STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Mixing and Matching

December 1st, 2016 at 2:00am

Growing up, I was always incredibly intimidated by the idea of mixing patterns, textures and colors in my outfits. My looks always consisted of one garment featuring a fun print, color or texture paired with a matching solid. I’m not saying I looked bad, but it certainly wasn’t particularly exciting. I can pinpoint the exact moment when this feeling of intimidation turned to one of enthusiasm. I was reading an issue of InStyle dedicated to mixing prints and how to do so well. After seeing a photo of Dakota Fanning sporting both stripes and florals, I was hooked. Combining seemingly unpairable garments and accessories became a hobby, and it’s something I still love to do today.  

I won’t lie, it’s daunting to mix and match prints, colors and textures. It’s even more terrifying to combine all three at once. When this trifecta can be achieved, the result is magical and can have an incredibly captivating effect. Creating such an enthralling and seemingly complicated outfit can be truly intimidating, but it can easily be done. The first step is to learn your basic guidelines. Always pick one standout garment to dominate and have the others serve as accents. Remember to mix with different scales. Focus on pieces that share similar colors or color stories. Break things up with a belt. Consider stripes to be a neutral. Mix with accessories rather than actual garments. This list goes on and on, but what it should show you is that THERE ARE NO RULES. You can figure out a way to make just about any combination of items work; you just have to get out of your head and think creatively.

This Fashionisto is the perfect example of how you can mix garments to create one multifaceted look. From afar, his outfit appears relatively simple, but upon closer examination, the details are revealed. He mixed textiles by pairing a camel coat, knit tie, cotton shirt and leather shoes. No two colors in this look are the same. Finally, he uses subtle prints on his pants and shirt to further add to the variation. All of these components come together to create a striking statement look.

So, give mixing garments a try. I promise it can be done, and if you’re struggling, there are tons of resources across the internet. Just remember not to overthink it. Allow yourself to be truly creative when combining pieces, and you’ll be sure to look fierce.