Combining Prints

User’s guide

Prints beloved!! Hyper trendy this season: dresses with huge flower prints, leopard, pants, blazer, Prince of Wales prints, they are all over the planet! The irony, though, is that we buy them and keep them inside our wardrobe, not knowing the appropriate time to wear them and with what!! Today we will try to find path to make them live without the traditional and so common black outfit such easy.

Prints are outsiders which enhance and pave the way to style.

Far too often we think prints and black, the latest being the milestone of the first : this is absolutely wrong, black definitively strangle other colors and there is more than one way to mix the prints 

Little reminder of the most usual prints:

  • Stripes pattern 
  • Polka dot pattern 
  • Check prints
  • Foulard or Paisley prints 
  • Animal Prints
  • Bird prints 
  • Wax
  • Flower Prints
  • Ethnic Prints
  • Geometric Prints 

The goal today is not to describe each of them in details, this will be part of another article in which I will emphasize how to choose the appropriate one for your silhouette.

Now we go straight in how to dress with your own ones to be stylish and unique.

So how to associate them?

There is several ways wether you decide to keep print as a  one and only piece printed in your outfit or put several different together. 

There’s only one single print in your outfit 

First art to embrace the print : remind existing colors 

It’s the easiest way , you spot one or several existing colors from your print and you build the rest of your outfit based on that or those colors. 

We have many variants in the remind of color art :


One of the color on your print will be the spot, everything around will based on that color. 

For example : a tan shirt with flower prints Red and Blue , you will dress as completely ochre, red or blue, I’m talking as the complete outfit, skirt and tights or pants, shoes and accessories in one of those 3 colors. 

Some of the options appear straightforward like here blue. 

In any case, the print item will shine and the color picked for the monochrome will set the pace according what you want to show, the blue get you more discrete when the red will get eyes turning around you. 

The so called monochrome will only be if all items have the same tonal value (same intensity).


Same as above except that the tonal value is different to the one of your print.

Take the same item, the tan shirt and the blue as the overall color, in shades of blue from lighter to darker. 

Comment associer les imprimés dans une tenue, ici les valeurs tonales

Tonal values of a color

Mixer les imprimés, ici en camaïeu de bleus

Les éclaireuses

Here a reminder of color in cameo with the navy blue sweater, in a tonal value darker than the background of the print.

Rappel de couleur imprimé


Ici un rappel de couleur en monochrome avec ce t-shirt kaki et une jupe crayon imprimé wax.

Imprimé monochrome rouge


Here a recall of color in monochrome with these red pants and a red printed clouse.

Monochrome imprimé bleu


Here a recall of color in monochrome blue sky with a knit sweater and a long printed skirt. The silver sneakers considered as neutral color come to raise the set.

Combination of the print’s colors

Keep the previous instance, tan shirt with red and blue prints. 

You would dress up with a red skirt and navy blue tights. 

The combination would reveals a very colorful and glowing look. 

The downside is probably that you don’t have all those items in available in your wardrobe and would push you toward new purchases that are not essentials.

Rappel de couleur d'un imprimé.


For example, an absolute crush on this shirt, so much that you decide to take the skirt as well cause the complete look is so pretty …

But have you other options to wear it again? 

That’s not our philosophy right? Of course if you already have such pieces available then it’s another story and I highly suggest to follow the remind of color art!

And if you don’t have any shoes and accessories matching the colors, go for neutrals like beiges , camel or navy blue etc.

Second technique to combine prints : mix them with the neutrals

Associer un pantalon à carreaux et un t-shirt blanc


Associer une jupe imrpimée et une chemise blanche


Tenue avec short python et sac neutre


Include your print piece in a neutral outfit. 

Neutrals are :

  • Beige,
  • Cream,
  • Ecru colored
  • Camel, 
  • Navy blue, 
  • Grey,
  • Burgundy,
  • Denim (work really great with prints)


Reminder : black and white are not colors but to shortcut we embed them to neutrals today. 

Pairing with neutrals is a good option to tone down the strong printed piece while making it stand out.

The neutrals will give a more sober side to your outfit.

The print is also a strong piece, I really advise you not to wear it with other pieces…



  • How to pair your prints well: 7 foolproof techniques to marry your prints!
  • How to achieve elegant or bold outfits with printed pieces,
  • How to wear two or even three prints in an outfit,
  • How to pair them with neutrals or complementary colors, create cameos,
  • What color for your accessories in an outfit with a printed piece?

Find the rest of this article in the EBOOK “Matching colors like a pro”.

*These are images for which the sources could not be identified on Pinterest.

If you are the author, feel free to contact me to add the credits.

Header picture credit:
The Kooples