Art of Style

Shopportunities: Mixing Prints

BY June 5, 2014


Dear Cheryl,

I’m noticing a lot of outfits being put together with different patterns. I love the colorful effect, but am wary of looking like an explosion in a paint factory.

—Gemma P., North Fort Myers

It might seem daunting to mix prints and colors, but, when done artfully, the effect can be stunning. Here are some tips to help you.

• Until you become more confident with the concept, combine no more than two prints in one outfit. For example, wear a printed skirt and printed shoe but restrict yourself to a solid-color top.

• Keep the look cohesive by repeating one of the print’s colors in each part of the outfit.

• Another (less dramatic) option is to keep the same colors and change the print (such as a black/white polka-dot top combined with vertically striped pants).

• A bold pattern is better when blended with a smaller design that doesn’t compete (such as a strong check mixed with a small-scale floral print).

If you ensure the patterns are complementary rather than matching, your mixing will be masterful.

Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it to


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All-day weddings and those where the ceremonial part takes place in the day and morphs into another celebratory element (or two) require a bit of wardrobe planning, especially if there are limited facilities at the event venue for storing a change of outfit or even for changing into it. The addition of a bolero-type little jacket, a shrug, or a stole in faux fur or feathers keeps a strapless dress entirely appropriate for a formal ceremony and the wedding reception and can then be whipped off for the fun and dancing in the evening. Switch out your flip-flops from the breezy, sunset wedding on the beach to a pair of killer heels and chandelier earrings and instantly you’re in party mode. If a hat is required for earlier in the day, a fascinator or embellished headband will ensure that “hat hair” doesn’t flatten your style or your evening.



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