Tutorial: Mixing It Up

Mar 28, 2012

 

From the Left: Equipment Brett Shirt ($250), Dolce & Gabbana Floral Pencil Skirt ($745), H&M Floral Print Cardigan ($35), similar Gap Tank ($13), Reiss Bateau Striped Top ($115), Eva Franco Skirt ($165)

I posted a version of this tutorial in the Fall of 2010.  But it’s always good to revisit a previous lesson when a new season emerges, if that trend is still relevant.  So let’s review, shall we?

When mixing prints, there are three rules: 1) The prints must be different sizes.  2) Combine loose prints with structured prints.  3) Make sure that one color repeats. (h/t Real Simple)

Mixing prints is a challenge for most women, and Capitol Hill is definitely a place that skews more to solids than patterns.  (Part of the reason why I showcase so much mixing of color.)   But working this look into your wardrobe can really lift a Triple-A outfit into the major leagues.

For the all floral look, I mixed a very small floral print with a very large print.  You’ll notice that the color palettes are similar to give the look some cohesion.  

This outfit would look best with a cognac colored belt and a simple pearl earring.  When you have so much pattern happening, it’s best not to add much else.  

For the floral and stripe outfit, you’ll notice that we have a huge floral print and a narrow stripe, in keeping with the rules.  You can also see how the black in the belt and the white background on the floral cardi carry into the dark and white stripe on the tank.  (The tank in the photo is $80 and comes from Vince.  The link above takes you to a less expensive Gap version, since $80 is a lot for a tank.)

You could wear this outfit with jeans or with a black pencil skirt or black trousers.  If I were adding accessories, I’d play up the orange and coral hues in the floral pattern.  Maybe a nice orange stone ring or an enamel bangle bracelet.  

For the stripe and polka dot ensemble, I paired a wide, but not too wide, stripe with a tiny dot print.  This is a slight bend in the rules, which would have preferred a wider stripe, but I felt if I went any wider it wouldn’t be professional.  Something about REALLY wide stripes just seems casual to me.

I’d wear the top tucked into the skirt.  I’d also consider a large necklace to break up a bit of the pattern.  You could try to use a color like cobalt or turquoise, but I think pure metal would be less jarring.  

If you have a few printed pieces in your closet, lay them out on the floor and see if you can take advantage of this trend using items you already own.  Just remember to follow the rules.

Style

share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. KLo says:

    I adore stripes and dots together, but I don't know if I have the guts for two florals together. But I love the look!

  2. Isabel says:

    A+ Belle! Love these!

  3. Monica says:

    These are amazing, I'm a total color and pattern phobe, but the stripes and dots are awesome!

  4. K says:

    The floral outfit is AMAZING!!

  5. Erica says:

    I love your how-to articles! 🙂 This is awesome!

  6. gingerr says:

    I'm OK with stripes and dots but I think you need to be very slim-waisted to wear that particular combination. The skirt has a lot going on at the waist with the bow-thing and the skirt is bold.

  7. Sarah says:

    Very, very cool! Thanks, Belle!

  8. ChinaRette says:

    I'd be most likely to wear the second or third set. Something about matching floral+floral intimidates me. I tend to only mix prints in very basic colors, though — navy, black, cream, white, etc.

  9. AT says:

    I love the stripes and dots! That skirt is amazing.

Join The List

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Hill Style!

sUBSCRIBE

Three Outfits I’ll Wear All Spring

When I started this blog, influencers still re-wore clothes. There were no haul videos filled with the latest from Shein before it winds up in a beach in Ghana poisoning the planet. There were no sponsored campaigns delivering fresh wardrobes each month. The content machine doesn’t like reruns.

0

READ MORE 

Recent Posts

The Find: Like a McCall’s Pattern

When I was young, my Mother used to bring me along when she would go shopping for fabric. As a result, I spent a lot of time, killing time, flipping through pattern books. So when I spotted this dress, I was instantly transported to the pattern table at a Jo-Ann Fabrics.

3

READ MORE 

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Eighteen

Before we start today’s reader questions, I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about mental health. For those who experience mental health challenges — whether occasionally or frequently — talking about our struggles is a double-edged sword.

11

READ MORE 

VIEW ALL POSTS

How To Wear It, Style, Top Posts | April 17, 2024

Three Outfits I’ll Wear All Spring

When I started this blog, influencers still re-wore clothes. There were no haul videos filled with the latest from Shein before it winds up in a beach in Ghana poisoning the planet. There were no sponsored campaigns delivering fresh wardrobes each month. The content machine doesn’t like reruns.

0

READ MORE 

Fantastic Finds, Posts, Style | April 17, 2024

The Find: Like a McCall’s Pattern

When I was young, my Mother used to bring me along when she would go shopping for fabric. As a result, I spent a lot of time, killing time, flipping through pattern books. So when I spotted this dress, I was instantly transported to the pattern table at a Jo-Ann Fabrics.

3

READ MORE 

Ask the Edit, Posts, Style | April 16, 2024

Ask the Editor: Vol. IV, No. Eighteen

Before we start today’s reader questions, I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about mental health. For those who experience mental health challenges — whether occasionally or frequently — talking about our struggles is a double-edged sword.

11

READ MORE 

Career Style, Posts, Style, Work | April 16, 2024

The Range: All the Pretty (Work) Dresses

Sometimes, you just want to wear something pretty to the office. Something that makes you feel good. A dress that makes your whole day better. These are those dresses.

3

READ MORE 

RECENT POSTS

©2023 CAPITOL HILL STYLE | SITE BY LEIGH THE STUDIO