At least 3 times while wearing this outfit I was stopped on the street and told “I love your dress!” I appreciated the sentiment, but the reality is that this is a new top and a very old skirt that I’ve paired together for an easy modern mix prints look. Mixing prints was something I’ve learned to do over time, and while it has completely broadened the versatility of my wardrobe, it did take a while to master. You can master it too, with a few of my tips, to help you mix prints like a pro.
Mix Print by Starting Small
Prints that is! Smaller scale prints are easier to mix and match because the print appears more like texture, and less like a overt image. The bonus here is that smaller scale prints tend to stand the test of time, which makes it easier to mix and match into your wardrobe. For instance, the skirt I am wearing has small black hearts on it, and I bought it circa 2010. The small scale of the heart print reads like stripes or a grid from a distance, which makes it easy to match with others.
2. Incorporate a Geometric Print
The next trick to mixing prints like a pro is by having at least one of the prints be geometric. Plaid, stripes, polka dots, herringbone, chevron – pick one classic geometric print and use it as a starting point to match your other prints up against. Stripes and plaids are staples in my wardrobe, they never go out of style and look great mixed up against florals and more artsy or bold patterns.
3. Incorporate Texture
Sure, texture might not actually be a print, but a real professional knows that textural fabrics like lace, tweeds, and chunky slub knits add a lot of dimension to a mix print look. Think about adding a chunky scarf or a tweed blazer, or layering a mix print dress over a lace top in order to take your look to the next level.
4. Stick with a Limited Color Palette
I obviously wear a ton of black and white so this combination was easy for me, but in general the rule of thumb is to let the prints shine, not the color. Once you mix too many colors in your prints, the outfit can look dated, and there is a higher chance of the prints being incongruous. 3 colors should really be the maximum, with one being either black, white, grey, or navy. Think red, white and blue; blue, green and white; pink, red and white; black, red and white. Also, think about mixing prints in several shades of the same color, as I did in my mix print green dress.
Shop my top and some other mix print layered tops and bottoms below!