Breaking the Rules: Why You Should Mix Prints and Patterns

Are you bored of the regular styling tips and want something more daring? Here’s one for you, the good ole prints and patterns mix!

Ever wondered how some people effortlessly blend prints and patterns and look stunning in it? I’ll show you how to do just that.

Mixing prints and patterns isn’t just reserved for Instagram influencers or fashion runways, it’s a fun and creative way to add some style to your wardrobe.

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While it’s okay to play safe with solid colors and conventional styling tips, at some point, it can feel too predictable. Classic looks are undeniably cute but stepping out of your comfort zone and mixing different prints and patterns? Now that’s where the fun is (I kid you not)

Fashion is art, and like any good artist, you should explore and experiment to create new styles that suit you. Mixing prints and patterns helps you think outside the box, and this can help you discover your unique style quicker than you thought. You never know until you try.

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That striped blouse you’re always pairing with solid colors, why not pair it with a patterned skirt for a change? This gives you a whole new look and adds a different touch to your wardrobe. Let’s be honest, receiving compliments for an outfit you put together yourself not one gotten off your Pinterest board boosts feels wonderful.

I know I tagged this “breaking the rules” but like any other fashion idea, mixing prints and patterns comes with its own set of rules to help you create a coordinated look. The rules being broken here is the conventional rule of not mixing prints and patterns.

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Although these rules are not rigid, you still have to be in line with some of the basic principles of styling like understanding color coordination, choosing complementary pattern and balancing scales. But not to worry, after going through this guide and a little practice, you’d be a pro in no time!

Excited? I bet you are, let’s get started.

How to Mix Print and Patterns

Start Small

If this is your first time mixing patterns, I recommend you start small. Go for a patterned top and match with a printed accessory like a pair of shoes, sunglasses or a purse.

Patterned accessories are subtle so you can test whether you think the print combo works or not.

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Don’t Mix more than two Patterns

No matter how creative you think you are, do not mix more than two patterns if you’re new to the game.

Can it be done stylishly? Yes, but as a first-time mixer, this is not advisable. Mixing more than one pattern falls under the advanced maneuver category which is usually left for the professionals.

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Mixing more than one pattern if not done correctly can make your outfit look unnecessarily busy. So, stick to two patterns for a start then you can slowly progress from there.

Choose Patterns in the same Color Palette

This has to be the most important tip for pattern mixing because it helps your color coordination skills. Practicing this eliminates the question of whether colors go together or not.

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Can you successfully mix prints that aren’t in the same color scheme? of course you can, but choosing colors that match is an absolute guarantee that your mix will come out stylish.

A perfect example of this is pairing a black stripes pants and a black polka dot top.

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Don’t Over-Accessorize

If your outfit is limited to two different prints as advised in the second tip, then a little extra accessory wouldn’t be that bad. On the other hand, if you’re mixing more than two patterns then keep your accessories to the barest minimum.

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Pattern mixing is all about balance. Your outfit already has a lot going on, adding on too many accessories would mess up your entire mix.

Don’t choose Patterns of the Same Size

One easy way to mess up you pattern mix is by mixing really big patterns together or mixing really small patterns together.

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What you should do instead is mix big patterns with small patterns for balance. Specifically, the smaller patterns should be on the upper part of the body while the bigger pattern should be on the lower part of the body.

Add Solid Colors

This is another helpful tip in pattern mixing. Adding neutral pieces helps to dilute the patterns.

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You can do this by pairing your mix with solid-colored accessories like your shoes and bags or even a solid outerwear like a trench coat or a denim jacket.

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This would help tone down your mix, especially if you’re mixing more than two patterns.


I bet you found this helpful.

If you have questions or concerns, do let me know in the comments.

Don’t gatekeep tips, do well to share with your friends and family via social media.

Yours stylishly!

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