I hope you had an awesome holiday! Today’s post will be a topic that seems to stump many women: mixing prints.
As a math brain, I’ll start us off with an equation:
print 1 + print 2 + extra confidence = a successful outfit
I’ll provide a few simple rules, but the most important part of the equation, bolded for a reason, is confidence. You could probably even get away with breaking a rule or two and still look great, as long as you wear your ensemble with boldness!
Rule 1: Distance is key.
For the beginning print-mixer, it can help to put some distance between the prints, instead of juxtaposing them right next to each other. This could mean wearing a striped scarf with some polka-dot shoes, and having some neutral jeans in between them to lessen the drama of having two prints.
Rule 2: Limit the colors.
In order to wear two or more prints next to each other, it is important to make sure they share either a base color or all the colors. For example, you could wear a top with tan and navy flowers on it with a tan-based plaid skirt. As long as they have a major color in common, it will likely work.
You can also match all the colors, like we did in the Mixed Print Chiffon Maxi Skirt:
Rule 3: Contrast the proportions.
When mixing your prints, it is important to make sure one print is very small and the other is medium/large. An outfit can look too busy if both prints are tiny, and it can be unflattering when both of the prints are large. Having the combination lets the smaller print read as more of a neutral, making your outfit less in-your-face.
This HCC Menswear ensemble featuring our Cotton Lined Vest with Dart Zipper Detail puts a small, black and white houndstooth print vest with a large, red and black plaid print bow tie. They work next to each other, and having a black dress shirt serve as a neutral in between is the cherry on top.
Rule 4: Textures work as prints, too.
You don’t necessarily need two printed fabrics to achieve the mixed-print look. You can also use lace, or fabrics that aren’t overtly printed, but rather have a “matte vs. shiny” look.
The Kat Party Dress uses lace within the dress next to a damask print, and you could even pair more lace with it as tights (lace almost always mixes well with each other!).
Finally, although not women’s wear, our Lined Vest with Back Inset puts two prints right next to each other, but when they share a color (black) and one fabric has the “matte vs. shiny” effect, it works just fine!
Hopefully these tips serve as a nice starter guide! If you have any more tips, or questions about this topic, please sound off below in the comments and I’m happy to help!
Remember: the most important part of a multi-print outfit is your confidence.