Mixing It Up
Fashion has always been defined by the changing trends of the season. While color blocking and minimalism were the "it" thing a couple years ago, the trends have already swung back into the realm of vibrant coloring and patterns. Specifically, mixing different prints and patterns is back in.
We know. Mixing patterns is probably one of the trickier levels of fashion and there's a lot more room for error compared to color blocking. But with the right methods, you'll be surprised how easy it can actually be to pull off mixing different prints. And of course, we're here to give you the downlow on those methods.
If you're new to mixing patterns, adding solid neutrals to the outfit is a good way to start. You can break up the patterns under the solid allowing you to create a more subtle outfit while still being unique and looks effortlessly bold. This stripes and snake print combo can be daunting but by using the solid denim skirt and cream coat, the patterns are broken up and toned down to make the whole look work.
When mixing prints, going with patterns in the same color family is a pretty safe bet. For example, consider using two patterns that both have white as their base color. Immediately, the two pieces will look cohesive thanks to the color even if the prints are very different. These floral and cheetah prints are super different but they match not only the base color but also the black which is why they work well together.
If you're ready to take it to the next level, use two patterns with similar accent colors rather than base colors. This method will definitely create a bolder outfit but will still work because of those matching colors. This yellow and orange combo still looks cohesive thanks to the black accent color in both patterns.
For the truly advanced or avant garde, consider choosing patterns with complimenting base or accent colors. This one is a little more tricky because you'll need a basic understanding of complimentary colors but if you have that and are ready to take the plunge, then definitely go for it! Although the patterns don't match, the soft pastels of the shirt work well with the bright and cheery sea foam green.
You don't always have to match by color alone. An alternative way to mix patterns is through the size and density of the prints. As a rule of thumb, small patterns will work best with a larger pattern. The same goes with density. Bold patterns tend to pair well with more subtle patterns.
Consider getting "neutral" patterns such as stripes or a leopard print that tend to look good next to almost all other patterns.
Are you ready to really mix it up? Don't just change up patterns, throw a different texture into the mix. A leopard skirt will look good with a faux fur jacket. Or use a floral sweater with a tulle skirt. Although they can often be easier to pair, textures tend to be overlooked so using them with your outfit can really raise your fashionista status.
Fashion is all about creative expression which means there's no exact formula for putting together looks but these tips can help you navigate the tricky job of mixing prints. With a little practice, you'll soon master the art of mixing patterns successfully.