Mixing to Match

Photo by Chloe Hall

The Do’s & Don’ts of Mixing Patterns.

Written by Jeannie Liautaud

Rules are made to be broken. Fashion rules are no exception. Conventionally, people are told to beware of clashing clothes. However, mixing patterns is a great way to spice up your wardrobe without spending a dime. By incorporating more than one print into an outfit, blending styles becomes effortless. Combining patterns can be intimidating at first, so here are some crucial do’s and don’ts before rocking the look.


Do organize your wardrobe. Sort out the patterned clothes. Separate them into groups of “loud” and “quiet” prints. Loud prints are bold, in either color or shape. Quiet prints have smaller elements, which complement loud prints.

Do become familiar with basic color theory. Patterns mix best when they’re in the same color family. Neutral colors allow for more flexibility and can balance bold hues.

Do build on foundational combinations first. Once you feel comfortable mixing one loud and one quiet pattern, you can graduate onto wilder mixes.

Do own your outfit. Confidence is key when experimenting with new styles.


Don’t get too matchy with your patterns. Try not to combine patterns that are too similar in style, color or shape. The outfit will lose its casual-cool vibe.

Don’t forget to break up prints with some solid pieces. This creates balance and makes the printed pieces pop.

Don’t feel limited. It’s your personal style that will be showcased by mixing patterns, so express yourself.


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