The dos and don’ts of mixing patterns and prints

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Mixing patterns and prints can be a fun and stylish way to express your personal style. However, it can also be a tricky trend to master. Without proper consideration, your outfit may end up looking chaotic and overwhelming. To help you navigate this fashion challenge, here are the dos and don’ts of mixing patterns and prints.


1. Start with a neutral base: When mixing patterns and prints, it’s crucial to have a solid foundation to build upon. Opt for neutral pieces such as a white shirt, black pants, or a denim jacket. These basics will allow your patterns and prints to shine without overwhelming the overall look.

2. Stick to a cohesive color palette: Select a color scheme that complements your patterns and prints. Stick to a maximum of three colors for a more cohesive and put-together outfit. This will help tie together the different prints and create a harmonious look.

3. Vary the sizes of patterns: Combining prints of different sizes adds dimension to your outfit. Pair a large-scale floral print with a smaller polka dot, or a bold stripe with a more intricate pattern. This contrast in sizing will create visual interest and prevent your outfit from appearing too busy.

4. Mix different types of patterns: Have fun experimenting with different types of patterns, such as stripes, florals, animal prints, plaids, and geometrics. The key is to ensure the patterns have something in common, such as matching colors or a similar theme. Mixing different types of patterns will add depth and uniqueness to your ensemble.

5. Accessorize wisely: Accessories can make or break a pattern-filled outfit. If your outfit is already bold and busy, opt for minimal accessories to avoid overwhelming the look. Alternatively, if your outfit consists of more subtle patterns, you can experiment with statement accessories that complement the colors and style of the prints.


1. Avoid mixing too many patterns: While you might be tempted to go all out with patterns galore, it’s important to exercise restraint. Mixing too many patterns can create chaos and confusion, resulting in a disjointed and messy appearance. Keep it simple and start with a maximum of two patterns until you feel confident enough to experiment further.

2. Avoid mixing clashing colors: Mixing patterns is all about creating a harmonious blend, and choosing clashing colors will hinder this effect. Neon shades and overly contrasting hues can be overwhelming to the eye. Instead, opt for complementary or analogous colors to ensure a more visually pleasing result.

3. Don’t forget about proportion: Pay attention to the proportion of the patterns you’re mixing. If you have a large floral print top, balance it out with a smaller print on your bottom half. The goal is to create a sense of balance and proportion throughout your outfit.

4. Don’t forget about the occasion: Not all patterns are suitable for every occasion. Be mindful of the event or setting you’ll be attending. Bold, vibrant patterns may be more appropriate for a casual outing, while subtle or monochromatic prints may work better for formal occasions.

5. Avoid pattern overload: Sometimes, less is more. Patterns draw attention, so if you’re wearing a bold patterned top, consider pairing it with a solid color bottom. This will prevent your outfit from becoming overwhelming and will allow the statement piece to shine.

Remember, fashion is all about experimenting and expressing your unique style. While these dos and don’ts provide guidelines, feel free to break them if you feel confident in doing so. Ultimately, mixing patterns and prints is a personal choice, so embrace your creativity and have fun exploring this exciting trend!

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