Thursday, July 31, 2014

Print Rules: How To Wear Mixed Prints

Image via Polyvore
Florals, stripes, tribal, graphic...prints are still a major trend and there seem to be no signs of stopping. For some, simply introducing a print is a big enough step but if you're already working with pattern in your wardrobe it's time to step up your game with a little mixed print action. It might seem a little foreign -- "You want me to put what with WHAT?" but with a few simple rules it's really easy to start working these interesting combos into your look and they're an instant way to transform simple basics into a real style statement. 

Here are 3 easy rules to help you start print mixing it up!

Rule no. 1 Keep it in the same colour family: Although power clashing is completely acceptable of late and can look ah-mazing if you have the personality to pull it off, I recommend you start experimenting by keeping your prints in similar colour families. This doesn't mean your prints need to match completely or have all the same hues involved, but  try to look for palettes that echo one another. At bare minimum, ensure at least one colour repeats in both prints.

Rule no. 2 Play with scale: This has nothing to do with your weight ladies, but rather the size of print you choose. While prints of the same scale can work, it's easier to get start playing with opposites. Pair your larger scale prints with smaller prints. It will add a little more interest to your ensemble. 

Rule no. 3 When in doubt go with a classic: If you're trying to tone down one of the season's bolder prints, head to your wardrobe essentials and dig out a classic pattern like gingham, stripes, or polka dots, keeping the previous two rules in mind. These classic patterns are simpler in design and act a little like neutrals in the world of mixed prints so they'll work with even the wildest graphic print. If you're a more conservative dresser, or have to be for work, mixing two classic prints together is a great way to try this trend without turning too many heads. 

Breaking all the rules: Black and white prints, regardless of the actual pattern, seem to defy the odds as they work well to ground even the most colourful prints. They also look super chic paired together regardless of pattern size. Opting to mix two black and white prints is another easy way to do print for the office if you don't want turn too many heads. Leopard print is another rule-breaker. Even when it doesn't kinda goes. If you want to venture into the advanced class, throw a dash of leopard with any print to be instantly fashion forward.

Easing your way in: Printed accessories are the easiest way to build up your print mixing skills. A shoe or scarf with a strong pattern will make a great impact in contrast to a printed shirt or pant. Work up to mixing a printed bottom with a blazer or cardi that's also got print while keeping the shirt underneath in a solid, unifying colour or neutral.  Once your confidence is high or if you're brave at heart from jump, wear your prints top to bottom and test out new combinations with 3 or maybe even 4 different prints at the same time. If you stick to the rules you won't go wrong.  

-- Tamika Auwai is our resident Style Editor, Shopping Enthusiast and Wardrobe Expert

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