Ask Anne: Mixing Prints?
Anne Keane, formerly the fashion director at Lucky magazine, is our newest goop contributing editor. You can send questions on everything from how to up your earring game to how to tackle a trendy silhouette with ease to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Anne, I love the idea of adding more prints into my wardrobe, but I have a hard time finding things I like and frankly my attempts to pair leopard with stripes always end with me going for the safer choice. Are there any real-life tips you can give me for mixing it up this spring?
Dear Jacque, I hear you, prints are a tricky thing. Kudos to all the glamorous ladies out there who can wear bold prints with such ease! Unfortunately I am not one of those people, either. I do, however, have a few simple rules to wearing and mixing prints that may be helpful.
- Be selective. It’s a visceral thing. If you don’t love a print immediately you’ll never wear it.
- Start small. Add a striped tee and printed clutch to your go-to outfit. (In the world of mixing-and-matching, stripes are considered neutrals. Trust.)
- Consider an anchor piece, one that ties together the palette of the entire outfit. That way you won’t have to worry so much about the size or shape of the additional prints you mix in.
- Stick to similar tones: It helps unite very different types of patterns that might otherwise seem like they don’t go together.
- Break it up. A crisp white or chambray shirt layered under any mix of prints always works.
For Seventies French-Girl Flair…
Mixing prints head-to-toe can be an intimidating proposition but pairing this smocked bodice silk top with a full skirt works because you’re dealing in a similar palette. (A tip: If you’re pairing florals together, consider the ratio—mix an item with a larger scale-print with something smaller.) The wooden accent on the earrings and smooth leather handbag help the pairing from veering into too-fussy territory.
Georgette Printed Top Tory Burch, $395
Top-Handle Bag Cuyana, $375
ROCHAS Green Magnolia
Print Full Skirt Avenue 32, $985
with Wood goop, $435
EYE PENCIL goop, $20
R.E.D. VALENTINO Leather Sandals
with Printed Calf Hair Stylebop.com, $329
If You’re Not Afraid of Short Shorts…
Sure, short shorts aren’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re going to go for it, go big: The sweet floral print (and largely white base) of these shorts works with this long-sleeve lace crop top because the colors are complimentary. The embellished Aquazurra flats are statement-makers in their own right and the red ankle wrap, ahem, ties the look together quite nicely.
- SANDRO Iris Top Sandro, $162.50
Mako Blouse goop, $184
TOPAZ & DIAMOND STUD goop, $715
Ankle-Wrap Flat Bergdorf Goodman, $995
Floral Shorts Zara, $49.90
If You Find Prints Charming…
This midi dress is kind of a dream for a garden-party scenario and looks just as good with a delicate heel as it does with a flat. Layering in a larger, more graphic print here, like this Marni clutch, lends a playful vibe.
VILSHENKO The Sofia Cotton
Lawn Midi Dress goop, $1,665
RAY BAN Original
Wayfarer Sunglasses goop, $150
Silhouette Heart Ring goop, $180
MARNI Satelite Printed
PVC Clutch Bag Marni, $550
- MARNI Sandals with Jewels goop, $644
Add a Pop of Print…
For the pattern-shy, gradually layering in print is the way to go. Leave the buttons open on this poplin jumpsuit to reveal a hint of stripe. While you’re at it, this bite-sized Vanessa Seward crossbody has an eye-catching abstract print that gets the message across.
Blair Day Jumpsuit goop, $425
MUJI Women Organic Cotton
Crew Neck Long Sleeves Border T Shirt Muji, $15
VANESSA SEWARD Camelia
Printed Canvas and Leather
Shoulder Bag Net-a-Porter, $610
SONIA BY SONIA RYKIEL
Striped Socks Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, $32.21
Alessa Sandal goop, $395