Here’s How To Clash Prints Without Looking Like It’s Just All Gone Wrong

Forget matchy matchy co-ords and don't be afraid to go big Photographs by Francesca Allen


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

If you’re nervous about colour and print, then trust us when we say that the best way to get over it is to clash rather than match. If a twinset breaks you out in hives (us too) and a co-ord just feels 2cute4U, then may we suggest riffing on the same print –but in multifarious colourways and fabrics?

Whether it be tartan, snake print or stripes, the best way to handle a print is in nuanced repeat. Look to staple prints rather than the zany – pineapple print and tie-dye will work less when worn thrice at a time – but don’t be afraid to combine all colours of the spectrum.

The only rule is, vary the material. Silk goes with sweatpant, wool goes with cotton, and so on and so forth. Lycra with lycra? No siree.

READ MORE: Paisley, Adidas And Leopard Print: Adwoa Aboah Makes A Mean Print Cocktail

Check Mate

An old favourite, this is a homage to tartan. It’s also a perennial print. You never need worry about finding tartan on the high street because it’s always in bountiful supply.

Try more casual pieces like cotton trousers and floaty shirts, with autumn hero pieces like Sandro’s fuzzy wuzzy knit. A blanket coat with a shirt dress, or a kilt with a tartan scarf are other good ways to do this.


Sheer Plaid Maxi, £128 Free People; Spice Tartan Mohair Jumper, £209 Sandro in Marylebone (call 020 7486 9176); Plaid Crinkle Trouser, £98 Free People; Gold Hoop Earrings, £4 for a pack of 3 at ASOS; Trainers, model’s own

READ MORE: Getting Ready For A Minibreak. When You Only Want To Take Carry On Luggage

Bah, Humbug

Mix up stripes and monochrome with a blend of street (hoodie and Superstars) and party-ready, like this cut-out silky maxi dress and structured powder bag from Janvier. Switch from stripes to checks, with this textured check hoodie and try different backgrounds for the stripes (black on white, white on black).

A maxi dress like this is infinitely more useful than you think – sure, it goes well with heels and a sharp leather jacket at night, but it also works really well with a denim jacket and sneakers during the day.


Zip Textured Hoodie in Mono, £48 Sparkle & Fade at Urban Outfitters; Stripe Dress, £116 Again; Black Superstar 2 Trainers, £62 Adidas Originals; Mademoiselle Handbag, £349 Janvier; Gold Hoop Earrings, £4 for page of 3 at ASOS

Snake Hips

A fan of leopard print? Then clashing snake should be your new go-to. Prevent escalating into Cavallian waters with wafting layers of beige snake and gold chains (yacht not included) with some super-bright snake print to offset the natural python shade.

These Christopher Kane joggers are the best way to dress down a sheer shirt and some snake print stilettos. Would also work well with some electric blue leopard print, FYI.


Olivia Blouse, £35 Goldie at Topshop; Snake-Print Cotton-Fleece Track Pants, £295 Christopher Kane at Net-a-Porter; Rita Croc Effect Sandals, £45 Topshop; Gold Hoop Earrings, £4 for packet of 3 at ASOS


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Petite Laundry Check Cigarette Trousers, £42 Topshop; Check Jumper in Brushed Mohair, £32 ASOS and Alana A-Line Tartan Skirt, £136 Scotland Shop; Printed Slipper, £29.99 Zara; Low Cut Dress with Python Print, £215 The Kooples and Snake Print Shirt, £24.99 Mango; Striped Silk Blouse, £39.99 Zara; Silk Skirt in Stripe Print, £30 ASOS White and Farren Black and White Stripes Crop Jumper, £11.99 Missguided

Model: Zlata at M+P Models

Stylist: Pandora Sykes

Stylist’s Assistant: Holly Hobkirk

Art Direction: Anna Jay

Make-up: Mai Kodoma

Hair: Tiffanne Williams

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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