Find Your Prints Charming....
A big part of what makes fashion so much fun is the creativity it inspires. I love exploring new ways to combine colors and textures, silhouettes and style sensibilities. From classic to eclectic... insouciant boho to structured chic... endless interesting combos await discovery in my closet. All I have to do is take what I've got, and add a bit of imagination.
I find that one of the trickiest style combos to master is mixing prints. Do it right, and you instantly elevate yourself to Fashion "Cool Girl". Do it wrong, and you risk looking like your closet threw up on you. It can be a fine line, but it's one worth walking from time to time!
Many avant-garde designers say it's fine to mix your patterns with wild abandon; they say you'll be perceived as fun and free spirited. Personally, I find this works best for celebrities from whom we already expect larger-than-life fashion explosions, and rail-thin super-models strutting down a Parisian boulevard surrounded by magazine photographers.
Those of us whose daily life doesn't come with its own edgy music track have a tougher time pulling off the 'wild abandon' look at the office.
That said, print and pattern-mixing is very doable, fun, and stylish, if you follow a few simple guidelines:
1. Stripes and leopard print are your best friends:
Both are considered neutrals, and can pretty much be worn with anything:
2. Make sure both prints share one of the same (or complementary) colors. It'll help unify everything.
For "complementary" colors, hearken back to grade school art class and consult your color wheel (they're actually opposites)!
3. Try separating two prints with a solid.
In this picture, I've added a raspberry blouse over my striped top, to balance the patterns with a solid field.
4. Try a color-blocked piece with a print
It gives a toned-down, more structured take on the whole mixology concept
5. Keep the silhouette simple
The prints are making your statement, so the overall lines of the outfit shouldn't compete for the spotlight.
6. Swap texture for pattern for a twist on the mixed prints vibe -
Here I did it with a snake-print pencil skirt and a cozy textured Anthropologie sweater.
7. Mix up the scale of your prints...
Microprints (tiny dots or florals) look great with larger graphic prints. Though I'm not really a fan of sporting veggies on my clothes, here's a good example of what I mean by using 2 different scales of prints:
There you have it. A few tips for how to get those prints in your closet to play nice together (and update your look while they're at it - no shopping required!)
Admittedly, there are plenty of days I just grab my standard go-to's, throw them on and hit the road. Like everyone else, life happens outside my closet! I've got a 'real' job at a busy production company, replete with clients, meetings, projects and deadlines, all bookended by an hour-long commute. Then there's everything else - family, friends, workouts, errands - you know...the stuff of life. But, when I do get a few minutes, I like to throw combos on my bed and snap pictures with my phone, so I have a visual reference to go back to when I'm stuck in a fashion rut and rushed for work in the morning!
So, getting dressed may not seem all that exciting or important, but for me, it does throw a dose of individuality and creative expression into days that have so many other aspects dictated by calendar and commitment. Plus, (and this is true for all of us, regardless of how "fashiony" we believe ourselves to be...) when you like how you look, you just feel more confident. It boosts your mood!
I hope these tips will encourage you to try mixing a few prints into your look from time to time...I'm sure you've got some great combos in your closet right now, just waiting to be paired up! It's fun, a bit bold, and done right, you'll turn a head or two!
Do you have tips or fashion challenges to share? Let me know - I'd love to hear your creative ideas ... or help you brainstorm a fashion fix!