There are many “fashion rules” out there that many people think are be-all, end-all terms for what fashion is acceptable and what isn’t. But many of those “rules” have been proven time and time again to mean nothing if you are a true fashion lover and see it as an art form for self-expression and creativity. One of these “rules” is the no-socks-with-sandals idea, but there is plenty of reason to believe it is chic when you look at these examples.
Another “rule” that was meant to be broken is the idea that you can’t mix or clash patterns and prints. Many people will say it’s tacky, but that’s only because they don’t know how to do it right. As you’ll see on the many fashion compilations here, there are a lot of separates that can be thrown together to make clashing patterns very chic. It’s all about the pieces you choose.
1. Find a common color
When you are contrasting very different patterns, a good rule of thumb to match at least one of the colors in the set. Having a common color will create cohesion even when nothing truly matches. You can also opt to simply keep the colors in the same family, like orange and red—it’s a similar trick. The key is to keep consistency so that the eyes are not overwhelmed by busy chaos. Instead, your outfit is contrived chaos, which ironically looks very polished.
2. Wear the same print, scaled differently
Like mentioned in this example, when you wear the same print, just in two different sizes, it automatically goes together without being too matchy-matchy. This is a good way to mix patterns if you are unsure about your abilities at first and need to test the waters. A lot of times you can find these pieces sold together or next to one another in a store to make it easy for you.
3. Play with garment size
To break things up a bit, it’s best to keep your clothing different sizes, like you’ll see here. By doing so, you will play with proportion and create a very artful appearance with your print mixing. For example, try an oversized printed sweater on top of short shorts.
4. Use stripes as a neutral
In the world of fashion, know your fake “neutrals:” stripes, polka dots, and animal print. Any of these popular patterns are basically free-range to mix with any other crazy pattern, so feel free to start experimenting and trying things on to see what works best with what. Remember that sometimes the best outfits are total accidents, so be creative.
5. Try inverse colors
If you want to wear the same colors but want to make it look edgier, try getting two pieces in the inverse colors. This would be like a pair of black-and-white striped pants with a dominantly white printed jacket with black details. It’s a little bit trippy, and it always matches.