Dos and Dont's for Patterns and Prints

The Dos and Don’ts of Patterns and Prints

“You cannot wear white after labor day,” “Never wear black with blue,” “It’s impossible to mix patterns with prints” – These outdated, unwritten “rules” of fashion prove only that rules were made to be broken. In fact, it’s very simple to combine patterns with prints in a way that not only reflects your style and speaks to your personality, but also results in a very stylish ensemble.

Before you disagree, think it’s too much or, at your most generous, think “that’s nice, but it’s not for me,” allow us give you a few dos and don’ts to help you visualize this retro trend that has resurfaced on red carpets and glossy high fashion magazines across the globe.

DO define your color story. Using hues from the same color family when mixing patterns and prints can create a very subtle look, while still showing your daring side. It will still be visually stimulating to the eye, but in a very refined way.

DON’T combine patterns of the same size or density. Two large or heavy patterns will become far too chaotic and will compete with one another, causing the look to go from chic to cluttered. Instead mix patterns of different scales so that the prints balance each other out and one becomes the focal point while the other plays a secondary role.

DO Think of some patterns and/or textures as solids. If you’re wearing a houndstooth skirt, thin stripes or even small polka dots, think of them as a solid or a neutral. These prints are small and understated enough that the eye can view them as a solid, even though they really are not.

DON’T go too matchy-matchy with patterns and prints. Mixing patterns is supposed to be fun, so don’t stick to just one! Although it can be fashionable to wear one print head-to-toe, often wearing one print from your scarf to your sandals will cause you to look silly rather than stylish.

DO break it up. Just because you’re wearing multiple prints doesn’t mean they need to be piled on top of one another. You can achieve the same stylish look by incorporating solids with prints. Remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with print, upon print, upon print.