy look (aka go fashionista pro). 

Larger and smaller patterns

Another way to make a mixed pattern look work, is by focusing on the size of the prints. A larger pattern in combo with a smaller one will appear more basic and enhance the smaller print. This can be favorable to do when playing with silhouettes and body shapes. The fashion rule goes that smaller prints slims down and larger patterns makes it wider. If you want to enhance or tone down a body part, match it with a pattern of the wished size! And if you want to do both at the same time, well, go for a mix of prints!

Similar patterns

If the two pieces are similar in the pattern, the outcome is often quite genius. You can go basic with two different kinds of stripes, of why not two floral patterns? This also comes back to creating balance for the eye and make the patterns easier to register. Similar prints, or even the same, is a great way of doing sets of clothes. Like a blazer and some pants, or a crop top and a high waisted skirt. They cover different parts of the body, but are united by the print and  will create a more coherent look.

Or….

Just forget everything we just said and match patterns that are completely different from one another. A colorful floral pattern usually works perfect with a simple striped piece, obeying the fashion rules that are. Contrasting patterns is bold and quite risky, so we’d suggest doing this when you’re more comfy in wearing prints.

One last thing

A pro-tip that follows the last point is to have a third piece in a neutral color. This might be an accessory such as a belt, or why not a blazer or a scarf?  Having a third piece in a neutral color, will “smooth” the mixed patterns, but still keep the balance right. 

And that’s a wrap folks! Hope you enjoyed the post, leave a comment on your best tips, and if you want to read more of these posts, let me know!

The Fashion Folks

88 Comments

  1. Now THIS is a fabulous assemblage of tips. Mixing prints can be so daunting – this makes it feel far more attainable!

    P.S. I absolutely recommend the OPI base coat. I have tried loads over the years {some peeled almost immediately, some felt too sticky}, the OPI one was the only one that felt perfect. Sometimes, if I’m not wearing polish for a few days, I will actually use the base coat on my nails as a form of protection so they don’t break – it works great for that too!

    xx

  2. I am a huge fan of mixing prints so this article struck a cool chord with me. If folks follow the concepts you’ve mentioned in this article then they won’t have to feel intimidated by this fashionable art form. I love the way pattern mixing creates a style of my own.

    Have a great weekend
    KaSonndra
    http://livewellbefabulous.com

    • I’m so happy that you liked the post, it makes me so happy! And yes, hopefully it will help people to navigate in the jungle haha! Patterns can definitely bring a lot to one’s style, and that is so in a very flattering way! Xx

      http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  3. I loved this post! While I am very liberal and open minded when it comes to makeup and bold colors on the face, I’m a bit more conservative when it comes to fashion 😀 I love the way these were paired, but I’m mostly sticking to the rule of only 1 print piece in an outfit 😀 xx

    BeautyPepTalk

  4. I LOVE mixed prints on others but am the biggest baby when I try to do it myself. These are all such great tips. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally be brave enough to try mixing myself!

  5. Man, I didn’t even know there were so many kinds of print mixing! I tend to prefer a pattern mixed with some stripes, that’s always my go to! It’s fairly easy and mess up proof haha. I just make sure the pattern and stripes are a similar colour. Great post about mixing! I know this is something that is super intimidating for me and a lot of other girls, so definitely glad you gave some advice on this topic. 🙂

    -Emily http://www.coatandcoffee.com

    • Hahah well, the sky is the limit when it comes to print mixing! Truly, it’s only the imagination that puts an end to the possibilities! So happy that you like the post, and I do hope people find it helpful! Pattern and stripes in a similar color is definitely a chic way of doing it! Xx

      http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  6. I’ve actually never mixed prints before! Shows how much I know about fashion, right?! I’ll try out the tips in this post!

    alicered.co.uk

  7. This is an absolutely fab and informative post especially for fashion newbies such as myself! I love your ideas, I like the idea of matching patterns that are completely different, especially. 🙂 Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

  8. Great tips on mixing prints! I look at these photos and I say wow these women look amazing. But when I try to do it I feel a little odd!

    XoXo,

    Tamara – LoveofMode.com

  9. I LOVE to pattern mix! It’s so much fun to really take a look into your wardrobe and experiment with pieces you may have had for years and bring them to life in a new, fresh, and fashionable way! I agree with all the tips and suggestions you’ve shared for pulling it off and when I think of bold and pattern mix, the first name that comes to mind is my muse, who you’ve featured here, OP, I LOVE HER!!!! This girl always gets it right! Thanks so much for sharing, gorgeous, and I hope you have the most amazing weekend ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Ugh, same here!! It’s so much fun to bring new life into pieces by mixing them with one another. Mixed patterns gives an outfit a new look, which is also favorable! And yes, OP just nails it, she could kind of wear whatever and would still make it look fashionable! Xx

      http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  10. This is such a great post with some fantastic tips! Mixing prints is definitely something I want to try more of, especially this fall season because I always stay away from mixing them. x

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