Mixing prints has been a big trend over the past year and is breaking all the rules about what goes with what. Gone are the days of matching one’s handbag to shoes—now it is about making prints work together in a fun way that is unexpected and chic. A little intimidated? Remember a couple of “rules” about not following the rules and you will open a whole lot of new options to how you wear your closet.
First, mix two patterns, not three. Make one of the patterns the larger standout and put it with a smaller pattern piece. This will help guide you in pairing your pieces. For instance, if you want to wear a bold floral skirt, then pair it with a top that has a smaller pattern—say small checks. Have the pieces share a similar color palette or tone. Keep the rest of your outfit complementary but simple, so your mixed prints are the star of the show. This look doesn’t necessarily need to be loud and bold. You can mix softer prints as well, and an easy way to dip your toe into this trend is to mix stripes and polka dots in a similar color or shade so they complement each other.
In keeping with this trend, I have chosen a cotton-blend straight leg pant from Belgian designer Cédric Charlier for this week’s Vogue A Trois. I am in love with the abstract painting print of the fabric, which will mix beautifully with other patterns.
These gorgeous pants look so amazing with this season’s hottest look, the crop top. The textured gingham of this Topshop shell picks up the black and grey background and would also look great with a high-waisted pencil skirt. Jimmy Choo’s glossy Alina flat picks up the brilliant poppy color in the pants, so add a pop of color to your lips as well, with the Smashbox MegaTint Lip Color in Mimosa. DVF’s Mini Laced Canvas Crossbody subtle colors are a lovely complement to the look. Pop on a pair of Elie Tahari Cat Eye Sunglasses and you will be the coolest girl ever. Promise.
All the hype about animal prints being the new neutrals is actually true; leopard and the like go so well with solid pieces and patterns. Walk on the wild side with the L’agence Leopard Top and this hip little white Helmut Lang Breeze ¾ Sleeve Jacket. I love the Italian flair and understated glam of dusica dusica’s Aura black flats. Add this Three Row Spike Cuff to keep things edgy without shifting the spotlight from the printed pants. Bevee Bags 24/7 Continental Sidekick is a great little “wallet on a chain” that functions as wallet, crossbody or clutch and comes in the most gorgeous butter soft leather ever. I am very partial to the Sky color.
I love mixing stripes with pattern and this little cropped lemlem Gola tee is so fresh looking that adding white accessories will keep the look clean and chic. Vince, one of my favorite clothing lines, also makes super cool shoes. These Nolan Split Wedge-Leather Sandal in Vanilla are minimalist and have a very sexy ankle strap. Amy Steele’s White Envelope Clutch again is a modern piece with a pop of color with its cool purple suede lining, and you can get your bag monogrammed, which is way fun. The Canzonetta Tassel Necklace is a pretty accessory with its gold tassel and white beads. Essie’s Blanc nail color seals the deal for a complete look. I tried the white nail trend over the weekend—although mine is more champagne—which was a big switch from my go-to dark blue or grey nails. After jumping on the pastel nails for spring bandwagon, I was surprised at how edgy and beautiful it looked. I might have been copying my editor on this one….but trust me, you have to try it.
You can easily be a mix master with your wardrobe by focusing on two pieces that have one thing in common and by keeping your accessories clean and complimentary. Stepping out of your comfort zone is so much more fun than playing it safe, and it opens up a whole new world of ways to get dressed.