Mixed prints have been basically the hottest thing on the fashion scene for a couple of seasons now. Expertly mixing prints is an easy shortcut to looking like a street-style star – Susie Bubble, anyone? But mixing prints is always a bit of a gamble – if you do it wrong, you run the risk of looking like you got dressed in the dark.
Here’s how to mix prints the right way:
1. Stick to classic shapes
Mindy Kaling’s character on The Mindy Project is renowned for her mixed-print outfits. This one might be tricky to pull off, because it features both plaid and polka dots, but it works because both pieces have simple, non-attention-grabbing silhouettes, letting the prints take centre stage. It also helps that both pieces feature black and white, and that the shirt’s turquoise is the only pop of colour. That actually leads us into our next tip…
2. Choose pieces in the same colour palette
Sticking to pieces that feature similar tones, as Sarah Jessica Parker does here, makes clashing prints work together a whole lot better. If you want to err on the conservative side, make like SJP and try neutral shades like black and white.
3. Pair a larger print with a smaller print
This is like the golden rule of mixing prints. A print that’s medium-sized or larger, as seen on this cape at M. Patmos’ spring 2015 show, works best with a smaller print, like the barely discernible pattern on the dress it’s paired with. Two prints of similar sizes can look jarring when paired together, whereas a large print worn with a small print appears less busy.
4. Break prints up with a neutral piece
British fashion blogger Phoebe Anderson’s black top creates a visual “neutral zone,” stopping the patterned jacket and skirt from being overwhelming.
5. Pair stripes with florals
Stripes ALWAYS look good with florals, especially when they’re in the same colour family, like this outfit on legendary supermodel Claudia Schiffer. We can’t explain why –maybe some aspiring art theorist will write a thesis on this pressing issue?
Here’s your print-mixing final exam: what would you wear with our Nathalia Dress in Navy? Tell us in the comments!