There are a few schools of thought about mixing prints. One advocates throwing them together wily-nily and strutting around, aloof, with a calculated bed head and expertly smudged dark eyeliner. I will ignore this strategy because, for better or worse, I’m just not that cool.
For us real people with jobs and errands, below are three doable tactics that make mixing prints a less formidable task, keeping outfits fresh and fun while maintaining an approachable, sane demeanor.
1. Stay in the same color family
Tone down the bold print on Rachel Palley’s Poolside Dress ($207) with this preppy Kelly Jacket (was $138, now $80) – the stripes echo the pink petals in the dress and the white backgrounds (see # 3) make the whole thing lighter and less overwhelming.
2. Choose similar prints in different sizes
The circles on this cotton skirt ($22.80) are huge and attention-grabbing, so pairing them with the tiny dots on the Gap’s ribbed tank ($14.50) will keep the pattern from swallowing you up.
3. Make black and white your friends
It seems like just about anything is easier to pull off in black and/or white. The combo of huge bright-yellow lemons on this full skirt ($88) and the thick stripes on the cotton-cashmere tank ($80) could look completely cartoonish, but with the black-and-white base, the outfit takes on a whimsical (so, cartoonish in a good way) sort of vibe.