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Daily Style Diaries: Trick to Mixing Prints and Colors

Daily Style Diaries: Trick to Mixing Prints and Colors

If you want to mix prints and colors in your outfits but don’t know how to start, a simple trick can help. It makes it easier to put together a company that looks intentional and pulled together. So, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try out some new combinations, give this trick a try! You might be surprised at how well they work together.

How in the world do you mix prints and colors?

You can’t! That is what my mom told us.

Well, she was wrong. I’m going to show you today how to mix prints and colors to look like they go together. All you need is a little courage and an open mind.

Let’s start with color theory. Since preschool, color theory is essentially what we’ve been studying: complementary colors, analogous colors, etc. But, unfortunately, we’re not allowed to pick any color we want for clothes and accessories!

Examples of some mixed prints and colors:

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Here is an entirely random outfit: the red on the bottom looks great with the green on top.        

Yes, that’s right, it’s just a coincidence. Colors have different tones and shades that change how they look when applied to clothes. So if you’re wearing this outfit, someone might complement your red sweater but think your green shirt is ugly! Yikes.

Example: 2

This outfit is much more cohesive because the colors work together by being in the same family: purple, blue, etc.

Here we see complementary colors (colors across from each other on the color wheel) that work well together. These outfits tend to be very fashionable because it looks like someone was thinking about what colors to wear.

Different Color Wheel:

But let’s say you want to go with an outfit that uses colors from different parts of the color wheel:

Here we can see that yellow and purple create a very casual outfit while they’re both bright colors (and therefore attention-grabbing). You could still pull off this outfit because you used three distinct shades within the same family (yellow, gold, brown).

We’ll also add here that it looks like this person might need to do laundry!

Example: 3

Now, what if you wear all prints and no solid colors? Let’s take a look at some examples:

This outfit is all prints, but there are three distinctly different prints: print, polka dots, and having prints in the same color family is a good start, but to make this outfit cohesive, you need to have relatively similar print textures. For example, the polka dots are soft, round shapes different from the sharp, angular lines of the graphic print.

This outfit still has very bright colors (pink and orange), but they’re all in the same hue: reds/oranges/yellows. It’s trendy because it uses these attention-grabbing colors effectively!

Color Geometry:

We see two completely different prints in the same tone: leopard and geometric. These prints create very different silhouettes when applied to clothing. If someone were wearing this outfit, they would be attention-grabbing and edgy.

Now you know the basics of matching prints and colors! You could wear this outfit: or that one:

Endless Possibilities in mixing prints and colors:

The possibilities are endless now that you know how to work with color theory! Just remember always to keep your prints in the same color family (analogous, monochromatic), different tone (complimentary), or different hue (similar). Also, make sure the print textures are relatively identical and use an even number of prints, so everything looks organized. And never wear all solids or all prints — you’ll look like a clown until next time—XOXO Gossip Girl.


The #1 Trick To Mixing Prints and Colors. You’ve probably seen the term “mismatched clothes” before, but it is a trend that can be pretty chic if done correctly. Mismatching prints or colors in your outfit is all about making sure they are not too close to each other to create an optical illusion of matching, which would look tacky instead of cool. However, these rules aren’t set in stone; you don’t need to follow them 100%. Have you tried mixing print and color? What’s been one of your favorite outfits recently? Let us know by commenting below.