Even the savviest of fashionistas can be intimidated by mixing prints. Just when you muster up the confidence to play the style game, you rush back to your comfort zone safe go-to solids.
Break through that fear with these expert tips on how to mix patterns for the best fall and winter styles. Whether you introduce floral to leopard or paisley to stripe, you’ll add dimension and a modern look.
Ease into the trend.
For years we’ve been told we should only wear one print at a time, so there’s some conscious cleansing to do. Confidence is key, so start slowly until you’re comfortable enough to rock an entire look. Add a patterned bag or scarf to rev things up. Try topping your striped sweater with UNIQLO’s Soft Brimmed Patterned Hat in an oversized houndstooth pattern for little commitment and big impact. Even when you do find your pattern pride, make sure you don’t go overboard. Two is the magic number when mixing patterns.
Keep it in the color family.
Place both your prints side by side. Do they have a common color? Good. That cohesion will pull the look together. For instance, if you’re mixing a red, pink or orange pattern, your second print should share one of those hues. The IDLF Cotton Lawn Printed Long Sleeve Shirt works well with the diamond ring Andy Warhol print of the SPRZ NY bandana. Their shared pinkish-red hue ties them together nicely.
You wouldn’t put a big floral with a big floral, or a crazy tiny print with another crazy tiny print. But pair a big floral with a crazy tiny print, and you might have stumbled onto style genius. Different scales are important when choosing complementary patterns. This way one pattern is the focus, the other becomes its sidekick. The dense dot pattern on the Drape Pants is perfect with a sparsely striped or floral sweater. UNIQLO’s Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Check Shirt also pairs nicely with the Drape pants when layered under a black cropped solid sweater. When the shirttails peep out, there’s just a hint of print.
Some prints are actually neutrals.
Patterns like tweed, hounds tooth, polka dots, stripes and even animal print can actually balance an outfit. They play well with others because they’re understated, placing them in the same style family as a solid. The tiny pinprick polka dots of UNIQLO’s Flannel Printed Long Sleeve Shirt Dress create a neutral canvas for textured tights like the striped HEATTECH Knitted Tights, a cute print cardi or a fun patterned scarf.
Leave the prints to the experts.
Why mess with success? If you can find a piece that boasts more than one pattern within itself, go for it. For example, UNIQLO’s IDLF Cotton Check Long Sleeve Shirt has several prints together so you can safely pair it with your favorite pair of neutral leggings or jeans.
With this advice, you can feel solid in your conviction to give mixing prints a try this season.
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