Mastering the Mix

A few weeks ago we presented the H*O*T Style Quiz featuring specific questions to help us predict your style type and make some recommendations based on your answers. One of the questions was:

When flipping through a fashion magazine what's most likely to catch your eye? 

a. an article on the newest Korean designers
b. editorial about the coolest new sneaker releases
c. editorial on the prettiest bridesmaid dresses
d. an article about how to update your workwear
e. an article on how to mix prints

And the winner was (drum roll)...e. an article on how to mix prints!
(How to update your workwear came in 2nd). So for today's H*O*T email, we decided to provide some guidance for all of you who wanted to know just how to master the mix! Here goes...

I’ve loved mixing prints, patterns, and colors for years but this look has only gained broad acceptance over the last several seasons. I think there are likely a few different reasons for this; the rise in popularity of mix masters like Alessandro Michele of Gucci, Stuart Vevers of Coach, and Stella Jean, the search for a more expressive individualistic way of dressing and access to sophisticated styling due to social media. You no longer have to be a stylist or fashion editor to make this look work for you.

Mixing patterns can be an instant way to update your wardrobe by putting things together that you might not have considered in the past. Remember, now more than ever there are no more fashion “rules”!

You might think it’s difficult but if you keep a few simple guidelines in mind you'll be mixing like a master in no time!  Scroll down to see some great examples using the simple guide we’ve shared.

Have fun!


1. Color and silhouette are important considerations when mixing prints.
Keep your mix easy and classic in shape. Stay with 2 or 3 colors at the most to simplify things. More than that and you risk looking clownish.


2. Scale too is all-important. 
Make sure and use a range of sizes in your patterns to make your mix more interesting and sophisticated. The easiest mix to try is 2 black and white prints in different sizes. 


3. Try adding a solid basic to the mix,
like a jean jacket, leather jacket, or blazer to create some visual tranquility in your ensemble. And for a shortcut to pattern mixing look for pre-mixed pieces that incorporate 2 or more patterns already.


4. Be fearless!
Try mixing a floral with stripes, plaid or animal prints (often considered neutrals these days). Or you can go with the same pattern in a different color or size. It all can work, especially if you keep 1 and 2 above in mind.


Robert Gibralter