Pattern mixing can be intimidating – you don’t want to look too busy or like you’re crazy – but if you follow these simple rules, you’ll nail it every time.

1. Establish a commonality

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Even though you’re mixing it up, your patterns should still have some uniting element to tie it all together. Sticking within a color scheme is a great example of how you can create a thread that unifies the outfit and keeps your patterns from clashing or looking busy. Another great way is to go uniform with your texture – satin top with satin pants will look clean no matter how many patterns are involved.

2. Balance the pattern sizes

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Two large patterns paired together will look off, just as two small patterns can look dizzying. Mixing a small pattern with a large one strikes a balance that works well together and evens out the ensemble.

3. Stay away from competing or matchy-matchy pattern choices

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Florals are great, but you don’t want to be the floral lady, decked out head-to-toe in flowers. Instead, if you’re wearing a floral skirt, balance it with a striped top. It’s the difference between “wow!’ and “whoa!”

4. Give your prints some room to breathe

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Separating patterns with a neutral solid can go a long way. A busy skirt with a patterned scarf will look sleek with a neutral blouse to space it out. This is a great way to dip your toe into pattern mixing without going full-throttle if you’re just trying it out.

5. Embrace old favorites

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It can take a while to feel really comfortable boldly mixing wild patterns, so a good jumping off point is to wear patterns you already have in your closet, like leopard or houndstooth, paired with something a little edgier. It is truly the best place to start and you’re more likely to feel confident which means you’re more likely to look great.

If you follow these simple rules, there’s no way you’ll mess it up – so get out there and start mixing it up!

Do you mix patterns? Tell me why or why not and, if you do, upload photos to show us your looks!

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