Professional Print Mixing

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Print mixing has definitely been a popular trend this season, and it's a great way to inject some playfulness into an outfit. But mixing prints can also be tricky, given that there's a fine line between charming contrast and crazy clashing, and it can be hard to know if you've crossed it.

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I took a stab at incorporating two different prints into a work outfit this week, turning my cute lavender leopard print dress ($8) from Buffalo Exchange into a skirt by pairing it with a periwinkle, polka-dotted button-up ($7, TJMaxx). Since my look had to be office-appropriate, I made sure to keep both patterns simple and relatively understated. I finished off the look with a black belt ($6, NY&Co), my black Zara pumps ($25, Rena Reborn, previously worn here and here!) and sunglasses ($5.50, Forever 21). My multi-print outfit came out to around $27, and head-to-toe with shoes, everything totaled $52.

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Want to give print mixing a go? Here are a few tips to make sure your prints mesh:
- Pair prints that are similar in color. My look works in part because lavender and periwinkle are within the same color family. 
- When in doubt, stick with the classics. Classic prints like stripes, polka dots and leopard print are so ubiquitous they can practically be considered neutrals, which makes them oh-so-easy to mix.
- Take time to experiment. It can be hard to mentally picture what prints might work together, so give yourself plenty of time to try different combos before attempting the look. Plus, doing a ton of mixing and matching can lead to some totally unexpected and inspired print mixes!

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