Fashion Styling Report: How To Mix Prints & Patterns Like a Pro From PMM Contrubutor Darlene Lebron Lopez
Pattern mixing can sometimes feel overwhelming and just off. So many of us grew up with the notion that things need to always match. For example, your tops should match your pants or shoes to your bag. And of course, some people still feel that matching is a critical part of looking pulled together.
Well given the typical style rule for work wear, print/pattern mixing for the office can sometimes feel even more daunting. To help you get started, here are a few of my tips on how to build a mixed pattern look that will turn heads:
1. Start small: Consider picking small prints in the same color family. Smaller prints are easier to “match” and staying within the same color palette will help you reach the desired look without feeling too daring. Dots and stripes are an easy starting point since they come in several styles and colors. I recommend that for starters, you stick to just two mixed items, as shown below.
Pants – Navy/White Dots: Pixie Ankle Pants from Old Navy
Top – Black stripes: Striped Tee from Old Navy
Jacket – White: Denim Jacket from Old Navy
Shoes – Blue: Suede Ballet Flats
Bag – Blue: Faux Leather Crossbody Bag
2. Go bold with shoes and handbags: Test out the pattern mixing waters by inserting fun shoes and handbags into your look. This is an easy way to achieve a mixed look without feeling like the total center of attention. I love owning stripe, polka dot, floral and animal print shoes or handbags. To me, they serve as neutral items that I can mix in with pretty much anything.
Striped shoes: Espadrille Wedge Sandals from Lane Bryant
Leopard shoes: “Sole Diva” Strappy Shoes from Simply Be
Floral dress: Scuba Sleeveless Skater Dress from Simply Be
Pink bag: Hot Pink Chain Bag from Simply Be
3. Animal is the new neutral: Yes, I said it! Animal prints for me are pretty much a neutral item that I can mix and match with just about anything. But do be careful. You’ll want to stick with a classic animal print that resembles what you would actually see in the wild.
Leopard print top: Animal Print Dolman Blouse from Lane Bryant
Striped skirt: Striped Lace Pencil Skirt from Lane Bryant
Black sandals: Strappy Wedge Sandal from Lane Bryant
4. Large and small prints: Look for large prints that compliment smaller prints. For example, try a big floral top with a small polka dot print skirt (like below). One print should be the stand out piece while the other should serve as a supporting print.
Sunglasses: Nude Cat Eye Sunglasses from Eloquii
5. Trust your gut: Hang both items side by side and stand back. Photograph your items together and pair them with their complimenting accessories. If you love it, go for it! It’s your style and your look. Owning it is the biggest part of looking and feeling amazing!!
Darlene Lebron Lopez is the blogger behind Suits, Heels & Curves – a fashion blog dedicated to the plus size corporate professional. She is a fun-loving, fashion obsessed New Yorker working in corporate America. She is the wife to an amazing husband, mommy to a silly 10-year-old princess and slave to two incredibly adorable fur babies. She is passionate about fashion, beauty and about how these factors affect ones state of health. Darlene holds a BA from Trinity College and an MBA from Pace University.