Ultimate secrets to look great in mixed prints
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
StContents
  1. Mixing prints and pattern – yay or nay?
  2. How to mix patterns and/or prints
  3. Mixed prints and patterns outfit ideas
    • Floral and stripes
    • Animal plus …
    • Stripes and plaid
    • Floral and plaid
    • Stripes and polka dots
    • Polka dots with plaid
    • Camouflage plus others
    • Mixing three and up
    • Same, but different size/color
  4. What doesn’t work when mixing prints/patterns
  5. Wrapping up

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Mixing prints and pattern – 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/or patterns are a modern way to look stylish. 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. Today I want to share what works and what doesn’t. This post reveals the best stylists’ tricks and secrets on how to mix prints and/or pattern like a pro.

post banner showing glencheck pattern mixed with floral skirt

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.

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 to start with.
  2. You can mix all kind of prints and pattern when they are 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 foolproof.
  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 wearing a mixed prints/patterns 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.

When you want to help me with keeping this blog up and running, please share the posts on facebook or twitter. I just read this post on the secrets of mixing prints and patterns. #coolpost #stylesecrets Click To Tweet

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

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 color blocked 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 with mixed print skirt and shirt and tortoise glasses 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

outfit with girafe print and plaid in neutral colors Black layering top c/o Adea, own giraffe sweater with plaid skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Gucci belt, GNW black tights (all own)

style book author in plaid sheath with giraffe print sweater
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)

Stripes and plaid

fashion blogger in an outfit with 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 in tartan knee length skirt, striped Tee, pink pumps and bag 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

over 50 years old fashion blogger wearing a work outfit with floral skirt with plaid blazer Ann Taylor skirt, Burberry blazer, Gucci scarf, L.K. Bennett pumps, and Longchamp satchel (all own)
fashionista wearing a scuba abstract floral print dress with gingham shirt mixed pattern trend Calvin Klein scuba dress, GNW purple tights, Chanel belt, Vince Camuto boots (all own) and shirt c/o Whistle River

Stripes and polka dots

midlife woman wearing stripes and polka dots in one outfit The Limited T-shirt, Lauren Ralph Lauren polka dot pleated skirt, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Ray Ban sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, scarf, plateau sandals, and Chanel bag (all own)

fashionover40 woman 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 in an outfit with polka dots and stripes 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 (all own)
stylist in polka dot skirt with plaid 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 (all own)

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 dress with opaque tights putting a bag on a table 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 pants, cardigan, necklcae with black top and coat Notations zebra cardigan, layering top, Rebecca Colins gemstone necklace, Fendi boots, Jake’s shearling coat (all own), camouflage pants c/o Femme Luxe and vegan backpack c/o JORD

Three and up

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.

fashion blogger in floral top with pleated polka dot skirt

stylist in flower print top with polka dot pleated skirt

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. It occurs in all pieces and the solid white 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, 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)

midlife style book author mixing floral, stripes and paisley in one outfit Stripes, paisley and floral: Karl Jäger floral print with stripes dress, GNW paisley print cardigan worn as top and Apostrophe Mary-Janes (all own)

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

Same, but different size/color

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

mature lady in skirt and shirt with plaid of different size Pendleton skirt, L.K. Bennett suede tall boots, Kieselstein Cord belt, Kieselstein Cord three horses buckle (all own) and shirt c/o Ethyl Clothing
 mature woman showing how to mix prints/patter 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/patterns

Before I wrap up the most important points, let’s quickly review the most frequent fashion faux-pas. Make sure to avoid them when you adapt 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 print.
  2. Furthermore, don’t pair prints or pattern of same size that have nothing in common, but the size.
  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

Be creative, experiment. Try out everything with everything and go with what looks the best wrong. Make the mix the statement. When you liked these free tips tweet to your friends:

A must read. How to mix prints/patterns to look effortlessly stylish. #fashion Click To Tweet

How do you mix and match your prints and patterns? 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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