Whilst I have the utmost respect for people whose style is to clash without censure, I tend to stick to the same principles I apply when mixing floral or animal prints - retaining some unit(s) of similarity between prints, whether in size, style or tone - to tie the look together.
Clashing two classic prints - spots and stripes - on two classically vintage-shaped pieces - a full-skirted midi dress and a cropped tie-up blouse - puts a cute, unusual spin on a classic-feeling look. Sticking to a monochrome palette keeps it elegant. The cropped cut of the blouse keeps the focus on the waistline.
Blouse: Primark (SS12)
Shoes: Office (Past Season)
Their common geometric structure allows graphic and Aztec patterns to combine ancient and modern influences to stunning effect. A classic fifties-style peplum-pencil silhouette adds a further level to the look. I added platform stiletto ankle boots to draw on the black tones present throughout the look and the sharpness inherent in the prints, and red lips to bring out the tones of the skirt and the outfit's glamorous cut.
Skirt: Primark (SS12)
Boots: Peacocks (Past Season)
Here, I decided to pair a printed scarf with scarf-print jeans. Similar tones ensure the contrast between scarf-print and leopard print doesn't jar. To keep focus on the prints, I teamed them with a neutral-coloured top drawing on one of the primary base tones. A printed scarf plaited into hair is also great for embellishing neutral outfits.
Top: Primark (SS12)
Scarf: Accessorize (Past Season)
Shoes: New Look (Past Season)
Do take a look at my tips on colour blocking and print mixing (here and here) if you're struggling to decide which combinations will work best for you, but, above all, have fun and enjoy creating your own combinations :)
Tomorrow: How to Wear Metallics