Sarah Neely

THE COLOR WHEEL: How to Mix Prints

Sarah Neely
THE COLOR WHEEL: How to Mix Prints

Let's face it. There are just some style trends we think we can never be pulled off. 

Perfect example, how on earth do we mix and match prints as well as Tory Burch without looking like a piece of pop art?

When it comes to tricky trends, we put mixing prints right up there with wearing socks with sandals.  But here’s the good news: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to master the art of mixing and matching. Once you learn a few simple tricks of the trade, you’ll be pairing and patterns like an expert in no time. We promise, it’s easier than it looks.

1.  KEEP IT ALL IN THE FAMILY

One of the easiest ways to keep your mixed prints looking chic instead of confusing is by keeping them all in the same color family. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they all have be the same shade, but having a central palette to work from allows you to blend your prints and hues more easily. Try selecting a color that appears throughout the entire ensemble.

2.  SIZE DOES MATTER

No we are not talking about that (get your mind out of the gutter) lol. We are still referring to prints. An easy way to mix up the prints you have hanging in your closet is by matching up big prints with smaller ones. The contrast of bigger prints with smaller ones and thick prints paired with thin makes your overall look visually appealing while still making a strong but not overwhelming statement.  

3.  LESS IS MORE

Now don't go crossing over your clothes just yet. No more than two prints at a time is a good rule for beginners and three prints at a time for the extremely daring and self proclaimed fashionista. Four or more is asking for trouble!

4.  DEDICATION IS THE KEY

It doesn't matter who you are. Being a celebrity or average Jane, you have to commit to your outfit. If you don’t wear your clothes with confidence people are going to notice and not for the reasons you intended. If you doubt your ability to pull off a mixed print ensemble, DON’T WEAR IT! Try one of the more subtle techniques discussed first and work your way up. For those of you still brave enough to try, channel your inner diva and give it a try.     

5.  ORGANIZE THE CHAOS

One of the most successful ways of mixing your prints would be to pair a more structured looking print with a bolder looking one. The contrast of a complicated or busy print for example Aztec matched with a simpler more basic one for example and stripes not only serves more visual impact but it also creates balance throughout your entire look. 

6.  ONE PIECE

For those of you who want to start off slow with this trend choose a star piece to work around. A bold statement making piece can be a great starting point allowing you time to build the rest of your outfit around it. For example, in my ensemble, my thrifted long, printed, colorful dress took the lead. I added the printed tribal belt to add dimension and also to bring more flavor to my look. This helps tone the vibrant colors by drawing a little more focus in with the belt. It also allowed me to create overall a more cohesive and flowing look. You can always mix prints using your accessories. It doesn't necessarily have to be another article of clothing. 

OK, well admit it: Mixing prints can be intimidating but now you have the top 6 fashion tips on how to mix prints. We know you will be mixing like a pro in no time. 

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

Photograph by Divian C

DRESS:  (Thrift Store)

BELT:  (Thrift Store)

SHOES:  (Missguided, Sold Out) Similar HERE

HANDBAG:  (Thrift Store)