6 Ways to Rock Clashing Prints and Colors on the Job
Fashion faux pas no more, mixing prints is the epitome of runway-ready style. So if you’ve been dying to team gingham with a festive floral print or maybe even marble prints and pineapples (because why not?), we say go for it, girl! You’ve never been one to bow down to sartorial rules anyway. Which brings us to our next point — if you’re hopping aboard the mismatched train, why not go all out? Clash-happy looks are off-duty #OOTD gold, but we’re taking the trend straight to the threshold of your nine-to-five (a bold move, we know). Consider the move the ultimate work-week remix and a new way to get even more mileage out of that carefully curated capsule wardrobe. Keepin’ it classy is non-negotiable, which is why we’re giving you the scoop on how to mix even your craziest prints in a chic and HR-approved way. Check out these six super easy style tips, then make a beeline to your closet to put together your own ensembles.
1. Zara Asymmetric Print Jacket ($149) + Raoul Pleated Neon Color-Block Silk Top ($135): Pairing florals and vibrant color-block prints isn’t exactly intuitive (they’re basically on two different ends of the spectrum), but trust us — it can work. The key to pulling it off? Choosing the right colors. Navy is more or less a neutral, making this flowery blazer the perfect base for a mismatched getup. From there, pops of navy, pale blue and varying shades of green help create a sense of visual cohesion and, ultimately, a well-balanced ensemble. For maximum impact, style it alongside white belted trousers and metallic flats to draw the eye upward and really make the Insta-worthy pairing pop.
2. Le Fou by Wilfred Zurie Blouse ($125) + Alice & Olivia Bryn Skirt ($349): Jam-packed with color and detailing that creates a 3D effect, this pleated skirt is a bonafide conversation starter. While you could definitely play it safe with a topper in one of the skirt’s many flashy hues, we say go there by thinking outside the box — or at least orange. It works individually with each and every color within the skirt’s palette (essential), while adding an additional dimension of texture and drama to the overall look. If orange isn’t your color, pink, purple or metallics are all good bets. Ditch the expected blazer and add insta-polish to your on-the-job #OOTD with a sleeveless blazer in white or a shade of cobalt blue.
3. J.Crew Ruffle Popover Shirt ($118) + Mango Printed Dress ($50): When in doubt, double up. Whether you’re obsessed with stripes or live for floral prints, play with pattern weight and color to pull together a cohesive, layered look that will send those double taps through the roof and won’t draw side-eye from the boss. Bonus points for bright-and-bold accessories, like lace-up ghillies, that amplify the effect.
4. Keji Off-the-Shoulder Top ($310) + Suno Floral Print Silk-Satin Pants ($173): If you’re not quite ready to go all out, try a pattern and bold color combo on for size. Eye-catching and incredibly easy, the move requires nothing more than teaming a statement print — like these scene-stealing trousers — with your boldest and brightest duds. Dare to be different by mixing colors that don’t traditionally “go together;” here, yellow and red feel perfectly in harmony thanks to the trousers’ blue backdrop. Round out the look with minimalist jewelry and a pair of pumps that keep the focus on your stand-out separates, while adding a touch of boardroom-ready polish.
5. Warehouse Latina Floral T-Shirt ($62) + Madewell Plaid Biopic Jumpsuit ($138): Sometimes even your most prized one-and-done pieces need a little bit of extra somethin’, and that’s where clashing comes in. To take your mix-and-match game to the next level, consider combining pattern families rather than focusing on color and print weight. Folksy florals and everyday plaid are the perfect place to start; their hip, rustic vibes go hand-in-hand, while packing major RN appeal. Dress up the ensemble with effortless mules, a statement belt and It girl-approved drop earrings FTW. A few other ideas: stripes and anchors; cacti and palm prints; or marble and abstract art.
6. River Island Black Stripe Longline Top ($72) + Mango Check Trousers ($60): When your favorite pieces start to feel a bit meh, look to clashing for an instant remix. Gingham is notoriously sweet, but if you’re over the whole preppy thing, flip the script with ultra-modern stripes or a color-block top (the brighter the better). Stick with geometric or graphic styles for a streamlined look that feels chic rather than busy.
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