The Do's and Don'ts of Pattern Mixing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I have contemplated creating a post like this for a while now, but I don't do a lot of pattern mixing, so I didn't know how to approach is. My friend Katey (check out her blog) reached out to me, asking me to tackle this topic, so let's jump in! Pattern mixing is not as easy as it seems. I know you might see 3-4 prints mixed on runway shows and think that those designers just threw them together. But the truth is, there is a ton of thought that goes into combining different prints (there is a lot of thought in fashion in general, nothing is merely thrown together)! 

I've put together a no-fuss, can't-go-wrong guide for the Do's and Don'ts of pattern mixing. 

The first step is to make sure your prints are from the same color story. Look at the example above, the colorful stripe sweater is clashing with the floral print of the skirt. The combination is just too busy, instead, stick with prints that have the same hues.


Just because you are wearing multiple prints, doesn't mean they need to be on top of each other. You can achieve the same look by  incorporating solids with your prints. Don't overwhelm your audience with print, upon print, upon print. 

One of the most important rules to follow, is to be mindful of the scale of your prints. Patterns come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you don't pair a giant rose print with over-sized polka dots. Try to pair a smaller scale print with a larger one, that will keep your outfit from looking too chaotic.

The three outfits above, are examples of what not to do!
Below, I have shown you how to properly style these outfits!

Just in case you're still wondering what prints to mix, check out my cheat sheet below. If you follow the guide above and utilize the prints below, you can't go wrong!!

You can also find My Thrifty Chic 
Linking With: Monday Funday / Style Elixir / The Pleated Poppy / Random Wednesdays