Print-mixing is one of those things you can never be too sure about. Sometimes it looks undeniably classy, and then sometimes…you’re fairly certain that if the girl in the snake-skin boots, fiesta-colored skirt, and plaid tote bag weren’t a super-model, then she’d just be super-weird. Maybe we should leave those particularly special combinations to the elite of New York during Fashion Week (which is just wrapping up, btw). At that level, it takes a certain innate ability(or extremely practiced eye) to tell the straight-up goofy from the avant-garde.
For the rest of us plebians, there are some basic guidlines to help us mix patterns in a way that’s guaranteed to look interesting and chic, not just “interesting”. The main thing is not to overwhelm the eye. Overwhelm happens when there is simply too much going on at once. For instance, two extremely loud prints next to eachother is just…scary O.O. So, without further ado, the tips:
1.Make sure one of your prints is clearly “large and in charge”. Only one print should be big (think quarter-sized dots and bigger). The other should be noticeably smaller.
2.Keep it in the family. The color family, that is. The more relatable colors there are between the two patterns, the more easily the eye will be able to take them both in at once. Try to keep at least one color the same in both patterns as a common thread to ensure your combo is pleasing to the eye and not jarring.
3.Only one print should be busy. The other print should be downright lazy. What does busy mean in this sense? It has to do with how often the pattern repeats and/or how complex it is/how intense it is. The larger or the smaller print could be “busier” depending on these factors.
For my outfit, I mixed a navy and white striped dress with sweater blazer that has a navy and white marled/hatching pattern. The stripes aren’t super bold, but the sweater pattern is so subtle that it is still bold in comparison. Then I threw on some raspberry-colored shoes for a pop of color, and ta-da!
**Update** As Caitlyn so rightly pointed out in the comments, this jacket is woven and nothing is printed on it, so techinically it’s got a pattern to it, but it’s not a “print”. But it’s all the same when it come to the rules! 😀