Prints and patterns can be a chic way to add interest and personality into your style. Yes, mixing your African prints with other cool patterns is easier than you think—just read our guide so you’ll be able to rock the print mixing trend like a pro.
Don’t shy away from prints in the same family.
The idea of “mixed prints” might leave you thinking of teaming two totally different patterns in your outfit. Just because you’ve reached for the loudest print in your closet doesn’t mean you have to pair it with neutrals or solids.
Do you know that you can make your looks more cohesive if you’ll stick to prints in the same family? For instance, you may pair a plaid dress with a gingham blouse and shoes of different color, or mix two tribal prints with the same color scheme. If you’re bold enough, you can even mix your gigantic African prints with ditzy floral prints to create a more feminine look.
Stay in the same color family when mixing different prints.
If you want to mix two different prints, keep in mind that they should have something in common, especially colors to make them look put-together. According to stylists, the success of “mixed print” look relies on the color palette.
If the print has more than one color on its design, then the other print should at least consist one color that ties in with the another print. This way, you can balance your outfit and keep the look bold without going overboard.
If the two different prints have exactly the same colors, then you can add a bold pop of color with your accessories. If they have varying shades like a lighter blue print with a darker blue print, better stick to the hues for the rest of your outfit. This way, the different prints will pick up the same tones and get a cohesive look.
Play with the scale of your prints.
If you’re mixing two different prints of different colors, you must vary the scale or size of your patterns. For instance, you may opt for medium-sized polka dots on your skirt, and pair it with smaller yet more intricate leopard blouse. If you’re wearing a colorful medium-sized floral print top, balance it with single colored micro-sized print bottom.
Keep in mind that that prints with variation in size will look the best together. On the contrary, two gigantic prints together will look overwhelming, just as two small prints can look somehow dizzying. Yes, the smaller print actually balances your bigger pattern, making the look more cohesive rather than overpowering.
Also, pay attention to your frame when selecting the scales of your prints. While petite women will look best in small to medium-sized prints, curvy women will look better in medium to large scale of prints.
Think of your accessories when mixing prints.
Your printed accessory whether it’s a handbag, scarf, belt, or shoes always count when it comes to rocking the trend. A great thing, a printed accessory can be the best way to mix prints without going over-the-top.
Like fashion blogger Blair Eadie, you may think of a polka dots scarf to add some creativity to your layered outfit of striped sweater, chambray top, and lace skirt. Or, get a more eccentric look my mixing different prints in your accessories—but keep them in the same color scheme so you’ll get a polished style.
Treat stripes as a neutral.
Stripes are called classics for a reason so keep them handy especially when mixing prints. Abstract patterns, quirky prints, African prints, novelty prints, graphic patterns,and gigantic florals are quite tricky, and the best way to ground the loud look is to match them with stripes.
Yes, stripes can serve as a neutral piece when it comes to mixed prints, and you’ll be able to make the tricky trend work for you even if you have the most complex print in your closet. Stripes are great for getting that nautical-chic statement, but they can also make your street looks more fashion-forward.
Break the clashing prints with a solid colored piece.
If you feel your prints look flashy and overpowering, you can always ground them with a solid colored piece—a belt, scarf, handbag, jacket, or even a coat. The key is to create some distance between the printed pieces you are wearing.
While black is the timeless color you can go for, better save it with your darker colored prints as the shade will look to contrasting with light colored African prints and pastel florals. Like fashion blogger Nicole Warne, you can balance your floral print skirt and striped top with a neon yellow coat that will look fresh at the same time chic.
Keep your silhouettes simple, and let the print-mixing do the talking.
Apart from the scale and color of your prints, you should also pay attention to the silhouettes you’re bringing together. Instead of going for avant-garde and too architectural silhouettes, opt for the simplest ones. This way, you’ll let your mixed prints do the taking, and your silhouette won’t draw the attention away from the graphics you want to show off.
Most of the time, the simplest silhouettes like off shoulder tops, A-line skirts, skinny jeans, full skirt, midi skirts, boxy tops and such will save the day.
Indeed, mixed print trend is an opportunity to really have fun and express yourself with your style. So, master these print mixing tricks so you’ll make a bold statement with your creativity.