Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
/ Unsplash

Her Campus WM’s Guide to Mixing Prints

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at WM chapter.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t mix prints, because they’re probably too scared to do it themselves! All you need is a common color, the same pattern, or the same size print. After reading these tips and tricks, you’ll be a print mixing master!

Wear small prints together

One trick to mixing prints is to pair two small prints together in one outfit. Try wearing a thin stripe with a small polka dot or a small floral print. From far away, the pieces will look like solids because the print is so small. The outfit will flow even more if the prints have a common color, which will unify the look. In the above look, the outfit works because the prints are small in scale, they are both black and white, and because the top half is white-heavy while the bottom half is black-heavy.

Keep it in the color family

One of the best tips for mixing prints is to wear two prints that are in the same color family. You can bring unity to a look by wearing different prints in similar colors, or that have a common color mixed in the pattern. The above outfit features two completely different prints, but because the prints are small and feature the same shade of blue, the look makes sense (from a distance it even looks like a dress). Pair with neutral accessories and shoes, and your chaotic ensemble is now balanced.

Double up on the same pattern. 

A lot of people wonder, “Can I wear stripes on stripes?” Of course you can! Doubling up on the same pattern is a chic, yet unexpected look that’s super easy to pull off. You just need two pieces with the same pattern (stripes, florals, polka dots, etc.), but of a different size. Try wearing a top with thin stripes with a skirt with wide stripes or, as seen above, a thin striped top over a dress with a unique striped pattern. The same goes for polka dots or any other crazy pattern; use the aforementioned tips to create a look mixing the same print with two different pieces. If you’ve got a matching set, no need to scale one of the prints down, the look will work anyway because the patterns are exactly the same. If the patterns are different, however, try wearing a small print piece with a large print piece. A black and white striped top with a grey and black large print floral skirt look perfect together! Alternatively, try out a light blue seersucker pant with a navy and white polka dot top. Don’t be afraid of color when mixing prints; you don’t have to stick to just black and white!

Don’t forget to watch the video to have a better look at the outfits featured above, and don’t ever be afraid to wear a crazy outfit, as long as it’s done right. Good luck and have fun mixing your prints! If you try any of these tips, take a picture and Instagram it, and tag us at @hercampuswm!