Summer is back, so it’s time to pack away your subdued fall and winter basics and have fun. This time of year calls for daringly expressive outfits—and there’s no better way to infuse creativity into your look than prints! Season after season, designers envision a kaleidoscope of prints and colors strewn together perfectly. However, creating mismatched outfits can have women looking like they dressed themselves by random. Read on for the best tips and tricks for fearlessly wearing prints this season!
Let Your Print Tell A Color Story
If you have a single printed piece, whether it’s a dress, jacket, or even leggings, you can easily let the print take the lead. Style the printed piece with complementary colors. As with the image above, this stylista incorporated floral leggings featuring a watercolor inspired palette with a sleeveless royal blue tunic that greatly complements the violet and magenta hues. To figure out which shades look great on you, learn about how color theory works in your wardrobe.
1. Mix and Match
Mixing and matching prints is a delicate balance between a cohesive look and one that goes overboard. With that in mind, mixing prints can create vivid, runway-ready looks with a few pointers.
If you have a printed jacket, then style it with trousers or bottoms that complements the print with a similar color palette. For example, a striped jacket can be paired with striped pants or a skirt with thinner stripes. This creates a harmonious balance between two prints, while contributing to a visually stunning outfit.
Alternately, if you’re mixing two completely different prints with differing color palettes, treat one item as the focal piece, while using the more subtle print as a “neutral.” J.Crew’s creative director, Jenna Lyons, is no stranger to mixing and matching prints.
Frequently, Jenna bravely wears bright green, floral silk trousers, and a muted pinstripe shirt.
2. Neutralize Them
For a casual day-to-day look with lashings of style, try pairing a bold, expressive statement piece with denim or a neutral color.
Take a vividly printed top and styled it with slick, slim-fitting jeans. The wash of your jeans can offer an aesthetically pleasing balance. Since some jeans are neither faded or overly dyed, they can act as a nice neutral that plays off of multiple mid-tones in the top.
3. Accessorize Away!
One of the easiest ways to style prints is with a truly complementary accessory that pulls together the whole look.
For the summer, printed maxi dresses are everywhere! Since maxi dresses create a long, slimming silhouette, prints make for an exciting twist on a versatile outfit that can go from day to night. For daytime activities, try styling a printed maxi dress with a wide belt to create a cinched waist that will immediately make your legs look longer.
For a flirtier evening look, try simple jewelry to accent the bold colors in your dress.
4. Have Fun With Your Look
Dressing yourself should be all about self expression. Even if you’re hesitant about prints or patterns, there’s a way to incorporate truly unique statement pieces into your look. With a few personalized, fashion-forward experiments, you’ll discover a whole new world of ensembles already in your closet.
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Frankie Gold is a freelance fashion blogger based in Philadelphia. When she’s not writing about the latest runway styles and must-have trend pieces, she can be found at her favorite local boutiques and vintage stores scoping out new wardrobe treasures.