Utilizing prints is one of the best ways to add depth, intrigue, and a personal touch to your outfits. If you aren’t sure where to start, stripes and polka dots are the neutrals of the print world. Supremely easy to incorporate into any kind of ensemble—they go with almost everything, including other prints (you can never go wrong mixing polka dots with a floral! Or stripes with polka dots.). For those in need of inspiration, J Crew has some excellent examples of how to wear prints.
Of course, the easiest way to wear a print is to pair it with solid colored basics. Aim for complimentary colors. If you’re wearing a particularly busy or loud pattern, pick your supporting actors by examining the hues that exist within the patterned item.
If you’re planning on wearing more than one print, you can break things up with solid colored items so that the two prints won’t compete too much.
Another technique for mixing prints is to make sure that they are of different sizes and densities (ex. one large and one small print). The denser and smaller a print is, the easier it is for the eye to view it as a solid. This usually means that the louder print will become the focal point, while the quieter print will help set the scene.
If prints aren’t your usual thing, you can ease into them by first trying out patterned accessories. For women, that could be a skinny, cheetah printed belt. For men, that could be a paisley pocket square, or a polka dotted tie paired with a solid color shirt. If you’re already a master of mixing and matching printed items, try adding textures to your outfits as well.