Mixing Patterns and Prints in Fashion

Behind the Design

Gone are the days when pattern mixing was considered a serious fashion faux pas. Today, mixing and matching prints in fashion is a major trend that's only increasing in popularity. Mastering the art of mixing prints and patterns can seem intimidating at times. Fortunately, once you learn a few tricks of the trade, you'll be mixing and matching different patterns like a pro. Create the ultimate, modern power look with tips on how to wear prints and patterns from St. John Knits.

Abstract Floral Print Blouse and PantAbstract Floral Print Blouse and Pant

Use Varying Scales of Patterns

Balancing different patterns is very important when wearing or mixing prints. Incorporate varying scales of patterns in an ensemble to prevent them from competing with each other. Avoid wearing multiple larger patterns together that could cause the outfit to appear jarring and uncoordinated. Instead, let one large pattern be the focal point in your outfit and build around it with a smaller print to create contrast.

For example, choose a dress with a small polka dot pattern to pair with a striped coat. Or, go for a floral print blouse to wear with a metallic skirt featuring a subtle embroidered pattern throughout. A large, abstract geometric pattern pairs wonderfully with a smaller floral print, too.

Pick One Pattern and Accessorize with Another

When mixing patterns in fashion, don't shy away from picking one print to dominate and using another as an accent in your accessories. Instill a subtle touch of glam by pairing a plaid skirt in a bright color with a few leopard pieces such as shoes, a T-shirt, or a bracelet. Or, go for the style of a delicate floral-printed long-length dress to wear with a checkered bag.

Zebra Silk Shell + Cardigan

Leopard Jacquard Knit Jacket

Assemble an Ensemble with Prints Featuring the Same Color

If the colors look good together, the prints or patterns will most likely look good together, too. When you're wearing an item of clothing that features one main color, team it up with a fun print that shares the same color.

Feel free to combine inverse patterns and colors, too. A white blouse with black stripes looks incredible alongside a black skirt with white stripes.

Break Up Your Look with a Solid

If you're not ready to style multiple prints together quite yet, simply layer in some solids to ground your overall look. Add subtleness to your ensemble by breaking up mixed prints with a solid-colored jacket, sweater, and accessories.

Graphic Floral Jacquard Knit Cardigan

Madras Silk Twill Blouse

How to Mix Prints: Go-To Tips for Beginners

If you're completely new to mixing prints, keep in mind that the simpler the print, the easier it will be to mix. Start off with simple stripes to pair with a graphic print, like a floral or animal print. To make things even easier, begin pattern mixing with black and white since these colors work well with virtually everything.

While styling tips are helpful for matching different prints, assembling a successful outfit with multiple prints and patterns is really a matter of personal preference. Put your pattern mixing capabilities into practice by browsing the collection of sophisticated and stylish skirts and luxe loungewear from St. John Knits.