How to mix patterns: 25 outfit examples.

Like any good thing that’s worth doing, matching prints takes time and is not a precise science. Let me explain.

With new types of creative prints coming out all the time, it’s not realistic to assume that one formula will work. As I’ve learned in school and by working with clients from all over the world, finding and matching the right prints for you and you only is a creative process. It’s a trial and error, search and discovery type of journey that takes time. So, please keep that in mind when making decisions based on someone else’s opinions. That being said, here are some professional tips.

When we mix 2 different patterns together we need to make sure that their shapes, sizes and colours match well.

All patterns can be divided by the ones that have rounded, soft shapes and those that have straight, geometrical shapes.

As an example let’s take these most popular patterns. 

The floral, polka dot, paisley and leopard are the ones that have rounded shapes and soft lines.

The stripes and plaid have geometrical shapes and straight lines.

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ROUND & ROUND

The size of the patterns.  

To make the outfit look better proportionally, match small prints with small or medium size patterns, medium patterns with medium or large ones.

Avoid combinations of small patterns with large, and large with large, they just don’t go that well together.

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ANGULAR & ANGULAR

round & angular

PRINT & SOLID COLOUR.

The same method can be used if you prefer to wear a pattern item with a solid colour. First, analyse all the colours on your print and then add either one of those colours or an extra one that goes well with all of them.

If you have a monochrome or 2 solid colour outfit, you can add shoes and a bag with different patterns to create an accent. Or you can have a printed dress, or a matching set and complement it with a pair of printed shoes, keeping the bag neutral.

Let me know in the comments what your struggles are with prints. 

How do you go about matching them?