E. Leigh Style

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Erica Waldthausen
Denver/Boulder, CO

How do I mix prints?

Dear E.

I really like the idea of mixing prints. I think it would open up more options in how I wear some of my clothes. However, whenever I try to mix prints I feel like I look silly or mismatched. How do I mix prints without looking this way?

Thank you,


Dear Carrie:

Mixing prints can be difficult and may seem strange when you haven't been doing it regularly. It also may take you a while to get the hang of it. The best way to start mixing prints is by picking one printed garment you love, like a printed pencil skirt. Then ask yourself what color group the print is in... neutrals, jewel tones, brights, earth tones... If it is in earth tones or neutrals you can easily match the print with either another neutral or pop it with a brighter print. For instance a tan and black floral skirt with a tan and red striped blouse. If your base print is brighter, pick one of the colors from the palette and match your accompanying pattern to that color. Another tip is to pair a bolder pattern with a more subtle pattern. Like a plaid with a small polk-a-dot. When you get more confident you will start to be able to match prints with ease. You may even start to mix patterns along with textures. And you are right, done wrong and you will look like a second grader who got dressed in the dark, but done well you will look like a style professional!

Happy shopping!