Patterns and Prints and Palettes, Oh My! Part 2 of 2

by Kathleen Audet, AICI

Mixing and matching prints and patterns is on-trend for 2018. But it’s a tricky fashion wicket unless you know the mix ‘n’ match rules of the road.

1. Animal prints and stripes can be considered “neutral.”
Both can be combined with any other print or pattern, just as you would combine a print or pattern with a plain, non-print fabric.

2. Make sure your mix ‘n’ match patterns have at least one common color.
The Missoni sweater and avant garde lipstick print blouse, below right, work together because they have red as a common denominator.

3. It’s easy to combine prints when one is larger than the other.
You could easily pair a large stripe or large floral print blouse with the Missoni sweater in place of the lipstick-print blouse.

4. Don’t be afraid to combine two different stripes.
The stripes of the pant and of the shirt here are similar in scale, creating a slimming, elongated look.

You can also go bold by combining stripes that are different in scale, with one stripe pattern larger than the other. The smaller stripe will almost appear as a solid.

5. Combine plaids, checks and bolder prints for effect.
For example, you can take a plaid shirt that you love and pair it with a bolder dotted print like that shown below, as long as they have a common color denominator. The same holds true of the floral blouse and houndstooth pant combo here.

6. Try combining prints and patterns in complementary colors.
Colors that are opposite on the color wheel–such as red and green, yellow and purple or orange and blue–work beautifully together. Here a navy blue stripe sweater gets its wow factor when combined with an orange and yellow print skirt.

For even more fashion fun, try a split-complementary or triad-complementary color scheme. To learn more about which colors and patterns work well together, borrow tools from the art world, such as the ones below.

As you can see, mixing ‘n’ matching prints and patterns can be a breeze when you know the fashion rules of the road. So have fun–get creative and create a look you love with your favorite fashion looks. Then, shine on!

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