I admired the look of print mixing for AGES before I finally felt comfortable enough to give it a whirl myself. And I’m still a total novice, and I still play it safe, and I still believe that this post from Unusual Form is just about the perfect primer for aspiring print mixers. But since I’m still a beginner myself, I thought I’d share a few simple tips for those of you who feel curious but unsure. Most of these are far less daring than the three-plus mixes that some folks concoct, which may make them feel tame … but hopefully will also make them feel do-able!
Separate prints with solids
This outfit includes a big geometric print in the scarf, a varied houndstooth in the skirt, and snakeskin on the pumps. All three prints are broken up by big swaths of solid black, so they just barely interact. It may be a bit warm for tights just now, but this outfit would also work with bare legs. Try incorporating several patterns, but separate them with solids.
Add a printed bag/accessory
Don’t feel comfortable doing multiple printed garments in a single outfit, but still inclined to dabble? Add a print bag to an outfit that includes printed clothing. Such an easy shortcut to print mixing!
Combine prints with shared colors
As you move into mixing printed garments, it helps to remember that they often work best if they’ve got at least one element in mind. Color is an easy one, and prints that share colors often mix well. Here, the stripes in the jacket share a pale blue with the delicate floral of the tunic.
Try stripes with florals
Of course, the print mix I use most is one that combines prints that have very little in common! Stripes work well in many print mixes because they read as neutral to most observing eyes. Pairing them with organic, flowy florals works beautifully, more often than not.
Mix two versions of identical prints
This technique requires you to have to identical – or near-identical – printed garments that can also be worn together. (You may have two pairs of polka-dot pants in two different colorways, but you’d be hard pressed to wear them together!) But when it can be done, it looks amazing. Dots, stripes, and other regular geometrics are often easiest to track down in identical prints but different colors.
Let Desigual do the work for you
And if none of those appeal, just track down a Desigual dress that features a perfect mix of prints, and call it a day!
How do you feel about mixed prints? Is your eye still adjusting? Like the look on others, but not sure it’d suit you? Already mixing like a madwoman? Would any of these beginner techniques work for you?
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