Mix and Match Prints

Mix and match prints are a tricky element to incorporate into your closet.  It can be a great way to incorporate patterns and distinction, but blending them together gets complicated and needs to be done conscientiously in order to be successful.  We should also add that they are not for the fashion faint of heart and should only be worn when you personally have the confidence and security to feel comfortable pulling them off.  There are, however, a few great designer pieces that are totally in fashion this season that do stylishly incorporate mix and match prints into these great pieces.

The first key to success with mixing and matching prints or finding pieces that successfully accomplish this mixing is great patterns. A good classic pattern that isn’t too much or too overbearing is a great way to start and can really make or break a pattern.   You can pair patterns, but you need at least one of them to be simpler or more muted than the other in order for it to work.   Whether they are stripes or floral patterns, mixing patterns can be a great way to showcase that fabulous piece while also giving each piece added depth and substance.

As an example of this, consider the Cherry Short Sleeve Dress by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer.  The beautiful floral pattern features electric blue, navy blue, teal blue and reds along with a contrasting tile pattern in back for added detail.  This dress of course features not just one pattern, but a combination of patterns and along with that features different shades of blue.  The contrasting patterns and colors give it lots of added options for accessories.  This dress is also versatile and since it is unlined and sheer, we love wearing it as a tunic pairing it with a blue tank and a pair of blue leggings.  The dress features a lightly plunging neckline and a brown tie around the waist for additional contrast.  This dress features a sheer silk cotton blend fabric that feels light and airy on which is of course an added benefit.

Another example would be the mixing of stripes in contrasting widths and dimensions.  You will see this more subtle mixing of prints and patterns that has become more popular and pervasive in modern fashion trends.  The Trinity Cowlneck Top also by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer is a great example of mixing smaller stripe patterns on the sleeves and sides of this top contrasted with a wider stripe in an alternate direction for added contrast.

As you can see, you may have to work a little harder to find pieces that successfully mix and match patterns, but it certainly can be done.  In addition, finding mix and match patterns in pieces already is a safer, easier way to find great designer styles while also incorporating fashion trends.  Finding such pieces is also a great way to really add distinction into your own individual style and wardrobe.

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Vintage Fashion: Mixing Stripes and Prints

When our buyers go out hunting for the latest fashions our rule of thumb is always to look for pieces that can be statement pieces.  Of course we always need a few basics on hand, but finding the statement piece is where we try to focus.  Many statement pieces that we have seen recently feature bold patterns or prints and contrasting stripes or prints.  We think this bold mixing of patterns is a recent style trend and of course like many runway fashion trends it can be easy get carried away.

Even as I type those words it seems to immediately make me turn my nose up at the idea of mixing stripes and prints a seemingly obvious fashion no no.  However, if done carefully, this type of contrasting stripes and prints can actually be an interesting way to make a bold statement or create a great statement outfit.   As you know, mixed pattern fashion is certainly not for everyone.  However, consider a few simple rules of thumb when selecting your patterns.

In our opinion, mixing patterns only works when you keep in mind one piece can be bold, but the other piece should be subtle to help balance it out.  Typically, offsetting bold patterns with solids or simple, subtle patterns can be a great way to truly incorporate your own fashion style in a bold way.   The more you can use solid colors as complements the better.   Also, be sure to avoid the cardinal rule of mixing patterns with colors that clash.

We’ve seen styles that work when the top underneath may have a floral pattern for example and the loose flowing cardigan features subtle stripes in a complementary color.   Good designers will often soften the bold patterns with solid accents or trim as a way to add additional detail and soften the look.   Just as mixing lengths for contrast can be a great way to add dimension to your outfit, so too can mixing colors and patterns.  We love to see patterns that keep continuous themes of colors as the bridge between the two patterns.   Even though it might be difficult to imagine this as a viable stylish piece, a blue polka dot pattern would potentially be ok when paired with a blue stripe pattern to bring the same tones of blue into both contrasting patterns.

You may have seen our discussions about stripes in a prior post, but we always love the look of mixing different scale patterns together too.  Stripes are the best illustration, but we have seen several pieces like the Trinity Cowlneck top by Velvet as one example with contrasting size stripes and colors to set the top apart.

Be careful not to overdo it with accessories when mixing patterns and last but not least be true to your own individual style.  Your own confidence can make all the difference when wearing bold fashion statement pieces.  When you are confident in how you look, everyone else will be too.

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