Today we want to share some tips on how to style prints and patterns. Prints can be difficult to style, particularly when you want to wear more than one print in the same outfit. While some shy away from doing this, it can be extremely effective when you know how to do it right. Whether you’re trying to style a certain bold print or need to mix prints and patterns to a stylish effect, here are some tips for managing the prints in your wardrobe.
1. Choose Complementary Colors
When you want to mix prints (or mix prints and patterns), keeping them tied together with a common color is the best idea. You can choose to keep one of the colors the same in both pieces. For example, if you wear a blue-and-black striped shirt, wear a print coat with blue or black as the main color. This can help tie the outfit together even if the prints are wildly different.
2. Choose Only 2 Different Prints or Patterns
When mixing prints and patterns, you should try to stick to just two different prints or patterns in the same outfit. Choosing more than this can make a look more chaotic than bold, especially when the patterns don’t share any colors or other features. Be careful about the patterns of your bag, shoes, and other accessories. They can also clash with the prints in your outfit if you don’t choose them carefully.
3. Choose Different Sized Prints
The size of the print matters. When mixing prints and patterns, choose different sizes to make them stand out. For example, choose a big, vibrant floral print with a small dotted print, or mix thin and thick stripes to set them apart. You can use this tip to play with proportion a bit.
4. Start with Foundation Prints
When you mix prints, you should always start with something simple. Rather than trying to match your favorite bold print to a more toned-down pattern, try to start with a basic pattern and work upwards. Stripes, florals, and polka-dots are always great places to start. Save geometric patterns for attention-grabbing, brightly-colored pieces. When paired with a smaller, more neutral print (like the ones we mentioned before), you’ll find that both stand out.
5. Color Matters
While you might want to match the colors from both prints or patterns, color can matter in other ways. You should play around with what works for you. Mix different color schemes to see how they go together or choose options that clash so completely that you make a different statement altogether. Have fun with it! Remember that you can always change it up if you don’t like the way your print-based outfit looks.
6. Embrace the Clash
One of the biggest reasons that people avoid mixing prints and patterns is the clash that often occurs between these busy options. Throw out everything you know about clashing prints, especially if you want a bold, head-turning look. When done right, there might be some clash – but overall, your look will be on point. You just have to get over looking at that clash as wrong or undesirable.
7. Consider Structure
When pairing different patterns and prints, make sure to choose clothing with different structure needs. For example, don’t pair a floral sundress with a flowy polka-dot overcoat. Make sure that you choose a boxier overcoat option when you’re wearing clothes that flow a little more. When you’re wearing form-fitting leggings or a tight shirt, you can wear something oversized and flowing with a contrasting pattern. Mixing up your structure is just as important as mixing colors and patterns.
8. Have Fun With It!
Mixing patterns and prints doesn’t mean you have to follow a lot of rules. If you think something will look great, go ahead and wear it! At the end of the day, it’s all up to your preferences and style. Looking for different prints and patterns? Check out some of the pieces at Shop Style Shark for inspiration for mixing up your favorite patterns.
When your wardrobe is bright, colorful, and full of patterns, why not mix them up a bit? These tips can help you get the most of your entire wardrobe, especially when you want to mix florals, stripes, geometric patterns, and florals – just don’t mix them all in one outfit!