Mixing prints is one of my favourite things to do when I style looks for my blog and in my day-to-day life. If it’s done properly, you can transform an outfit from drab to completely fabulous just by following a few simple rules.
1. Start with a bold print: The first step in creating an outfit with mixed prints is to start with a bold or accent print. You could start with a bright floral skirt or bold graphic scarf like this Front Row Society one. This scarf was my starting point and I paired the other prints, colours and textures based on the colours in the scarf. For the men’s look, the plaid Baracuta G9 jacket is the focal print.
2. Choose a colour family: Try to choose colours that come from a similar colour family and palette. The prints should share a similar colour or have a common background colour like white or grey. I always say that if the colours look good together, then the prints will work well together. If you want to play it safe, stick with prints that have neutral background colour like black, white, navy or beige because they are easy to mix and go with everything. In this instance, I combined bright colours with softer, pastel shades to complete the look and incorporate the colours in my bold, graphic scarf.
3. Choose a neutral print: Stripes and polka dots are considered a neutral print because they go with just about everything and rarely overwhelm a look. Mixing stripes and polka dots is the easiest way to achieve a mixed print look and if you want to play it extra safe, choose a black and white stripe or polka dot print and accessorize it with a brightly coloured handbag or shoes. The neutral print in this menswear look is the Denham Simpler shirt because it is a subtle vertical stripe that compliments the plaid jacket. In my look, the tie-dyed French Connection jeans act as my neutral print because they are subtle and don’t compete with the statement scarf.
4. Choose prints of different scale: It’s important not to have too many prints of the same scale when planning your ensemble. If you have a large scale floral print, try combining it with a subtle floral print from the same colour family. Your large scale floral print will act as your focal print and it won’t clash against the smaller scale floral print.
5. Break up the look with solids: It helps to break up your look with solid colours so the eye has a resting point and doesn’t get overwhelmed with head to toe pattern. Try breaking up your look with a sold colour shirt or layer with accessories to tone down the overall look.
6. Try texture: A more subtle approach to mixing prints is by combining different textures like sequins and lace. My sequinned French Connection Kimono is a good example of a subtle use of texture. It works well with the statement scarf because the colours go together and it doesn’t take away from the bold graphic print and colours in the scarf.
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