Guest Post BY Alyssa Ruane
Don’t wear white after Labor Day. Don’t mix prints. Don’t wear socks with heels.
These three commandments are just a few of many “fashion rules” that have been gloriously broken. White has become a year-round wardrobe staple; mixing prints has created some of the most eye-catchingly chic outfits out there; and wearing socks with heels proved to be the solution to be stylish in snowy temperatures.
Ever since we’ve seen print-mixing put into action by clever celebs and savvy stylists, we, the people, have struggled to master the art on our own. It is, after all, an art. How do you choose which polar-opposite prints to stick next to one another? What defines trend-setting versus tacky? There is a fine line, and lot of everyday Janes are nervous to try the look for fear of a terrible circus-like ensemble.
But fear no more! Below we have some simple tips to keep in mind when you’re ready to try mixing patterns.
Pick prints on different scales. This would be like pairing the busy Julian Chang Leslie Pant with the Kaya Di Koko Adley Printed Tank, which features much larger imagery, to balance things out.
Stay in the same color family. To clash patterns effectively, they need to “match” in terms of hues, whether that means either finding the same red color in two garments or choosing a teal pattern and a blue one to mix together.
Play with sizes. Garment proportion can really help make your pattern play look like a beautifully organized mess. The long Julian Chang Kory Jacket would look great on top of a patterned mini dress.
Use stripes as a neutral. Throwing two busy patterns together can be anxiety-inducing, so turn to your familiar pal, stripes, for a pseudo-neutral to make you feel better.
Mix two of the same pattern, just different types. For example, put two floral prints together, but have one be the Petit Pois Feng Shui Long Over Easy Shirt featuring Asian-style flowers and the other be the Petit Pois “The Mondrian” Tube Skirt with artsy roses.
Texture helps, too. A heavily textured garment can easily pass for a patterned piece, so try some perforated leather for an extra touch.
Work inverse colors. This is a simple trick that never fails. Try a black-and-white base outfit and a white-and-black overcoat. Make sense? No? Okay, think the Walter Baker Bethany Dress with something like the Stella and Jamie Cloe’ Bomber Jacket.
Mixing and matching prints actually gets much easier once you have these base tips down pat. The real magic happens, though, when you head to the closet and do some experimenting. You never really know what will surprisingly look amazing together until you try it on!
So start mixing, you trend-setter, you.