Hey, it's ok man, don't be scared.

Mixing prints and patterns can be scary.

 The only scary thing here is the mess I made tbh. And the wrinkles. Yikes.

The only scary thing here is the mess I made tbh. And the wrinkles. Yikes.

I'm here to tell you:

HAVE NO FEAR! 

I know I know, easier said than done. If it was just that easy to erase fears I wouldn't be the deathly-afraid-of-centipedes person that I am I would just say to myself "stop being scared of this little bug you literally are 1000x bigger than it just step on it wait where are you going stop screaming come back oh my gosh there she goes again I need a drink."  My inner voice's patience is running thin with me.

But truthfully, mixing patterns and prints is not as scary as it seems. The first step is confidence. This is a no-brainer in any activity in your life. I know it's a tired idea but just bear with me here, ok? The second step is, "Alright... I have all these prints but how do I make them work together?"  When I mix prints I don't just throw things on willy-nilly, although that can work too. I find it easier to break down the process into three different categories of pattern-mixing and then see what I can come up with. 

#1: COLORED PATTERN + COLORED PATTERN

This one is my favorite and probably the most-used. It just makes sense. Pull a color from pattern #1 and match it with another color in pattern #2. Check out some examples:

 This skirt is awesome. It has little beige flowers with a red center. I took the beige and matched it with a beige stripe in my yellow American Eagle tee. The colors in this outfit are all pretty muted, so nothing is competing.

This skirt is awesome. It has little beige flowers with a red center. I took the beige and matched it with a beige stripe in my yellow American Eagle tee. The colors in this outfit are all pretty muted, so nothing is competing.

 Another American Eagle striped tee. This time I matched the coral-red color that is also found in the diamond shape on my pants. Had to throw my coral shoes in too.

Another American Eagle striped tee. This time I matched the coral-red color that is also found in the diamond shape on my pants. Had to throw my coral shoes in too.

 Love my flannels! Matched the red in the flannel to the red in the flowers on this thrifted romper.

Love my flannels! Matched the red in the flannel to the red in the flowers on this thrifted romper.

#2: BLACK AND WHITE PATTERN + COLORED PATTERN

Another way I look to mix things up a bit is by choosing a pattern that is black and white and pairing it with a colored pattern. This simplifies things a little more than the previous option; it becomes no longer necessary to match colors up. Just look for prints that might go well together! The trick here is to find contrasting patterns. Stripes and Houndstooth. Floral and polka-dot. Or even the same pattern just in a different size and color! Check out some examples:

 Polka dots and floral together are a little girly for me, but I just love how the focus is on the skirt, so you can essentially do whatever you want on top!

Polka dots and floral together are a little girly for me, but I just love how the focus is on the skirt, so you can essentially do whatever you want on top!

 A more work-appropriate look. Wide-leg striped pants with a floral top.

A more work-appropriate look. Wide-leg striped pants with a floral top.

 Stripes AND stripes? You bet. It helps that the stripes are going in different directions and are exceedingly different in size. 

Stripes AND stripes? You bet. It helps that the stripes are going in different directions and are exceedingly different in size. 

#2: BLACK AND WHITE PATTERN + BLACK AND WHITE PATTERN

Oh how I love my colorless clothing. Don't get me wrong, colors are great. But sometimes I just need to go back to the good ol' basics. Like the tip above, the trick is to find differing prints and essentially just holding them together and seeing if it pleases your eyeballs. If the patterns make you go a little dizzy then maybe they aren't meant to be together. But hey I mean if you like to look like a walking magic eye then more power to you!

 Good ol' stripes and florals. These patterns are pretty similar size-wize, but the floral pattern is just small and concentrated enough that it works.

Good ol' stripes and florals. These patterns are pretty similar size-wize, but the floral pattern is just small and concentrated enough that it works.

 Stripes and... uh... circle-y things? Sure! The "robe" is actually an oversized, really soft men's shirt I got recently at a goodwill.

Stripes and... uh... circle-y things? Sure! The "robe" is actually an oversized, really soft men's shirt I got recently at a goodwill.

 WHAT'S THIS? HORIZONTAL STRIPES ON HORIZONTAL STRIPES?? Yes, I am out of control. Look, the stripes are completely different sizes! It also helps that the skirt is grey and black. Get that full black and white color spectrum workin'!

WHAT'S THIS? HORIZONTAL STRIPES ON HORIZONTAL STRIPES?? Yes, I am out of control. Look, the stripes are completely different sizes! It also helps that the skirt is grey and black. Get that full black and white color spectrum workin'!

WELL, THERE YA HAVE IT.

I hope this post made you think, "Hm... she is a wierdo but I am a little less scared of putting outfits together." Maybe you read this entire post thinking "this girl is a loony there is no way I'm wearing these prints she needs to get out of here". And that's fine too! Ultimately, I just wanted to share and show some ways that I personally try to mix things up in my closet. 

My biggest tip is to trust your eyeballs. They are right there inside your face for you. If a pattern pairing looks "right" to your eyes, it probably is! 

My second biggest tip is to always remember to rock anything you're wearing with confidence. 

And don't be scared of your clothes anymore! They are your friends. Embrace them.

Figuratively. Or I guess, literally. Like me.