Send a fashionably mixed message

Kendall Siewert, Columnist

There are a lot of things in life that shouldn’t go well together, but they do. Fries and milkshakes. Snooki and motherhood. Hermione and Ron. The secret to these incredible combinations? They’re just weird enough to work. This same idea of unexpected, but awesome, matchups comes in handy when mixing prints. Here’s the lowdown on how to look fashionably cool — not like you got dressed with the lights off.

Scale is everything

Take a deep breath — there’s no weigh-in required to follow this trend. When mixing prints, it’s important to keep in mind the different sizes, or scales, of the conflicting patterns. A general rule of thumb is to keep one print large, like a big floral pattern, and one small, such as tiny checks or stripes. You can interchange whatever prints you’d like for the big and small scales — just be sure to stick with that overall guideline.

Be matchy-matchy (trust me here)

Almost everyone loves the circus, but very few people want to look like one. To avoid the costumey look, choose one or two colors for your prints to revolve around. For example, if you’re wearing a black and pink polka dot sweater, choose a black and white gingham oxford underneath. The black in both prints will give the look greater cohesion instead of creating a haphazard effect.

Third parties can actually win

Sometimes adding a third printed element as an accessory really elevates the entire look. Found a shirt and sweater combo that you love? Try it with your leopard loafers or watercolor scarf. Adding just a touch of a third print will give your outfit more flair and showcase your intention.

Now disregard everything I’ve told you

The totally awesome thing about mixing prints is that sometimes the coolest combinations are the most unexpected ones. Who knew that multicolor floral pattern would look insanely cool with that plaid skirt? Don’t be afraid to try out new options, and don’t get discouraged if they don’t work at first. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get that messy, fashion-forward look.  But I think you’ll agree the end result is worth the experimentation.

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