Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mixed Print

Mixed print was a huge trend in Spring/Summer 12 that carried over into Autumn/Winter. For the uninitiated though, mixed prints can be daunting. It certainly goes against everything my mother taught me about dressing. Like so many women I knew growing up, Rosanne has a very classic, ladylike way of dressing. Her style and the outfits that she puts together are done so with painstaking attention to detail. Colours need to match exactly, the red of the handbag must be the exact red of the shoes, the teal cardigan requires a complimentary scarf. The key pieces carefully selected make a statement against clean, crisp tailoring.

I still love this look, but the eccentric in me needs more. I like to team my tailoring and prim dresses with chunky mismatched jewellery and too high platform heels. So for me, mixed print was the next step in my style evolution. Mixed print is the mark of both the extremely fashionable and also the slightly crazy. We've all seen those slightly nutty old ladies on the bus, with their lipstick far beyond their lip line, wearing all their jewellery and a clashing ensemble that makes you wonder if they dressed in the dark...after an entire bottle of gin. You do have to respect them for their commitment.

Mixed print is for those creative folk with no fear and a desire to make a strong sartorial statement. So are there are any rules? Well, despite its 'thrown together' appearance, there are. Only they're tricky to define. The real key to mixing print is treading a fine line between complimentary and clashing. Whether it is the colours as in the first image, the style of the clothing as in the second or the size and shape of the print like the third, the eye needs a through line, a theme of sorts. This is the secret of successfully mixing print. It's not a concrete rule and to nail it, you have to be willing to experiment and take a chance. Wear it with confidence, just like the crazy old lady on the bus. Because life is far too short to play it safe.

Images via Caroline's Mode and

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