Three Key Rules of Mixing and Matching Patterns and Prints

Three Key Rules of Mixing and Matching Patterns and Prints

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

One of the most colorful, and dare we say, creative ways you can express your individuality and personal style is through wearing patterns and prints. The task of mixing and matching patterned and printed clothing, however, is a daunting one, all the more if it’s your first time. If you don’t stick to the hard rules of mixing and matching, your end outfit could look all over the place, noisy, unpolished and unbalanced, and so on.

Of course, part of breaking fashion rules and reinventing them is to know the basics through and through. If you find yourself confused with all the rules stylists and fashion bloggers espouse, just remember these three key points to guide you and you’ll be able to pull off quite a number of interesting looks already.

When it comes to mixing and matching patterns and prints, all you need to know about the basics can be summed up by the following:

rule #1

Rule #1: Never Wear Patterns of the Same Size
This is arguably the most basic rule of all, especially for men—never match patterns of the same size together. Conversely, this rule also means to mix patterns of different sizes. For men, if you’re looking to wear a striped shirt, make sure the tie you choose does not have the same stripe thickness. Doing so will result in a blocky outfit instead of a balanced one.

For women, this rule can apply to different things like tops and bottoms, and other articles of clothing such as bags and scarves. If you plan to wear a patterned blouse with tiny polka dots, you can pair it with a striped jacket as long as they are different in scale.

rule #2

Rule #2: Match Printed Clothing According to Color
By definition, printed clothing makes use of non-repetitive images and pictures, which means to say that the possibilities for print design are virtually endless! With this in mind, it would be difficult to stick to just one rule for mixing and matching prints, which brings us to the helpful basic rule of matching printed clothing according to color instead.

When in doubt about the balance of your printed clothing, evaluate how the colors add up. Matching colors is relatively easier to do than matching prints and, what’s more, you even have the added benefit of using a color wheel to help you pair different vibrant colors together. Safe color combinations you can try are complimentary colors such as violet and yellow.

rule #3

Rule #3: Nail It with a Neutral
Who says neutrals are boring? Complete a natty, not to mention fail-safe, look by going for a neutral top or bottom with your printed or patterned clothing. You aren’t limited to black and white either, although there are plenty of elegant outfits you can wear with these two classics alone. Among your other choices for neutrals are gold, ivory, grey, beige, and silver to name a few.

If you’re a beginner in the print and pattern mix and match trend, it’d be wise to experiment a few looks using neutrals then work your way from there. Better yet, if you’re on a tight budget, you can accent your personal style with key pieces of printed or patterned accessories first like bags and jewelry.


Remember, part of looking your best, no matter what it is you’re wearing, is to carry yourself with confidence. At the end of the day, it’s not about the clothes, but still about the person wearing them.

So, how confident are you of your mixing and matching skills? Got any tips or tricks for us? Share us your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Image sources: Header | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04


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