Guest Post: The Right Way To Mix and Match Prints


The Right Way to Mix and Match Prints! 

Fashion is all about taking risks, which can mean a lot of different things: wearing bright colors, experimenting with prints and textures, anything that helps you express yourself and looks amazing. Mixing prints is a great way to create a bold look, but it can be a little overwhelming for a novice fashionista. Here are some tips to get you started!

Know the Basics

Like I said, fashion is all about bold, risk taking -- but it doesn’t hurt to have a solid foundation first. Once you figure out the basics (for example, black looks good with nearly everything), you can build upon them to create a show-stopping style that’s uniquely you. So, if you’re going to mix and match your prints, learn the rules!

In the same way that black is a neutral tone in the color world, there are neutral patterns that suit any mix and match motif. The common “neutral” patterns are stripes and leopard print, so feel free to play with those as you begin your style experiments. Once you get comfortable with those, you can try something a little more exciting.

Play with Partner Prints

When most people think of mixing and matching prints, they envision someone wearing garish and wildly different patterns, but that’s not always the case. In fact, some of the best mixed print looks you’ll find have only very subtle differences between the patterns. These complementary “partner prints” are a nice, simple way to add a little something extra to a uniform look.

So, what counts as a “partner print”? Any two patterns that have a similar vibe: the same pattern in two different sizes, the same pattern with two different colors (or with inverted colors), or even two patterns in the same color family look great when paired together. Having a little variation adds a dynamic feel to an outfit -- without being overwhelming! 

Use the “Three Color Rule”

Once you’ve mastered neutrals and partner prints, you may want to experiment with something a little brighter. That’s great! Adding color to your wardrobe is a great way to express your individual style (and it’s a whole lot of fun). However, when you’re playing with color it’s important to use complementary shades; I like to stick to the “three color rule.” 

The three color rule is simple: with brightly-colored prints, select patterns in colors that are evenly spaced on the color wheel. For example, if you’re working with a yellow pattern, choose two complementary shades like blue and mauve. And of course, if three colored patterns are too much for you, swap one out for a neutral (remember: stripes or leopard print).

Break Up Patterns With a Belt

In the world of accessories, belts are a jack of all trades -- they’re both functional and fashionable! When used correctly, a belt can be the finishing touch that makes you look extraordinary, whether it’s holding up your pants, cinching in your waist to highlight your shape, or breaking up two different patterns on your outfit with a solid block of color.

Using a belt to break up patterns is an easy way to create a cohesive look when the patterns don't really jive side by side. Make sure you choose a belt with a simple look (plain leather, maybe a braided texture in a single color) so you don’t overwhelm the look, and remember to keep your patterns in similar or complementary colors.

Wear Your Look with Confidence

Here’s a truth bomb for you: none of these fashion rules can help your look if you aren’t confident. If you step out of the house looking nervous, like you’re wearing a crazy costume, you’ll never pull off the mixed print look. But thankfully, there’s a quick way to fix that problem -- wherever you go, make sure you’re wearing something that makes you feel great.

This is, without a doubt, the most important rule when it comes to mixing prints (or when trying out any other fashion risks). BE CONFIDENT! If you hold your head high and strut down the street like it’s Paris Fashion Week, no one is going to question your look -- in fact, you just might become the new trendsetter in your town!

Whether you’re sticking with minimalist neutral looks or going for the bold and bright, it’s important that you love what you’re wearing. So take your time when you’re shopping, look for patterns that catch your eye, and experiment with different styles until you find your favorite. Before you know it, you’ll be dressing like a fashion expert every day of the week.

Author Bio: Jesse Nuñez has been a fashion consultant for the past decade, helping everyone from celebrities to her own kids feel comfortable in their own skin. She consults with online stores like Red Tulip Boutique, making wholesale buying recommendations based on her experience styling real women everywhere.

I just want to thank Jesse for this awesome post! I truly enjoyed working with her and have enjoyed her work!

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