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When mixing prints and patterns, it can either look REALLY good…or, it can look, well, not so good. So, what’s the trick to successfully mix prints and patterns? Whether you want to mix your polka dots with florals or your stripes with animal prints, follow these three rules and you’ll be expertly mixing your prints like a pro in no time!
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1. Keep it simple
Stick to more simple patterns when starting to dabble in mixing prints. Geometric designs work best for beginners since they tend to not be as over whelming to the eye. Polka dots and stripes are the perfect pair for mixing prints. Even playing with different scales of stripes are great for the beginner.
Sass top picks for prints and patterns:
2. Scale is key
When mixing prints, the most important thing to take into account is the scale of the prints you are working with. You ALWAYS need one scale to be the focus and one to be the accent piece. Keep one print small and the other larger. Focus the larger print on the areas you want to emphasize. Top heavy? Keep the smaller print on top! Want to bring attention to your killer legs? Rock the large scale print on bottom.
3. Stick to a color story
Sticking to one color story is the easiest way to make the prints work well together. The more simple the color palette the better. Aim for colors that compliment each other. As a general rule, black and white prints, like stripes, houndstooth, plaids, zebra print or polka dots, are usually always safe! You might also want to start with a neutral color palette— think shades of brown, cream, white, grey, and black. Try to match prints with that share one of the same colors. For instance, when mixing leopard with black and white stripes, the common color would be black. You can also try a black and white pattern with a pop of color.
When you’re ready to be a little more daring mixing prints, try pairing colors that are opposite on the color wheel: red and green; yellow and purple; and orange and blue. (Just be sure to keep the patterns on the modest side—nothing overly complicated.)
Print Mixing Quick Guide
Here are a few tried and true pattern mixes to try:
Black and white stripes with floral…
Treat leopard print as a neutral…
Larger floral pattern with a smaller floral pattern
Stripes on stripes
Don’t forget to incorporate patterns with your accessories too! Shoes, scarves, headbands—they’re all great opportunities to mix and match patterns and prints! Mixing prints can give your wardrobe a fresh and updated look. Have fun with it!
Brittany Carpenter is a Frederick native and Boutique Manager who loves fashion, animals and all things sweet! She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and quickly joined the Chic to Chic team. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the streets of Downtown Frederick with her fur baby, Conor!