Mixing and matching prints without looking like a clown

With cold weather comes the need for layering. And the need for layering comes with the ‘solids or prints’ dilemma. On one hand, wearing all black all the time (and occasionally throwing in some color or print) is one of the fastest ways to look effortlessly stylish. On the other hand life’s too short not to take some fashion risks! Here is my crash course on mixing and matching prints without looking like a clown. Instead of using images from the web, I decided to show some examples using my own wardrobe.

Know your color scheme


Are you sticking to colors similar to each other like pinks and purples? Or are you picking a main color and an accent color? Ex. Red with a pop of yellow. Think about which color combinations work really well for you. There’s a bit of color theory involved! However, knowing what type of color scheme you want is a good place to start. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with pairing a black and white print with a color one.

Contrasting shades


I don’t know if it’s just me, but I hardly ever feel comfortable in an outfit where all the tones are too similar. For example, I’d never wear medium blue with medium yellow. However, dark blue with pale yellow is another story. If I’m wearing something that’s pastel, I’d pair it with darker pieces rather than pastel ones. Unless I’m wearing all black, I’d feel too washed out if all dark colors. There really aren’t any rights or wrongs in fashion, but this is a little quirk I have to not feel like a blob.

Vary the sizes


When prints are worn right next to each other, I feel that it would look too “busy” if the sizes of the print motifs are too similar. It’s sort of like when you get vibrating boundaries in color theory. So if you want to wear a something with small motifs, pair it with something with large motifs. This way, you can get some really nice contrast going in your outfit. Once again, there’s no right or wrong, but this is what helped me achieve some interesting outfits.

Vary the type


Have some fun playing around with pairing different types of garments and accessories. You don’t always have to pair a top with something to wear over it. You could pair a top with a scarf, a skirt with cardigan, a dress with a jacket and a handbag, stamped nail art with pants. There are many possibilities out there. Since I have so many printed dresses, I love exploring different things I can wear them with.

Be bold!

This is more of a psychological tip than a fashion tip, but I’d say it’s just as important. Why are you mixing and matching prints anyways? Is it to express your fun-loving and vibrant personality? Or maybe you’re kind of shy like me and need a fashion boost now and again. In any case, wear your outfit daringly because you are a force to be reckoned with!
How do you wear prints?
Let’s chat in the comments below

Author: Jin Cao

I am a multi-faceted designer, fashion blogger, makeup enthusiast, lover of cats, and connoisseur of ramen! Writer of LeggingsandLacquer.com Main fashion writer of Onahjung.com Find my work at Jinmartini.com

7 thoughts

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  2. I do trust all the ideas you have introduced in your post. They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for newbies. May you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.


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