4 Tips for Mixing Prints & Patterns


I frequently browse fashion blogs and shopping sites (who doesn't) and I've observed a fun new trend emerging this Spring/Summer season: mixed patterns/prints! At first this trend might seem intimidating. I totally understand. For years I have been making sure everything from my nail polish to my earrings to my eye shadow matched my outfit. (In the early 2000s I changed my purse daily to coordinate with my ensemble. LOL) Those who are still convinced that your shoes and purse have to match must be in a panic. I felt a little afraid when I was coming up with outfits for this post. The biggest problem: how do I mix without looking like a fool who got dressed in the dark? I went right to Pinterest and Google to research. Eventually I started to see what mixed print looks had in common. After my online observations (and trial and error of my own) I have come up with these 4 tips for mixing prints/patterns.

1. Use accessories to mix prints/patterns.

Photos: The Street StyleChictopia, & Penny Pincher Fashion

One of the most simple ways to mix prints is to use accessories. It is probably the least scary way to try this relatively new trend. Try a patterned top with a solid pant and add a printed scarf, handbag, or shoes. It looks trendy without being overwhelming. 


This was an easy pick for me. My pink and white striped cardigan went well with my blush and dotted scarf. I kept the rest of the outfit simple and in matching colors with off-white pants and pink shoes.

2. Match one color from each print/pattern.

Photos: Pinterest PostSaks Fifth Avenue, & Refinery29

For a “put together” look pick prints that have at least one color in common. It gives the illusion that the outfit matches without actual matching.


Black and white prints seem to be the easiest prints to mix and the most common combo that I've seen. I was surprised at how well this b/w striped top paired with my b/w buffalo plaid dress. This was my favorite mixed look that I tried. It made me feel the most stylish and sophisticated.

3. Mix prints/patterns using textures.

Photo: PiperlimeBirdmotel, & Lulu's

Lace and crocheted fabrics make beautiful patterns that are easy to mix with other prints. Textured patterns in solid colors give the print a lighter feel and pair well with bolder prints.


I've worn this look lots of times. I love lace tops and the colors matched well with my floral pants. I think to make this look work it is important to pick a solid colored texture that matches a color in the other print.

4. Use one outrageous print and one simple print.

Photos: Taylor MorganLulu's, & Banana Republic

If you have mastered the art of print mixing and are feeling self-assured, mix your wildest print with one that is more tame. Dots and stripes balance out fierce florals and graphic prints.


The striped top and solid cardigan balances out the busy print on my skirt. I kept my accessories simple and in solid colors.

I hope these tips help you feel confident enough to try this trend yourself! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is!!!

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