How-to Wear Mixed Prints

Something I often show to my clients when styling them in-stores or in their homes, is how-to wear mixed prints. Playing creatively in your wardrobe is a great way to make any outfit fresh. For those that want to learn how-to wear mixed-prints, there are a couple of key things to keep in mind:

how-to-wear-mixed-prints-burlington-personal-stylist Camo pants and shirt: Sirens // Necklace: Banana Republic // Hat: Blue Jays // Booties: Vince // Purse: Forever 21
  1. Keep scale in mind. Ideally, when mixing multiple prints together, you want to have one larger print and another smaller, less-dominant print. While this is not a hard and fast rule, it can keep your look more streamlined and focused in an otherwise busy outfit.
  2. Find a common colour to thread your look together.  For example, the tunic I have on in the picture is brown and black, while the pants next to it are a camo mixture of browns and greens. Since the shirt and camo pants have brown in common, they work. They don’t need to be the exact same colour. Ever look at a magazine spread confused at how all of the items work together? Find colours that help thread themselves together in different areas of the outfit.
  3. Use accessories. Scarves, bags, and shoes all now come in beautiful prints, textures, and colours. Have fun incorporating some personality to your look using smaller scale items in fun prints.
  4. Ground with neutrals. While colour and print add fun to your outfit, try and ground your look with neutrals (if you’re playing with bold colours especially). One neutral shade or two will help keep from making your outfit look too over-the-top.
  5. Start simple. If you’re new to mixing prints, start by pairing neutrals together. For example, a classic black and white striped top could be paired with a neutral polka-dot print scarf; black slacks or denim could be worn to keep the look understated. Once you get use to seeing yourself in the mirror in more than one print, you’ll feel more confident about pairing larger, bolder prints (and colours) together. Start simple and work your way up.


Let me say that this isn’t a look suited for everyone, as it creates more of a eclectic feel that may make some people feel too on display — and that’s okay. Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to mixing prints and colours in an outfit; just do you. If you force something and feel uncomfortable as a result, it will show in the way you carry yourself. Always do what makes you feel confident.

Otherwise, have fun and experiment. Fashion is meant to be a creative way to express ourselves — don’t take it too seriously.


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