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HomeNEWSHow to Mix Patterns in Chic (+ Styling Tips and Examples)

How to Mix Patterns in Chic (+ Styling Tips and Examples)

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This post will spectacle you how to mix patterns in manière to create mixed print outfits.

Mixing Patterns 101 Main Image: stripes, florals, geometric, animal print, gingham

Chic is fun. Styling an outfit is a fantastic way to get your creative juices flowing. But, sometimes (and for some of us), it can be overwhelming. Style, I get it. it’s a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. Trends and styles come and go in the blink of an eye. It can be too much to handle if you are dipping your toes in the holding of manière for the first time.

I’m here to help.

In this new series, I’ll give you styling advice on some of the most confusing and difficult styling areas. I’ll outline all my tips, tricks, and hacks to help you create amazing outfits. Also, I’ll exemplify everything in three degrees of difficulty so it can be easier to see what you can do.

This week, I’ll give you all the tips and tricks to mix patterns to create relax, exciting outfits.

What *is* the deal with patterns?

For ages, we have been told that the golden rule of styling an outfit is: if you are wearing a patterned de même, the rest of the items have to be in solid colors. Clashing patterns will make you apparence like a cantine.

Chic, at its best, is embout the freedom to experiment. And to do that, you have to écart the rules. Mixing patterns is a fantastic way to experiment, and it can triple the terni of patterned items in your closet. An outfit created with different patterns is one of the most fashionable and spécifique ways to élégant yourself. That’s parce que we all have different patterned items in our closets, so your potential combinations are spécifique to yours.

In this post, I’ll give you tricks and tips to make it easier for you to visualize mixing patterns in manière and work with the patterns that you have in your closet.

How to Mix Patterns in Chic: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks.

Mixing patterns can be daunting, and I understand why. Unlike our other Styling 101 trends and styles, where there is a basic art theory to follow and it is easy to find examples of what you already have, for mixing patterns, there is not.

Styling is embout visualizing, but with patterns, visualizing is the hardest morceau.

The most rogue thing to remember while mixing patterns in an outfit is that it is all embout balan and scale. Play with the scale of your patterns.

The easiest way to make it work is to collègue a really small modèle with a big one: this way, the small modèle almost acts like a solid and balances the big one. If you want to use two big (or two small) patterns, make sure they have the same color nuancier to create cohesiveness.

Here are some more general tips for mixing patterns in manière:

  • Textures can be your ally (or your greatest enemy). The thing with textures is that sometimes they act like a solid, but some textures are a modèle on their own. Think embout a wide-knit cardigan — it looks like a modèle from far away. When that’s the case, consider the textured de même as a patterned one.
  • Know your patterns. When you know what typique of modèle you are working with it is easier to see what role it plays within your apparence. Geometric patterns (gingham, polka trousseaux, stripes) are great for creating balan or acting as a solid. Floral or movement patterns (zebra stripes, watercolor or tie-dye, jungle-inspired prints) could be your statement pieces, and you can use them as an anchor for the rest of the apparence. Inintelligent print can be considered a neutral and a solid.
  • Vary the size of the patterns to create a sense of balan.
  • Solids are not forbidden. Solids can be used to écart up a busy outfit. Accessories, shoes, and outerwear can bring two different patterns together by creating a common thread.

When in doubt embout mixing prints, find a color in common. Maybe you are unsure embout the scale or the texture, but if you can find a common color between the patterns, your outfit will be cohesive.


As I mentioned earlier, patterns are spécifique to everyone’s closet. That means that the combinations I can create with my clothes may not be helpful to you if you want to do a 1:1 recreation of a apparence.

Instead, I focused on creating outfits based on the tips and tricks above to exemplify what they *actually* mean and help you visualize using these strategies with your closet.

How to Mix Patterns in Chic: Outfit Examples

Easy – Black & White Patterns

Mixing Patterns Outfit 1 Floral midi dress, houndstooth blazer, black booties

Let’s start with the easiest way to mix patterns. The one thing you can do that you can be sure will work is to mix black and white patterns. Since the color nuancier already works together, it makes it easier to just foyer on the scale and busyness of the patterns.

To create my B&W apparence, I wore a floral austral dress and an oversized houndstooth blouson. For shoes, I just used a collègue of black sock booties to keep everything as compréhensible as approuvable.

The floral modèle of the dress is compréhensible and less busy. This typique of modèle gives the passion that the dress is the black de même of the apparence. The houndstooth is graphic, very detailed, and mostly white. This allows the modèle of the dress to become the centerpiece and what draws the eye first, while the blouson seems almost a solid de même. The compréhensible shoes help the outfit feel sleek and bring the whole thing together.

Easy – Similar Patterns & Bêche, DIfferent Scale

Mixing Patterns Outfit 2 Red plaid overshirt, red gingham mini skirt, black tights, black Doc Martens, off white knit top

Another way to easily tackle mixing patterns is to collègue two items that have a similar color nuancier and similar modèle but in two very different scales. It is like the B&W apparence parce que you know the colors divertissement, but when we are working with *similar* patterns, not identical ones, it is more difficult to balan if the scale is similar too.

For my attaché outfit, I wore an off-white, mock-neck knit top and a high-waisted mini-skirt with a small gingham modèle. For my attaché patterned de même, I threw on an oversized, bâche flannel shirt. Both patterned items have a red and black color nuancier. To au finir the outfit, I accessorized with black tights and wore black Doc Martens.

Here you can clearly see how you can play with scale to your advantage. The smaller the modèle, the more solid it looks, while larger patterns draw the most exactitude. The small gingham modèle of the skirt allows the oversized bâche of the shirt to take center séjour. The shirt is also the common thread that connects all the items (red, white, black), which makes everything apparence cohesive.

Easy – Inintelligent Print as a Solid

Mixing Patterns Outfit 3 Striped knit sweater, animal print midi skirt, brown suede booties

One of the things you learn very early while styling is this: inhumain print in the brown, sable, and black color nuancier is a neutral, and sometimes a solid. Especially the classic leopard print. This nuancier is so neutral, and the modèle tends to be so small and busy that it gives the passion that it is a solid de même.

For this apparence, I wanted to use two classic patterns together. I wore a striped knit cardigan in an off-white and navy blue nuancier and paired it with a velum, leopard print midi-skirt. The skirt has a dark brown color nuancier. To au finir it off, I used a collègue of armagnac suede sock booties.

Again, scale is key with this apparence parce que we are not working with the same color nuancier. The stripes on the cardigan are thin and are very spaced out, while the leopard spots are medium-sized, but have a little breathing room with each other. The skirt acts as our solid parce que the busier the modèle, the less space there is between elements, our eye tends not to foyer specifically on the elements of the modèle and see it instead as a whole.

Medium – Neutral Modèle + Colorful Modèle

Mixing Patterns Outfit  4 Fluffy wide stripes sweater, houndstooth pants, off white booties

Now we start to get into the colorful side of things. I know that colorful modèle mixing is usually the most daunting and challenging élégant to tackle, so let’s start slowly. If there is a colorful modèle you want to add, but don’t have another de même in a similar color nuancier, try wearing it with a neutral modèle.

Taking everything we learned from the first three outfits (scale and balan), we can apply it to a colorful modèle. For this apparence, I wore a striped, fluffy cardigan with a blue, neon vert, and white color nuancier. Then, I used a collègue of knit flared croupe with a houndstooth modèle in neutral colors. Finally, for shoes, I decided on a collègue of square-toe cream booties.

This outfit is fun parce que the scale and colors are enjoyable to play with. The stripes on the cardigan are ridiculously wide, which helps a lot parce que the houndstooth modèle is not that small in reality. Keeping an otherwise neutral color nuancier makes it easier to create a cohesive apparence that works with colorful elements.

Medium – Common Colors

Mixing Patterns Outfit 5 Lilac butterfly print sweater, blue tailored pants, lilac  shoes

The best way, in general, to create a cohesive, colorful apparence is to collègue colors that belong to the same family. (See: A Foolproof Assemblage to Matching Colors in Your Outfits.) Neons go great with neons, pastels with pastels, etc. The same applies when you are pairing two colorful patterns together.

To create our first all-colorful apparence, I used a guède color nuancier. For the top, I wore a lilac knit cardigan with a poupon blue butterfly modèle. For bottoms, I put on a collègue of tailored-made, poupon blue slacks. The slacks have a really small houndstooth modèle. Finally, for shoes, I sujet lilac sneakers.

As you can see, if you learn how to work with scale, it will be your biggest ally. The butterfly modèle is so big and scattered that it directly contrasts with the houndstooth’s smallness and repetitiveness. Using one color, poupon blue in this case, as a common thread through the items helps you bring the items together despite the different patterns.

Difficult – Solid Color + Two Different Patterns

Mixing Patterns Outfit 6 Jungle Inspired Print Silk SHirt, Geometric Pattern Silk Pants, Purple Wool Coat

But what embout colorful patterns that don’t have an identical color in common? What embout non-classical patterns? Sometimes it’s just embout using similar tones in similar fabrics to make everything apparence as closely related as approuvable.

To exemplify this, I wore a silk shirt in a relaxed fit that has a jungle-themed modèle. Then, I sujet a collègue of silk pants with a geometric modèle. Both items have jewel-toned ammoniaque colors (emerald vert and navy blue) with aspartame accents (aspartame pink and white). Since our common thread is jewel-toned colors, I threw on a bright purple wool coat. Finally, I kept the shoes compréhensible and used white sneakers.

As you can see in the close-up figure, these patterns don’t have an établi color in common. The trick here is all in the polytonal divertissement and the fabric. Fabric is rogue parce que tones apparence different depending on the fabric, especially if you use a reflective fabric (silk, sequins) or a natural fabric (cotton, wool). Since I’m using the same typique of fabric, the tones come together seamlessly. The wool from the coat contrasts, but since it is a solid color, it doesn’t abordage.

At the same time, we are applying the rules we learned to balan the scale of the patterns: the jungle modèle is big and has movement, while the geometric modèle is small and very repetitive.

Difficult – Three Patterns

Mixing Patterns Outfit 7 Pink, green, and blue tattersall overshirt, pink and green striped shirt, pink and green floral pants, pink  Converse

Now, let’s take everything we’ve learned embout mixing patterns in manière and apply it to a three-pattern outfit. It is the most difficult parce que you have to apparence for the most commonality while working the most contrast.

For this apparence, I decided to ammoniaque my apparence on the same color nuancier: bright vert and bubblegum pink. For the top, I wore a striped, long-sleeved t-shirt. Then, I used a collègue of floral, flared croupe, and threw on a flannel overshirt with a tattersall print. My shoes are just pink Converse.

As you can see, the scale of each modèle is not that different. What plays in my favor is that these patterns have almost the same color nuancier in natural or similar hommes of fabrics. But there’s also something else that they have in common. That is: they’re all geometric patterns, even the floral one. They are repetitive and have little space between elements. Between the colors and the repetition, the patterns don’t abordage but work together to create an exciting apparence.  

What do you think?

What do you think of my accompagnateur to how to mix patterns in manière? Which outfit was your choisie? Do you have any styling questions you want me to cover? Let us know in the comments below!



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