Friday, April 10, 2015

Print Mixing 101: A Guest Post

Oddly enough, I liked school. Never mind the fact that I cut class as much as possible, preferring instead to sit at home watching risqué Prince videos (high school) or sleeping off last night's inappropriate behavior (college). I also loved my brief teaching stint- those second graders taught me MUCH more than I taught them!

Today, I am heading up a little class I call Print Mixing 101. I think the best teachers are those who are still learning, and that is why I am not teaching the Master class on this topic. I just started print mixing this year...boldly going where not many North Shore moms have ventured before.

Let's start with the basics, shall we?

There are a few simple guidelines that I have discovered. I don't want to say rules, because really, in fashion there are no rules. White becomes the new black, the Canadian Tuxedo becomes all the rage, and and Birks are on the runways. (Psssst....on the DL I heard Crocs are sneaking onto the scene in a similar fashion. Say what?)

Print Mixing 101

1. Colors of a feather flock together. This isn't to say that you can't mix various options on the color wheel, but in our 101 class, keep it simple. Staying in the same color family makes it easier on the eye.

2. Size matters. Quarter-size polka dots work well with stripes of approximately the same height. HUGE florals work with large scale plaid.

3. Don't discredit accessories.  A leopard skirt with a bold striped clutch? So clutch.

4. Think outside the box(es).  Stripes, plaids and winowpanes are lovely but don't just take prints into account. Textures like lace, brocade, quilted leather and fringe can give can get things moving without creating a traffic jam.

5. Go pro. Celebs pay tons of money to hire stylists, who in turn essentially broadcast the advice they paid for by wearing the suggested clothing. Study Rihanna, SJP, and Solange. Mix masters.

6. Pattern on pattern can be soooo hot. If you pair black and white stripes with grey and white stripes, you can work it into a look all your own.

7. Have fun. Because if you aren't enjoying it, it ain't worth it my friend. It is just fashion, not brain surgery.

I also believe in putting my money where my mouth is. Here are some pieces from my closet, and how I worked them!

One thing I love about this outfit- both the top and skirt came from Target.  The top was $5 on the clearance rack, and the skirt was around $20. The shoes are Nine West from the DSW clearance rack- my favorite shoes in my collection.

Why This Works: The polka dots were about the same size as the flowers in the skirt, so one didn't overpower the other. Also, since they were both black and white, they didn't crazy clash. Adding in shades of grey in the skirt helped it from being too solid. Earrings are from RocksBox, a great pair that I always fall back on.

Another clearance rack score! The skirt was under $15 at Ann Taylor last year (thanks Zahra for the tip!) and is both a texture and a pattern. The shirt was a LOFT purchase last year as well. I would totally wear this look to the office...if I had one.

Why This Works: Since the shirt already had stripes going two ways (pockets one way, shirt another), it was already a bit busy. I added a subtly textured skirt but kept it interesting with the different length overlay. As for the lipstick, I love a bold red party with a business outfit. This is NARS Lip Pencil that I received from Sephora for my Birthday- if you are a Beauty Insider, you get one too!

Annnnnnnddddd for the grand finale- I scored this shirt from Sisters Marie at the #SwapInTheSuburbs! I needed to add a floral piece to my wardrobe, and am so thrilled that I found this one. Skirt is a Target clearance rack score from a few years ago; dare I say it was around $8? The perforated leather peep-toe shoes (BCBG) are from Crossroads Trading in Lincoln Park, which is IMHO is one of the best resale shops around. Earrings are BaubleBar, Buried Bauble from last year.

Why This Works: Because it is fun. That's why.

A little trend tip for all you fashion-forward gals out there....matchy-matchy is a "DO" now! I used LAQA & Co. Lip Lube in Menatour to match my BaubleBar Statement Earrings. Make sure to check out the BaubleBar semi-hidden Happy Hour for great deals on all things sparkly!

Alright class, today's lesson is over. Time to do your homework and WORK those prints!

Thank you to Sisters Marie for allowing me to guest post- these two gals are incredible!

Cheryl Leahy is the author of the blog all dressed up with nothing to drink...and her motto is“Don’t Give Up! Figuring out how to adapt to motherhood while keeping a sense of self is an art form.” She is also the Style Editor and Marketing Manager for The Little Style File and is a Featured Contributor for 30Second Mom.