There’s an ongoing, all-out love affair in the fashion world with colors and prints at the moment.  Following season after season of dull, monochromatic greys and post-apocalyptic blacks, the current enthusiasm for sorbet hues, candy colors, neon brights, stripes, plaids, pop prints, clashing-print-upon-print is…whew!…welcome, but sometimes overwhelming.  I’ve always loved color and prints myself (along with whites and earth tones), so mixing patterns and different shades is something I’ve often played around with…

Bright pomelo shades mixed with coral-colored brocade pants

Mango-yellow accent shade & yellow brocade mixed with neutrals

Streaks of salmon, pink and red mixed with woven off-white satin

Photo-printed apples with shiny black vinyl was my first collection (ever!)

Yellow paint splatters mixed with navy & white stripes

Pinks and greys in tiny checks mix with bold plaid & lace appliqués

Stripes & geometric prints in one of my favorites dresses…a silk ikat-print shift

Clean, bold, geometric stripes or a mix of bright summer colors & prints

In my opinion, the trick to mixing colors and prints is to start off simple…add one bold color (think grass green, apple red, lemon yellow or tangerine) to an otherwise neutral outfit.  If you can handle more, mix two or three colors in similar shades and keep your accessories neutral (fuschia and red/blue, green and violet with dark brown leather accessories, for example).

As you become more comfortable with color, you can throw in a little print, starting off small (think polka dots!).  Mixing stripes and polka dots is another interesting, but still safe, way to put prints together.  If you have a fondness for bold prints, keep the colors to a single family and limit it to one statement piece.  One of my favorite clients has a collection of the most interesting vintage fabrics in crazy prints!  We love turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces for her 🙂

So for now let’s give our blacks & greys a rest, and let loose mixing and matching every hue on the rainbow…

*Photos by Ito Ocampo, Tom Epperson & Metrowear photographers

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