7 Ways to Mix Prints Like a Pro

This fashion trick is easy and eye-catching at the same time.

Mixed Patterns
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We love a cool matching set, but sometimes we spot a trend or an outfit that makes us fall in love with fashion all over again. Mixed prints and patterns definitely have that sort of effect on us. There's just something so fun and eye-catching about seeing, for example, bright stripes seamlessly styled with plaid pieces. However, when we attempt to try the trick ourselves? Well, it suddenly feels a bit more complicated.

Thankfully, there are runway and street style looks out there ready to provide plenty of inspiration. We've also learned that the proper way to mix patterns relies on balance: if one print is big, wear it with something of a smaller scale, and if one is extra loud, find something more subtle to tone it down. Look for contrasting prints with similar color schemes.

Take a look at some A+ mixed-print outfits to try to help you get the hang of mixing patterns and prints. Although there aren't truly any set rules, following a few guidelines will help you nail this trend all season long.

Keep Color in Mind

Mixed Patterns
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As Dries Van Noten showed us, if you're going to wear a vibrant color, balance it out with something darker, like this deep green jacket and purple printed pants. Adding a similar pop of color on top and on bottom (in this case, the purple in the hair) also gives your mixed-pattern look some cohesiveness.

Go With Loud and Subtle

Mixed Patterns
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Pairing a bold print with a more subtle print helps keep your look balanced. You can barely make out the print on this Erdem top — which makes it the perfect piece to pair with a checkered skirt. It's almost solid and in a similar color scheme, so the two items blend together nicely. The black accessories, including the gloves, the flower at her neck and hat, tie together this look perfectly.

Coordinate Your Look

Mixed Prints
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Speaking of color schemes, that's one trick you can use when mixing patterns. Go easy at first: stick with black and white, styling something polka-dotted with a striped purse. Patterned tights can also be a low-commitment way to mix prints. Have a paisley or checkerboard scarf? Wrap that around your neck as a way to dip you toe into the mix patterned trend.

Consider the New Neutrals

Mixed Prints
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Animal prints like snakeskin and leopard have proven to be versatile, and oftentimes, they go undetected. Treat them as solid neutrals and style them with something floral for an unexpected twist. In addition to boots, an animal print jacket, scarf, bag or even pants are good choices to add this new neutral to your wardrobe.

Rely On Staples

Mixed Prints
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There's a reason a striped button-down is known as a 'basic.' It's simple and easy, making it the perfect top to wear with paisley pants. Look for bold prints that have the same color pattern. By keeping the colors in the same color scheme, in this case a pink or rose, it's easy to mix prints while still looking polished. In general, try to just mix two patterns or prints.

Experiment With Outerwear

Mixed Prints
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If you aren't willing to commit for the full day, add some life to a plaid jacket or coat by throwing on a neutral graphic scarf. Break out of your comfort zone of only buying black or tan jackets and experiment with fun prints and patterns. Don't be afraid to use your accessories as your contrasting pattern.

Combine Seasons

Mixed Prints
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If you're trying to transition summer clothes for the cooler weather, find a plaid or striped blazer in the same color family to layer over your look. Pair animal print thigh-high boots with your favorite romper or patterned tights with that polka dot baby doll dress. You can also layer darker colors, such as a navy striped jacket, over some of your pastel summer staples for a fall or winter transition look.

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