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Tired of traveling with basics in solid colors? These tips on mixing prints are a must-read! They’re guaranteed to help you make the most of your clothing.


Tips and Ideas on Mixing Prints

Written by: Niki Landry


Mixing prints or pattern clothing is one of the best ways to upgrade your normal look, and have a little fun with your wardrobe. It doesn’t have to be intimidating, and in fact can be easy to pull off if you know the tricks. Keep reading for tips and ideas on effortlessly mixing and matching prints.


Floral Pocket Blouse / Leather Skirt / Kitten Heel Pumps


If you are new to the game then the easiest way to begin is by mixing textures. Tweed, boucle, leather, knits, fringe, perforated fabric, and lace are all subtle patterns that will mix easily with other textures or prints.

Even though the fabric itself creates a pattern in is construction, it is usually a solid color or monochrome. You can wear it as you would a solid.


Pencil Skirt  / Pointed Toe Kitten Heel Pumps / Ruffled Top


Once you have mastered mixing textures and prints it is time to move on to stripes. It is the easiest pattern to wear and works well with all other prints.

I consider it a neutral and mix it with animal prints, florals, and dots. It’s also a pattern that most people would already have in their closet, so it’s easy to use it as a base for layering other pieces.

I am drawn to more basic patterns like stripes, dots, and plaid. These are easy to interchange with each other. Animal prints are another easy option. These patterns usually contain a limited color palette, which makes them nice to pair with more elaborate designs like floral, paisley, and geometric prints.


Read this post if you’re wondering what are neutral colors!


Polka Dot Shirt / Leather Trim Plaid Coat / Seamed High Waisted Pants


Select one large scale or bold print to be your dominant item, and compliment it with a more subdued pattern. It will be the focus of your travel outfit, and the other an accent.

The same idea goes for mixing scales. For example, a large floral print skirt would go well with a small check print top. Two large format patterns may compete with each other and end up looking clownish.

Pay attention to the colors of the patterns you are trying to mix. Look for prints that share a color or have the same tones, this will accentuate a connection between two different patterns. To create cohesion with your prints, emphasize the shared color in a bag, shoes, or jewelry.

If you feel like your pattern choices may be a little busy, ground them with solids. Top with a solid jacket or scarf. Add a larger piece that doesn’t have a pattern to help ease the eye into the combination of patterns.



Need help creating a capsule wardrobe?


Savvy travelers know that a capsule wardrobe is the secret to traveling carry-on only. Pack Light Stylishly is our eBook that shows you exactly how to make a functional yet stylish capsule wardrobe for travel.


Learn more about Pack Light Stylishly here!



Mixing prints is meant to be fun, so consider the rules lightly and take a risks when pairing your travel outfits. After a few trials it should become easier, and you will be mixing and matching prints like a pro.

What are your tips when matching and mixing prints? Please share in the comments below!


For more capsule wardrobe tips, please read:




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Author Bio:  Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs.