How to mix prints in your dressing is an art. While it looks difficult, it is a skill you can learn.
Watch the Video below for ‘Mixing Prints for Beginners’.
CLICK HERE to watch the Video ‘Mixing Prints for Intermediate’.
Read the article below.
When doing some research for last week’s article, I found this graphic on Pinterest from Ashley of ‘History in Heels’ Blog. The full Pin covers beginners, intermediate and experts. I’ve simplified my review to the beginner and intermediate categories.
It can be a little bit confusing. Ashley’s blog article is geared more towards the younger woman.
I’ve found illustrations for you that simplify the print mixing skill rules for Baby Boomer women so that you will look stylish, confident and fabulous. And get lots of compliments on your creativity and cleverness.
My graphic skills are basic. Please excuse the funny mix of arms and background colours in the illustrations.
They are enough to give you the idea and spark your imagination.
How to Mix Prints – Simple Rules to Follow
It’s all about Contrast and Repetition.
- Contrast = re-thinking your definition of ‘neutral’ and making one pattern cover more of your body that the other pattern
- Repetition = repeating one colour to create balance and unity
How to Mix Prints for Beginners
I suggest you stick to this level as it’s simple. You’ll feel stylish and that little bit different without going overboard.
Ashley’s first rule is to go beyond mixing a plain colour with a print. Re-think your definition of ‘neutral’ colours. When it comes to mixing prints, you can use stripes, spots and checks as a Contrast substitute for a plain coloured top, skirt or pants. Stripes and Spots are the easiest as Checks are not in fashion at the moment. These are what Ashley calls ‘monochromatic patterns’ ie they contain two colours only in a very simple pattern.
Use Repetition and pick a Stripe or Spot that repeats one of the dominant colours in the other pattern.
The above examples are current fashions.
The four skirts from the left are from Jacqui E. On the far left I have added a red and white stripe top to both the blue and red floral skirt and the green and red floral skirt. The red stripe top works with both of the skirts as would a green and white top. Red, white or beige shoes look good with these combinations. The middle skirt is a floral and I have combined it with a Basque ‘ditsy leaf’, white and black print top from Myers. The leaf pattern is so tiny that it looks a ‘Spot’ print. The second from the right is a leaf print wrap skirt which I have combined with a Regatta cowl neck, black and white stripe top from Myers. On the right, the skirt is a knit black and white spot pattern from Ezibuy which I have combined with a black, white and green scarf print top from Jacqui E.
Stick to this level and these skill rules and you will always feel good and receive lots of compliments.
How to Mix Prints for Intermediates
This is a little harder. You need to feel very confident in your combination to carry this off. Any hesitation and it will look to others like you threw things on without much thought.
It uses the rule of Repetition to combine two patterns by repeating a colour for a unifying effect. I believe that a pale over a brighter shade of the repeating colour works best for this.
In these three illustrations I have used a pale blue frill neck, Regatta mosaic patterned, burnout top from Myers to pick up the blue in the two skirts and the ¾ pants. The skirt on the left was used above. The middle skirt is a black, red, blue and white irregular striped skirt. It is not a neutral pattern as it contains more than two colours in an irregular stripe pattern. The floral pants on the right are from Jacqui E.
How to Mix Prints – Ignore This Rule
Ashley considers leopard print as a neutral. It is only a neutral for Autumns and Springs as they like animal prints.
Even then, only combine it with another pattern if you feel really, really confident wearing it because it will look ‘off’ to others.
Do a personal fashion show in your bedroom to see if you have some simple two-colour stripe or spot-type prints that repeat a colour in one of your skirts or pants. Put them on and see how you feel. Otherwise look for tops when out shopping that will go with your current patterned items.
Then step forward with confidence knowing that you look fabulous, stylish and a little bit different.
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