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Article Published on: 05TH JUNE 2024 |

Mixing and matching prints can be a daunting task, but when done correctly, it can elevate your style to a professional level. Understanding the basics of pattern mixing, harmonizing colors, balancing proportions, and adding complementary accessories can help you achieve a cohesive and fashionable look. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to mix and match prints like a pro:

1. Start with the Basics

Before diving into complex combinations, it’s essential to understand the basic types of prints and patterns. Common prints include stripes, polka dots, florals, animal prints, plaids, and geometrics. Each has its own visual weight and impact, and knowing these can help in creating a balanced look.

Basic Tips:

  • Stick to a Color Palette: Begin by selecting prints that share a common color scheme. This will make the patterns look more cohesive and less chaotic.

  • Use Neutrals as Anchors: Incorporate neutral pieces (like solid-colored pants or a plain top) to ground your outfit and prevent it from looking too busy.

Photo by Wendy Wei | Source:

2. Scale and Proportion

Balancing the scale of your prints is crucial to achieving a polished look. Combining large and small patterns can create a harmonious outfit.

Tips for Balancing Scale:

  • Pair Large with Small: If you’re wearing a large floral print top, balance it with a smaller-scale polka dot skirt. This contrast allows each pattern to stand out without overwhelming each other.

  • Use Medium Prints as Bridges: Medium-scale prints can act as intermediaries between larger and smaller patterns, providing a smoother transition.

3. Color Coordination

Color is a powerful tool in mixing prints. Coordinating colors across different prints can tie your outfit together seamlessly.

Color Coordination Tips:

  • Monochromatic Schemes: Stick to variations of a single color. Different shades and tints of the same hue can create depth without clashing.

  • Analogous Colors: Choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel (like blue and green). They naturally harmonize and are pleasing to the eye.

  • Complementary Colors: Colors opposite each other on the color wheel (like red and green) can create vibrant and bold combinations. Use them carefully to avoid overwhelming the look.

4. Pattern Harmony

Some patterns naturally complement each other. Understanding which patterns work well together can simplify the mixing process.

Pattern Pairing Tips:

  • Stripes with Florals: The structured lines of stripes can balance the softness of floral prints. This combination is both classic and modern.

  • Polka Dots with Plaids: The whimsical nature of polka dots pairs surprisingly well with the structured, traditional look of plaids.

  • Animal Prints with Geometrics: Animal prints add a touch of wildness, while geometric patterns bring order, creating an interesting dynamic.

5. Layering Techniques

Layering is a strategic way to mix prints without overwhelming your outfit. It allows for more subtle integration of different patterns.

Layering Tips:

  • Subtle Underpinnings: Start with a base layer featuring a subtle print, then add a bolder print in the outer layers. For example, a striped turtleneck under a floral dress.

  • Statement Outerwear: A printed coat or jacket can serve as a focal point, adding interest without overpowering the rest of the outfit.

  • Patterned Accessories: Scarves, bags, and shoes with prints can be a low-commitment way to mix patterns into your look.

Photo by cottonbro studio | Source:

6. Texture Matters

Mixing textures can add another dimension to your print-mixing game. Different fabrics can enhance the visual interest and depth of your outfit.

Texture Tips:

  • Combine Smooth and Rough Textures: Pairing a smooth silk blouse with a textured tweed skirt can add contrast and sophistication.

  • Incorporate Knitwear: Knitted items with patterns, such as a fair isle sweater, can add warmth and interest to your outfit.

7. Confidence is Key

The most crucial element in mixing prints is confidence. Wear your patterns boldly and own your style choices. Confidence can make even the most daring combinations look intentional and chic.

8. Practical Examples

Here are a few practical combinations to inspire your print-mixing journey:

Example 1: Stripes and Florals

  • Top: Navy and white striped boatneck tee.

  • Bottom: High-waisted floral midi skirt with navy, white, and green tones.

  • Accessories: White sneakers and a navy handbag.

Example 2: Plaid and Polka Dots

  • Top: Black and white polka dot blouse.

  • Bottom: Red and black plaid pencil skirt.

  • Accessories: Black heels and a red clutch.

Example 3: Animal Prints and Geometrics

  • Top: Leopard print blouse.

  • Bottom: Black and white geometric patterned trousers.

  • Accessories: Black ankle boots and a black leather jacket.

9. Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Even seasoned fashionistas can make mistakes. Here’s how to avoid common pitfalls:

  • Too Many Bold Patterns: Avoid combining too many large, bold prints. Balance them with smaller or more subdued patterns.

  • Clashing Colors: Ensure your colors complement each other. Too many conflicting colors can make the outfit look chaotic.

  • Ignoring Fit: Even the best print combinations won’t work if the fit is off. Ensure each piece fits well and flatters your body shape.

10. Practice Makes Perfect

Experimentation is key to mastering print mixing. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations and step out of your comfort zone. Take photos of your outfits to see what works and what doesn’t. Over time, you’ll develop an eye for patterns and create effortlessly stylish looks.

Photo by ALTEREDSNAPS | Source:


Mixing and matching prints is an art form that, when mastered, can significantly enhance your personal style. By understanding the basics of prints, balancing scale and proportion, coordinating colors, and experimenting with different combinations, you can achieve a professional and polished look. Confidence and practice are your best allies in this fashion adventure. So, go ahead, mix those prints, and make a bold style statement!

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