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 


Unknown said...

This is such an awesome and helpful post! I find that most of the time the geometric/ floral pattern combo is a perfect combo :)

Shabby, Chic, & Cheap said...

AWESOME guide! I always shy away from mixing prints because it makes me nervous but the do's and don'ts with picture guide is uber helpful! Maybe I'll venture out my comfort zone!

Style Journey said...

This is such a great post, especially for those that are a little timid about trying out the trend. Pattern mixing use to scare me, but I have slowly warmed up to the idea. Now it's becoming the norm for me. I just recently pattern mixed polka dots and leopard and loved it!

Analilia said...

OMG! I have to pin this later. Prints scare me if I have to match them to other prints. It's either a single color piece with a print and then thats it. Thank you so much!

Mo said...

This is cool! Thanks for sharing. :-)

Cassandra Too said...

Thanks for the great tip! Gonna take note to prevent myself from becoming a fashion disaster!

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Cassandra | Backtofive

bluehuewonderland said...

You are right on here, great advice! By the way I'm loving your pictures these days. Well done!

blue hue wonderland

Marlen said...

this is SUCH a fun post, especially th elast part where you explain why it doesn't work. i feel like a lot of people are timid about mixing patterns because it'd be too loud an eye catching, but you really did an awesome job showing why it can really work for everyone. and i love the combos you created!

Ps- I found you through the Glitz and Gold linkup :)

xo marlen
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iesha said...

thanks for this!
i've never mixed prints and idk if i will, but if i do i have to keep this in mind!


Bethany said...

These are awesome tips! Love it! Thanks for sharing with Three-fer Thursday :)

xo Bethany

Mindy said...

This is a great reference for pattern mixing! Thanks.


Sherry said...

Great inspiration! I am just now starting to get more daring with mixing patterns and I love it!

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