The Art of Mixing Prints

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Mixing prints is a fun way to add visual interest to your outfits. Print mixing happens when you pair wardrobe items with different prints together in the same outfit.

I know that for some, the idea of mixing prints gives you anxiety. Whether you’re worried about looking “ too busy” or concerned that you “can’t pull it off”, I have 3 tips that will hopefully make you reconsider mixing it up!


Along with each tip I included swatches to provide a visual example of the principles of print mixing in action. I am using one outfit to represent how a mixed print outfit can come together.

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If you are a beginner print mixer, start off slow and find two or three different prints that have identical color ways. By choosing the same colors you are able to unify the look even though the patterns are different. In the sample look photographed above I wore three different prints that are all in a black and white (but you can choose any color combination that you would like). The pants are hounds tooth, the shirt is a bold tribal print and the sweatshirt has various graphic shapes but they all look good together as they are in the same color scheme.

All of these pieces are old items from Topman (pants) and Forever 21 however I have linked some cool black and white pants here, shirt here and long sleeve shirt here to give you some inspiration.


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Tip #2 : Mix Prints of different sizes

Scale is very important when mixing prints. Scale refers to the size and weight of the print. Some prints are small and tight with little space around them and some prints are more spaced out. For instance , if you are wearing pinstripe pants with thin stripes that are close together , you may consider wearing a sweater with thick stripes that are further apart.  This allows for the two prints to marry together without looking too “matchy matchy”

Scale Reference Points:

  • wide with thin

  • bold with subtle

  • small with large

  • tightly spaced with widely spaced


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Organic or round shapes like flowers, circles, waves etc can really compliment prints that have straight lines.  The contrast of the curves of the organic shapes work well next to the hard straight lines which add structure to the look.


The last tip it to just try it and have fun! Even with some rules, mixing prints is an experimental process. Try some things on and mix it up while having fun. Anybody can mix prints but just make sure that the prints are in scale with your body type and don’t either get lost or drown you out. Be intentional yet don’t over think it!

As always I leave you in Love, Peace & Style,


Lonnie Woods III