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How To: Mix Prints Like A Pro

Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!

Pattern Smashing Vol. I

By now y’all know I own a lot of prints and patterns. My most frequently asked question is how to successfully mix and match different patterns. And honestly, I’m not even sure I have the answer, but I’ll try. When you’re mixing patterns, you want to create some kind of visual harmony. Even though the prints aren’t the same, there should still be some consistency—either in color scheme, season, or theme. I’ve put together some guidelines that I hope help you out a little bit. But sometimes even I break my own rules, so who knows…

1. Don’t mix prints that are too similar. You end up looking like you made a mistake. Pattern smashing should always look intentional. The example below isn’t horrible, but it’s not as strong as it could be.
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2. Aim for prints of different scale. IE: a mini floral print with wide stripes like Blair of Atlantic Pacific. Don’t mix multiple large scale prints. It can look super overwhelming.atlanticpacific

3. Stick to similar color palettes, seasons, and moods. For example, don’t mix a tropical print with tartan (a summer print with a winter print). You can’t go wrong with Gingham + Floral, Tartan + Leopard, Palm Print + Stripes.

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4. Treat certain prints as neutrals. Like stripes and leopard. These prints pair nicely with almost anything.
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Check out my girl Beth Jones of B Jones Style, who is the pattern smashing queen. And also my babe Elise of Polished Whimsy for more pattern smashing inspiration.


I’ve been looking for a pair of vintage camo cargo pants for a looooong time. Often when I’m hunting for a specific piece, vintage or not, I have very particular requirements in mind. For example, I wanted camo cargo pants that were high-waisted, semi-fitted, and authentic (none of that “fashion-camo” for moi). I had been religiously checking the men’s department on every thrifting venture, but I struck out everytime. Until last week! Behold: the vintage camo cargo pants of my dreams.

Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss! Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss! Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss! Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss! Patternsmashing camo and leopard prints like a boss!

Blazer: vintage, similar  |  Top: Calson via Nordstrom  |  Pants: vintage, similar here, here |  Boots: Opening Ceremony “Grunge Sneaker Boot”  |  Belt: Asos  |  Ring: LHN Jewelry  |  Bag: vintage camera bag  |  Bolo Tie: vintage  |  Earrings: Mango

Lips: Nars, Heat Wave

7 Comments

  • Elsie
    November 19, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Great post! Simple and easy to follow rules!

    Reply
    • clothesandpizza
      December 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Your similar post was such an inspiration babe!

      Reply
      • Aayushi
        May 29, 2020 at 5:56 pm

        Hey!
        If you don’t mind me asking, could you please tell me if there is a difference between texture prints and simple prints on a fabric? I’m so confused.
        Thanks!

        Reply
        • clothesandpizza
          May 29, 2020 at 7:00 pm

          Hi, texture prints might mean that the print is knit or woven into the fabric (like gingham). Other types of prints may be printed or dyed on the fabric after it’s been knit or woven.

          Reply
  • […] was really digging the neon orange and camo combo (I talked about finding these vintage camo pants here). Although I’ve never hunted, I imagine this is the outfit I would wear if given the […]

    Reply
  • […] than a plain tee shirt, but it looks much more polished (and a little bit les Français). Plus, remember from this post, stripes are neutrals, so you can mix them shamelessly with other […]

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  • Magdalene
    May 23, 2024 at 11:08 am

    I am not sure I can be as bold as you when you mix print and pattern. Treated stripes and leopard as neutral is something I would take up. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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