You are currently viewing Guide to Mixing Prints and Patterns for a Stylish You
Olivero striped leather skirt with Liz Claiborne silk top, Notations floral blazer, L.K. Bennett wedge pumps, Esprit shoulder bag (all own) and rose gold bangle c/o Robert Matthew

Mixing prints and patterns for a stylish you is an art. This guide reveals the best stylists’ tricks and secrets on mixing prints and patterns like a pro.

  1. Mixing Prints and Patterns – Yay or Nay?
  2. How to Mix Patterns and/or Prints
  3. Mixed Prints and Patterns Outfit Ideas
    • Mixing Florals and Stripes
    • Animal plus …
    • Stripes and Plaid
    • Floral and Plaid
    • Stripes and Polka Dots
    • Polka dots with plaid
    • Camouflage plus Others
    • Mixing Three and Prints/Patterns
    • Try the Same Print, but Different Size/Color
  4. What Doesn’t Work When Mixing Prints and Patterns?
  5. Wrapping Up Mixing Prints and Patterns for a Stylish You

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Mixing Prints and Patterns – Yay or Nay?

Well, it’s an old fashion rule to only wear one print or pattern in an outfit.

Just one print per outfit is so yesteryear. #fashiontrends Click To Tweet

Today, mixing prints and patterns is a modern way to look stylish. However, what is too much for one women, may be just right for another. When I wear a print or pattern I rarely wear just one. Somehow I do love to mix them.


post banner to mixing prints and patterns for a stylish you glencheck with floral


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How to Mix Patterns and/or Prints

… without looking like you dressed in the dark due to an outage. Here is a list of the tricks to get the mixed print-pattern trend right to the spot.

  1. Polka dots of about the same size look great when the colors of the dots and background are inverted, or the dots have the same color, but the background has a different color. This polka dots on different color is a favorite next mix-and-match of fashion designers. The same applies for stripes. This type of mix is the easiest way to start with when you are new to mixing prints and pattern.
  2. Mixing prints and patterns for a stylish you is easiest when they are all gray.
  3. Ground your prints/patterns with a solid color. If the print/pattern has black using black is foolproof. Otherwise the color that dominates the print is a good one to use.
  4. Mix prints/patterns that have several colors in common.
  5. Try to mix printed pieces which are in the same color scheme, but have different shades.
  6. Make sure the prints have a different size or they are the same print and size, but different colors.
  7. Only one animal print per outfit is a foolproof way of mixing prints and pattern.
  8. To look ageless in animal print choose it in its natural or close to natural colors and treat the animal print as a neutral paired with large floral print with or without stripes that pick up colors of the print.
  9. Try different geometric prints together that have common colors.
  10. Try florals of different size with common colors.
  11. Restrict yourself to two neutrals like black and white or white and blue.

stylish casual outfit with stripes and leopard print

mature style blogger mixing prints and pattern in one outfit
Outfit details: Jeanne Pierre sweater with leopard print scarf, Oliveo denim skirt, GNW tights, statement belt, Prada dome bag, and Puma sneakers (all own). In this OOTD, blue is the grounding color.


Mixed Prints and Patterns Outfit Ideas

Here are some outfit examples for inspiration how to mix prints and/or patterns to look effortlessly stylish. They are ordered by type so they are easy-to-recreate from your own closet.

Floral and Stripes

Heidi Klum is a style icon who rocks the stripes and floral print look to the perfection. The typical combination is a striped top with a floral skirt. However, you can create the look also with other pieces as demonstrated below.  More on styling floral print.


fashion blogger over 50 in posh chic outfit for Casual Friday in tan, ivory and blue

stylist mixing prints and patterns with tan leather skirt striped top floral scarf

style blogger in striped shirt with A-line leather skirt

details of wooden watch

style book author in denim jacket tan skirt stripes floral print scarf
Outfit details: Dr. Scholl wedge sandals (thrifted), unbranded silk scarf, Ray Ban sunglasses, coin statement bracelet, Halogen A-line  leather skirt, Levis denim jacket, Ray Ban sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Kate Moss for Longchamp bag (all own), striped T-shirt c/o Marine Layer, and wooden watches c/o Jord


style book author wearing stripes and floral print in one outfit Jeanne Pierre sweater over floral print eShakti floral print dress with BCBG belt, GNW tights, Steve Madden fall sandals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and striped shawl (all own)
blogger Nicole in modest clothing with abstract flowers scarf and striped leather skirt Insert flattering A-line top c/o Covered Perfectly, own GNW tight, Jimmy Choo tall boots, Oliveo leather skirt, floral print silk scarf, gemstone necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle and self-made silver bangle

Animal plus …

Animal print behaves like a neutral. Thus, it is the easiest to wear with other non-solid colored clothing. Wearing a multi-color around-the-knee length summer dress with leopard-print mules is foolproof. Think Rihanna.

over 50 years old style book author mixing floral print and zebra pattern Talbot floral skirt, DIY belt, rutile quartz necklace, multi-gemstone cuff, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own) Grateful golden tortoise Power frame c/o Empowered Eyewear, zebra top c/o Covered Perfectly

over 50 years old in diagonal plaid pattern A-line skirt with giraffe print sweater Black layering top c/o Adea, own giraffe sweater with plaid skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Gucci belt, GNW black tights (all own)


fashion blogger mixing a plaid sheath with giraffe print
Ruby Belle plaid sheath, giraffe print sweater, Harley Davidson booties, grounded with black GNW tights, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own)

Mixing Stripes and Plaid

fashion blogger in an outfit mixing stripes and plaid GNW cardigan, Burberry skirt, L.K. Bennett wedges, Hermes collier de chien bangle, vintage watch, Moda International sweater (all own), and necklace c/o Almo Jewellery

midlife blogger mixing tartan and stripes in a knee length skirt, Tee, pink pumps and bag outfit Moda International bomber jacket, Burberry skirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim pashli, Cartier just un clou, Hermes collier de chien bangle, pearl necklace (all own), wooden sunglasses c/o Winkwood, top c/o Coolibar and Ivanka Trump pumps c/o Wikibuy

You can find more ideas how to style a pink plaid skirt at this link.


Floral and plaid

influencer in mixed prints and pattern fake suit outfit Ann Taylor floral tweed skirt with Burberry plaid blazer, silk scarf, L.K. Bennett patent leather pumps, Gucci scarf,and Kate Moss for Longchamp satchel (all own)

fashionista mixing a scuba abstract floral print dress with a gingham shirt Calvin Klein scuba dress, GNW purple tights, Chanel belt, Vince Camuto boots (all own) and shirt c/o Whistle River

Stripes and Polka Dots

stripes and polka dot mixed print and pattern look Outfit details: The Limited striped T-shirt, Kieselstein Cord belt and belt buckle, Lauren Ralph Lauren pleated polka dot skirt, silk scarf, Juicy Couture cork sole sandals, Chanel bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Ray Ban retro sunglasses (all own)

fashion blogger over 50 in winter work outfit with mixed pattern GNW polka dots cardigan, ethnic belt, Oliveo striped leather skirt, GNW tight, Jord bamboo watch (all own), Musse & Cloud booties c/o Coolway and best girlfriend bracelet c/o Chico’s


Polka Dots with Plaid

mature woman mixing polka dots and stripes in an outfit GNW cardigan with Burberry pink plaid skirt, L.K. Bennett patent leather wedges, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bulova watch, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, and Paloma Picasso sunglasses
stylist mixing a polka dot print skirt with a plaid pattern shirt Oliveo plaid cotton shirt with Ralph Lauren polka dot skirt, Celine tote, Ray Ban sunglasses, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, and L.K. Bennett pumps


When you like these outfit ideas, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board so your family and friends can see them too.


Camouflage plus Others

style book author in camouflage print dress and striped sweater, snake print shoes Gap camouflage dress, Only Mine striped cashmere sweater, Pour La Victoire snakeskin sandals, Winkwood wooden sunglasses (all own) and opaque gray tight c/o Hipstik Legwear
Alaskan woman in black and white camo print pants, zebra print cardigan, necklace with black top and coat Notations zebra cardigan, layering top, Rebecca Collins gemstone necklace, Fendi boots, Jake’s shearling coat (all own), camouflage pants c/o Femme Luxe and vegan backpack c/o JORD


Mixing Three and More Prints/Patterns

Going all the way donning more than two prints is high risk, high reward. Why? Because more than the match of two is difficult to pull off unless your way of dressing has an Eclectic Style attitude.

Women with a luxury Bohemian Style may also get away with multiple prints in one look. Note that the first mentioned style may convey the message “I don’t care about the rules.”, while the second may read poverty, when it goes wrong.


over 50 years old style blogger mixing strips, dots, and floral prints
Notations floral cardigan worn as top under Jones New York striped cardigan with Ralph Lauren polka dot pleated skirt, Modalu Pippa bag, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, and Christian Louboutin heels (all own)


The above example outfit is grounded by white. White occurs in all pieces and the pumps. Navy blue and white are both neutrals. Thus, they balance the abstract blossoms of the top.


Alaskan blogger in thick coat, leather skirt, leopard tights, sweater, patterned scarf and boots in the snow Vintage coat, Asaarvi leather skirt, GNW Luxe wool cashmere sweater, scarf, GNW leopard tights, Fendi boots, Ray Ban sunglasses (all own) and bag c/o JORD

Nicole of High Latitude Style in multi-print dance outfit L.K. Bennett patent leather wedges, DIY skirt, Pineapple Moon Hawaiian blouse (all own)

stylist showing mixing prints and patterns Example floral print with stripes dress with paisley print cardigan worn as top


midlife blogger in floral top, leopard cardigan camo Femme Luxe pants and booties Camouflage pants c/o Femme Luxe with own GNW leopard cardigan, Pineapple Vintage top, smoky quartz necklace and earrings, Antonio Melani booties, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Festina watch


Try Using the Same Print, but Different Size/Color

This approach is relatively easy, but has great style impact.

mature lady in skirt and shirt mixing plaids of different size Pendleton skirt, L.K. Bennett suede tall boots, Kieselstein Cord belt with three horses buckle (all own) and shirt c/o Ethyl Clothing
 mature woman showing how to mix prints and pattern to look stylish Jones New York shirt, Lauren Ralph Lauren pleated skirt, Liz Claiborne pumps, Chanel belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Tissot watch and Jaeger tote (all own)


What Doesn’t Work when Mixing Prints and Patterns?

Before I wrap up the most important points, let’s quickly review the most frequent fashion faux-pas. You want to make sure to avoid them when you adopt the trend.

  1. Stay away from animal prints in non-natural colors with solids and/or other prints. This means don’t fall for fantasy animal prints. More on ageless style in animal prints.
  2. Never pair prints or patterns of same size that have nothing in common, but the size beause it clashes them.
  3. Also avoid to create outfits that look similar to a quilted bed throw, and
  4. Anything too busy like hounds-tooth with polka dots of same size.

Wrapping Up Mixing Prints and Patterns for a Stylish You

Be creative, experiment. To obtain the most stylish results when mixing prints and patterns, try out everything with everything. Then go with what looks the best wrong. Make the mix the statement.

How are you mixing prints and patterns for a stylish you? Or do you wear just one print or pattern at a time? I’m just curious.

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Photos: G. Kramm

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