Today’s post is not exactly about how amazing I look in this outfit or even where I wore it to impress. I’ll save you those details. Instead, I want to teach you the logic behind mixing prints. Hopefully, this will make your life a little easier and your print mixing fashionably approved. Print mixing falls on a continuum of “FABBED IT” or “TRIED IT” scale. Follow these steps to “FAB IT.” Before we jump into the steps, first comprehend my analogical approach. The best way to get you to see print, is to relate it to volume. I know-crazy, right? Trust me. I’m going to break volume up into three sounds: loud, medium, and low. Now let’s get into it.
- Relax. Fear is not an option. These are removable articles of clothing, which you will preview before leaving your safe haven. However, if you fall on the “TRIED IT” end of this continuum, make sure you’ve got a mean strut, because you just may have started a new trend lol.
2. As a beginner start off with two prints instead of three or more.
3. Pull out your fave color and print. Fashionably contemplate on it unbiased (ignore what you thought the mixing rules were). This will start opening up your creativity, because you’re working with familiar colors (right now you’re completely safe).
4. Now, it’s almost time to pull something unfamiliar- but first read below.
B. DEFINING VOLUME
When print mixing, you need a loud, medium, and low sound.
Loud- (Noisy and attention grabbers) Are abstract prints, art, 3D art, floral, lace and texture (embroidery, embellishment, patch design, beading, etc.). In reference to colors, think neon’s, vibrant, primary and unique colors. LOUD IS CENTER STAGE!
Medium- (Accents and calms) Are any colors + white. This includes, pinstripes, polka dots, zebra prints, checkerboard, and accent prints. These particular print sizes are medium, small, very small, thin and very thin (linear, vertical, or horizontal) in size and direction. In reference to medium being a color, think pastels-EASTER! But not limited to(white must be an accompanied color to any color to maintain a medium scale) white + light, faded, or iridescent shades are easiest to relate to when starting out. MEDIUM DOESN’T WANT TO BE IN THE WAY! (Although it can be full of personality and character)
Low- (Supporters and behind the curtain stars) Are cat and reptilian prints. In reference to color, think neutrals: black, grey, brown, green and tan. LOW GETS ALONG WITH EVERYBODY!
(2) Crucial key points:
Size trumps no matter the volume of the sound. For example: A Checker print top. ( we comprehend that small or very small, etc is a medium sound) BUT the medium sound is automatically elevated to a loud if its print is large or extra large, or even a two piece suit or set etc. If the size of a print does not exceed medium, it remains a medium volume!( The same goes for Low volumes)
BASE- Common denominator of all volumes. This is typically a color or print that is seen throughout the outfit. IT TIES IT ALL TOGETHER! Not a must but common!
C. COMPLETING YOUR VOLUME
5. Any scale of sound can be represented in articles of clothing, accessories or shoes. Mixing is mixing! Example: A hat can be a loud and your skirt can be a medium or low- vice versa. Simply keep in mind, everything is centered around your loud sound. Start high and work down to low. When you do this you won’t run into octave or pitch issues- if you will.
6. Now, let work around your favorite color. If your fave color is black- not a problem. Now, pick a print! Lets say it’s floral. Based on this list, what volume are florals? Is it from your loud, medium or low sound? Hint: florals are attention grabbers! You’re RIGHT-LOUD!!! Now, it’s time to pick your medium or low.(Choose one because you’re a newbie). Cool, medium it is. medium size Stripes sound great to me! so we have a black suit, stripped blouse and floral shoes. YOU JUST COMPLETED A FULL VOLUME CHART! I hope you see the beautiful pop in your print mixing. Does it make sense?
7. If you’re print mixing more than two colors, balance is key. Pull a print from each volume. Example: A black and white pinstripe shirt, pink and green triangle printed Chinos, patent leather- snake textured -olive green Ted Baker clutch, and olive Jimmy Choo pumps. ( green seems to be the base color in this scenario) Fabbed It!
8. AVOID mixing the wrong prints or patterns. Make sure your prints make sense! Don’t force paisley prints with floral. The prints have to be cohesive( unless you are aiming for a fashion clash-this is for the pros).
TRIED IT EXAMPLE: Jungle printed silk Dolce & Gabbana top, white slacks with oversized daisies, and zebra printed loafers-EPIC FAIL! Again, avoid mixing the wrong prints.
9. Know when something is print mixing worthy. Just because it’s a print, it doesn’t mean it needs to be mixed with other prints.
D. AS A BEGINNER
Stay away from mixing two loud sounds. This can be a disaster unless you’re a pro.
Mixing a medium and low sounds is always a good idea.
Mixing two medium sounds are good. Play with size and color variations, it usually delivers a fun & loud appeal.
Mixing two low sounds can be sexy and conservative.
These are the basic fundamentals of print mixing. As you practice, you will become more advanced. In the meantime, just follow the volume scale to give you soundness in chaos. Now, after subscribing before you exit, determine the sounds in this look I’m wearing. Answer in the comment section and I’ll send you a prize if you’re right. I hope this was helpful, good luck!
Bela Pencil skirt (Feel free to contact Mangishi Doll on IG)
Similar Black Cape (I purchase my cape from BCBGeneration a few years ago, I’ve linked a similar cape)
Quilted Faux Leather Obi belt (Take 50% Off Your Order of $100+ with- code: OCTOBERFEST)
Sam Edelman Leopard pumps (⇐ Similar pair)
Handbag Loeffler Randall (See Independent Curves Abroad)
Hi! Loved the periscope…but in this weeks outfit…your skirt is a loud…your shoes are a low…your shirt I think is a medium and the jacket and purse are bases which tie the outfit together…hope I got it right! Thanks again for your blogs they are a God send! ❤❤
Hi Krysten. Thanks for participating. I am so glad you loved it. It does my heart much joy. keep coming girl! I have viewed your answer and will respond whether you “FABED IT” or “TRIED IT” on 10/20 @ 11:59pm cst. In the mean time, get familiar with the volume scale and put together a Print Mixing outfit for yourself. Be sure to email me a clear picture. firstname.lastname@example.org. I cant wait to see you FAB IT!
Hi Krysten I’m totally late responding back to this post, but you are correct! My top is medium volume because it is a pinstripe black and white in color and the stripes do not exceed the size medium literally. My skirt is loud because it is definitely an abstract print and my shows are a low volume because they are cheetah print. Be sure to email me your address for your prize and I can not wait to see your style version of the volume scale.
Im definitely gonna shoot my shot at dissecting this look after listening to your amazing Periscope and reading the blog post. Your top is definitely a medium volume because of the linear stripes and color. The skirt is a loud volume because of its abstract design, and your shoes are low because of the reptilian
(the leopard) print that serves as a compliment to every volume. 😊 💁🏽#youtaughtme
A leopard is not a reptile 🦎 I meant leopard print 🤦🏾♀️
LOL I totally understand!
Lora! Thanks for participating. Indeed I taught you, but we will see if it paid off! I have viewed your answer and will respond whether you “FABED IT” or “TRIED IT” on 10/20 @11:59pm. In the mean time, get familiar with the volume scale and put together a Print Mixing outfit for yourself. Be sure to email me a clear picture. email@example.com. I cant wait to see you FAB IT!