I think Whitney Port coined the phrase “matchy-matchy,” on her days as a Hills cast member. (I just aged myself, and now you know my dirty, little secret: I watch reality television.) It stuck with me because matchy- matchy was definitely my thing. I used to have matching sets of everything: earrings and necklaces, sweater sets, you name it. I was absolutely afraid to wear red and pink together (the horror), and I was certainly not mixing patterns. Now, I love seeing slightly different styles, unexpected colors, or varying patterns together, and patterns are such an easy way to create a new look.
I found this great shirt at Sak’s Off Fifth (you know I love a deal, $39, and the tie-front is super flattering). I got these fun shorts at J.Crew Factory (these are a steal, $29, and perfect for the 4th) and they work so well together. This look is definitely a more conservative approach to mixing and a great way to ease into it. I’ve paired a subtle, light blue and white pin-striped shirt with shorts in a much bolder, fun print, but within the same family and hue of colors. It matches without matching. If you want more of a statement, these shorts would also look great with a navy and white nautical stripe shirt or gingham.
The rule…who are we kidding, fashion has almost no rules, but here’s the easy guideline: keep at least one color consistent throughout your look, in the same family, or same hue. Mixing prints works best when there is either one dominant print and one more understated paired with it, or two distinctly different prints. Your outfit will look effortless and put-together with a fun twist.
If you do go with a more subtle approach, bring in some bolder accessories. I have on white tassel statement earrings to add a pop and a fun spikey bracelet and leather wrap. Play around with the bag and shoes. I’ve added two bag options I love. The red striped bag from Tory Burch is a bit more conservative, but perfect to bring out the red in the shorts. The green clutch adds a fun pop of color in a similar hue. p.s. How cute is that frog detail? And the wedges…you can’t go wrong with Tory Burch shoes.