The Plus Size Guide to Mixing Prints

Posted by Jen Anderson on

The Plus Size Guide to Mixing Prints

We tend to have anxiety about prints. Print dresses are easy enough - just add some neutral accessories and you're good to go. But print separates feel tricky. You know you can wear a print with a neutral color, but not all neutrals are going to work with every print. And it's totally possible to wear two prints together, but not just any two prints. It's all enough to make you wear head-to-toe black for a week.

plus size print clothingTrust Your Instincts

No, not the little voice inside you telling you not to wear anything too attention-getting. That's your anxiety talking and she doesn't get to call the shots. I'm talking about your inner art critic. She knows ugly when she sees it.

Every blog or website I've created for myself has been hideous at first. If you give me all the colors in the world to choose from, I will choose wrong. So I ask a friend to pick the colors for me. And even I can tell when a blue top is the wrong shade of blue to go with that print jacket. If I can separate the bad combos from the good, you can too. (Unless you're color blind, in which case you'll have to ask a friend.)

plus size print clothingPicking the Right Solids

If you're really not sure where to begin - copy someone else's work. In a department store you'd look at what the mannequins are wearing. Online you can look at the photos on a website. We've paired this Laguna Print jacket with a Wild Raspberry dress. The dress doesn't match the red in the jacket exactly, but it's in the same neighborhood (cool reds) so it works. Pair this jacket with hot pink and it'll look off.

Black tends to mix well with prints. So does white. Various shades of gray and brown can work, and you'd be surprised how many prints work with Navy. As for other colors, try to match one of the colors in the print. It doesn't have to be an exact match, but you want a solid that can draw out one of the colors in the print. You could wear aqua with the Laguna print, since the print includes a shade of aqua.

plus size print clothingSome prints feature some colors more than others. Fancy Paisley is mostly pink, but it has some blues. You can draw the blues to the forefront by wearing this print with a complementary shade of blue. Or you can keep the pink front and center by pairing it with something in pink.  

Mixing Two Prints

This can work if one of the prints is subtle. I'm thinking pinstripes, small checks, subtle plaids, anything where the elements of the print are small. It also helps if one of the prints is in all neutral colors such as black and white. There may be some prints that will work together in your closet right now.

Is It Worth the Effort?

You can go through life just fine only wearing black with prints. But mixing prints well is one of those advanced fashion things that can get you compliments and let everyone know that you really know what you're doing.

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Check out our other posts about plus size style.

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