Revisiting Print Mixing - An Introduction

While print mixing may come naturally to many of us, I think I can safely say for me it wasn’t always the case. I didn’t know the first thing about print mixing before I became a fashion blogger, and even now, I wouldn’t say it comes naturally. For me, as with cooking, I really have to have a recipe, or at least have my brain working on 3 of its 4 cylinders to be able to figure out a good print mix. Back in March of 2017, I did my first how to print mixing post. You can read that post, by clicking on the link here.

I have decided to do a short series on print mixing. I have had numerous people tell me, that while they are trying the print mixing trend themselves, they do not always feel confident with how to put pieces together that mix prints. After all, most of us don’t want to look like a walking garage sale. I am far from an expert on this, but I thought I would put together a series of posts, that will lay out what to look for when mixing prints and how to mix prints without having to put a lot of time, thought or effort into it.

This week I want to do an introduction of sorts and give you a few basic how to’s, then the next few post will show you outfits of my own and give explanations for what I chose and how I put the prints together.

There is a method to this madness. There are all sorts of prints including stripes, florals, polka dots, paisley and a plethora of others. How, then, do you decide which patterns to put together? Here are a few pointers.

Start with a foundational print.

1 - Stripes, whether vertical or horizontal, are one of the easiest patterns to pair other patterns with. Here are a few examples.

Print mixing
Print mixing

This striped yellow tee goes quite well with the floral kimono and the plaid blazer. The floral kimono contains yellow leaves which really draws the two pieces together. The plaid blazer doesn’t contain yellow, but has a light neutral colored stripe, which almost looks yellow when paired with the tee. I also think it goes splendidly with the leopard blazer and the Aztec print jacket, even though neither of them contains the same yellow color.

Here is another example with a vertical striped blouse.

Print mixing
Print mixing

As you can see from these examples, all of these prints are different, but the stripes work with all of them.

2 - Gingham is another pattern that is easy to pair with almost any other print.

Print mixing
Print mixing
Print mixing
Print mixing

3 - The one other pattern that is easily mixed , besides stripes or gingham is polka dots. Polka dots show up here and there in fashion trends, but I find, like stripes and gingham, polka dots are classic and timeless.

Print mixing
Print mixing
Print mixing

Stripes, gingham and polka dots can be easily mixed with other prints, partly because they are spatially consistent. Usually the stripes are the same distance apart, the squares are the same size and the dots are equally sized as well. If you are just starting to mix prints, look for pieces in your wardrobe or at the store that have those characteristics.

Next find pieces with coordinating colors.

You probably noticed that in the photos above, not all the print mixes have similar color schemes, but for an easier time of print mixing once you choose your foundational print find other pieces in your closet that have similar colors. For instance, the striped yellow tee that I chose above pulls in the yellow leaves on the floral kimono. The coral striped blouse coordinates with the coral colors in the jacket and the navy polka dot cardigan is a natural compliment for the navy gingham or floral blouses.

Here is another example.

Print mixing

I got these two pieces at completely different times. The Jaclyn Smith gingham top was thrifted and the skirt is from LuLaRoe. Matching the green in each piece make it a perfect print mixing combination. You could have also used the black gingham top that was shown above. I hope to include this in my series of outfits over the next few weeks.

This might seem overwhelming at first, but read on for another tip.

Try choosing pieces that have the small/large print ratio.

One of the other techniques for making a perfect print mix outfit is to pair a small pattern with a large pattern. This is especially helpful if you are choosing pieces that include a skirt or pants with a top or jacket. In the previous picture I used the smaller gingham pattern with the larger pattern of the skirt. This is also a good way to mix outfits that are monochrome in appearance. Here is another example.

Print mixing
Print mixing

This combination would be great with a black pullover tee or sweater, silver jewelry, and then a brighter color for shoes and a bag, like yellow, or red.

Using the small/large print ratio as well as choosing pieces that have at least one coordinating color will take you a long way to creating outfits that are not only spot on in the print mixing realm, but outfits that you can be proud of because you created them yourself.

Walk on the wild side.

Once you get the hang of print mixing you might want to venture out into combinations that are a little more bold. This is the one I came up with.

DSC_0036 (3).jpg
Print mixing

I recently acquired this plaid bomber jacket at Eden, a local boutique. I featured their Sylvania location on the blog a few months ago. You can see that post here. I love the colors that make up the plaid and the bright black and white stripes on the collar and cuffs. When I was going through my closet and came across this tunic, I thought I would see how the two pieces worked together. This is a perfect example of using the print mixing tips to create a unique looking outfit.

The plaid represents the foundational piece. Plaid, in this case is the more subtle print. After choosing the jacket, I looked for a piece that had at least one of the colors in the jacket. When I saw that this tunic contained all the colors, I thought, why not. The more subtle plaid, tones down the busy pattern of the tunic and all of it is pulled together by pairing it with the bright blue pants. I hope to feature this outfit in my series as well.

I hope this post will help you find your own love of print mixing. It takes practice, but over time you can be a print mixing whiz, just by following these tips and by not being afraid to give it a try.

What print combinations do you like to see put together? Are you a print mixing diva, or is it a trend you have shied away from? Did you find this post helpful? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I hope you have a great weekend.














Outfit Inspiration - Gingham and Olive

This week’s Outfit Inspiration comes from a Christopher & Banks add that I received in the mail. I love to try to copy the outfits that many retailers put in their advertisements and catalogues, because it gives me a source for a well thought out outfit, without me having to come up with the idea. I still have to shop my closet and try to find similar enough pieces to create the look, but the inspiration was provided by someone else.

When I saw the classic combination of a gingham button up with olive pants I knew it was an outfit I could easily replicate from pieces in my closet. This is what I came up with.

Outfit Inspiration - Gingham and Olive

Since olive is treated as a neutral these days you can wear it with any other color and it works. Case in point, for this outfit I am pairing these olive trousers with a black and white gingham blouse, a white tank underneath to add interest and a gray casual cardigan.

This is an outfit I would easily wear to work. While the outfit is fairly neutral you can easily jazz it up by adding color in your accessories. I chose to keep my look more neutral all over. I have on black loafer heels, which I have worn on the blog before, and decided to carry my thrifted snakeskin clutch, since animal prints are trending right now. I opted for a few silver bangles and no other jewelry. I felt there was enough going on with the gingham check and the layers, although you could easily add a necklace or a pretty colored scarf to wake the outfit up a bit.

Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive

This gingham blouse was thrifted and is Old Navy brand. The white sweater tank that I have on underneath was also thrifted and is George brand. The original photo that I took the inspiration from showed the model with her top tucked in and no belt, even though the pants had belt loops. I wanted to stick to the original outfit as much as possible, but next time I will add a belt. I just think it makes an outfit look more polished. I have an olive colored one that would have worked perfectly with these pants.

Outfit Inspiration - gingham and Olive

My gray sweater is from H&M. I had a gray sweater, very similar to this, but it was showing wear, so I was glad to find this as a replacement.

Here is a picture of the shoes taken on a different occasion. They are a sturdy, practical heel, but still look stylish while being fairly comfortable. These were thrifted and are ANA brand.

Here are a few more photos I thought I’d share just for fun:

Outfit Inspiration - gingham and olive
Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive
Outfit Inspiration - gingham and Olive
Outfit inspiration - gingham and olive

I was having fun with this red bud tree. Unfortunately, the poor thing is half dead.

That’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love the hear your feedback. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

Have a wonderful weekend!

What's Trending for Summer 2017

Before I became a fashion blogger I never even thought about trends. I didn't pay much attention to how I was dressed, for that matter. I pulled on my mom jeans and a tee shirt or sweatshirt and I was good to go. I still find myself reaching for things that are comfy and easy, but I do give more thought to what I am wearing and yes, now I pay attention to the trends. I don't necessarily like all that is trendy during any given season, but it is worth taking a look at. We have the right to pick and choose the ones that we like and what works for us, while disregarding the ones that don't. That is the beauty of learning to dress in a way that you love and are comfortable with. What you put on should be an extension of who you are and make you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.

Here are a few of the Summer 2017 fashion trends. These are not in any particular order.

1. Khakis or chinos.

At times fashion terminology can be confusing, especially if you are not familiar with the types of fabrics used in making particular pieces. I thought I would enlighten us by explaining the difference between khakis and chinos. Khakis are typically made of a heavier weight cotton, much like a regular denim, while chinos are a lighter weight cotton. The other difference is in the stitching. Khakis have stitching that is visible, while chino stitching is not. Khakis will give a more relaxed look, and are usually a little wider through the leg. Chinos on the other hand will appear dressier and typically fit closer to the leg. 

As far as color, we typically find khakis in colors from tan and beige, to olive and gray. Khakis are usually neutral. Chinos, on the other hand can be found in just about any color.

2. Seaside stripes.

Stripes seem to come and go, but they are definitely in right now. You can choose horizontal or vertical!

Maybe you already have something striped in your closet. Now you can pull it out and wear it and you'll be perfectly stylish!

3. Gingham

Much like stripes, gingham seems to come and go. Right now it is showing up on more than just summer table cloths. Check out fellow blogger Nancy Baten of Nancy's Fashion Style, looking absolutely lovely in her gingham dress. 

Isn't she adorable? I love how she paired the dress with the bright green bag and sandals. She looks ready for a number of summer activities! Here are a few other possibilities. 

4. Off the shoulder/cold shoulder.

This trend is really hot right now. I have never been all that comfortable with baring my shoulders. I'm not sure why. I have pretty shoulders and my hubby always tells me I have pretty collar bones. Ha, ha. This year was the first year I invested in a cold shoulder tee. I got the berry colored one below at Nordstrom Rack using the gift cards I had won from Jodie at Jodies Touch of Style. 

colder shoulder top

Do you like off the shoulder styles? How about cold shoulder styles? 

5. Retro swim wear.

I like that they are bringing a more modest swim wear back. These provide so much more coverage. Don't you just love the red with white polka dots? Too cute!

6. Wrap dresses.

There are loads and loads of pretty dresses in the stores right now. The wrap version can be extremely figure flattering on any figure. 

7. Slides.

I am not referring to the kind the kids have fun on at the park. These slides are a style of shoe.

I was wondering myself what the difference is between a slide and a mule. Talk about confusing. My husband always says, the English language is a really stupid way to communicate, due to the variety of meanings for the same word! For this post I am strictly talking fashion.

What I found when I looked it up, was that there is no real difference. I personally think of slides as being more casual with a low or no heel. Mules seem to be meant for more dressy occasions and while many come without heels, more often they come with a low or mid sized heel. 

8. Basket bags.

I talked a little bit about straw bags in my Awesome Accessories post on Summer Bags. These are so fun and while I wouldn't use them for all sorts of occasions, they would be perfect for a trip to the summer market or the beach! 

There are loads of other summer trends out there including white shirt dresses, micro florals, cowboy boots (yes, you heard me right) and bold drop earrings. 

I hope you enjoyed this look at the summer trends. If you found any of the pieces interesting you can click on it and it will take you to the retailer where you can read more about it or order it. 

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Thanks for all of your support and have a great weekend!

Friday linking up with Jo-Lynne Shane in the Fashion Friday link up, and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge.