Several days ago, I was pleased to come across a fellow Texan on the Barnard campus. Lately I have seen a multitude of girls embracing mixed prints and I found this student to be an especially good example. Although print mixing can sometimes seem to be a daunting process, as you search through your closet for prints with similar color palates, this Fashionista shows us that perhaps shapes are more important that colors when it comes to pairing patterns.
Arguably the most interesting element of this pairing was the contrasting use of lines. In the shirt, the thin, black, horizontal lines create a kind of optical illusion. In opposition, diagonal lines in her pants merge into a grid pattern with abstract swirling detail in the center. Furthermore, the straps of the white sandals play into the sharp linearity. The shirt and pants both have similar gray tones, but it is definitely the line quality that unites and reinforces each print.
Another stellar part about this outfit is its relaxed nature, there is nothing forced or uncomfortable about it, which I think every college student can appreciate. This Texan can get away with the easygoing style while still looking put together partly due to the strong geometric sway. Also, take note of how the student tamed a billowy shirt by rolling up the sleeves and tying the front tails into a small knot that hovers just above the waist of her pants.
If you are looking to buy pieces as such, especially an oversized shirt, I’d suggest browsing your local vintage store. As for printed pants, this style is currently booming with popularity, so you would probably be in luck at a large majority of stores. Having recently hunted for a pair myself, I’d advise you to shuffle through the pajama section of some stores to find drawstring or elastic linen pants similar to these.
In the past, wearing more than one floral print or mixing your florals with stripes would conjure up images of bad home décor and the ridiculous scene from The Sound of Music when Maria effortlessly whips up outfits out of window curtains for the Von Trapp clan. Well, this spring season all the fashion rules are going out the window as head to toe florals are now a popular trend on and off the runway. Designers like Mary Katrantzou, Altuzarra and Prabal Gurung are all pushing the flower power with bright and big floral prints that can be mixed and matched. While floral prints are usually worn by girly girls who want to show off their femininity, this seasons vivid and graphic florals make women look like they are ready to rock rather than cook pies in the kitchen. Floral prints are no longer just on flirty sundresses, but they can be spotted on tailored suits, slick slacks and punk-inspired jackets.
When I saw this Fashionista after class, I was instantly reminded of the amazing floral pants that were all over Peter Som’s spring runway show. While floral pants can be a risky choice in the morning, this Fashionista doesn’t try and play down the pants, but instead does them justice by mixing the floral print with a stripped top. She even adds fun floral sneakers that would usually clash but totally work in the odd way that fries dipped in milkshakes and bananas in a PB&J just work.
To get a masterfully mixed print look like this Fashionista, start with the focus of the outfit: the floral pant. For a relaxed and breezy summer look, try these drawstring ankle-grazers from Jessica Hart for Pencey Standard (the whole line is fantastic) on Shopbop. For a more structured trouser that is great on campus and in the office, like the ones on this Fashionista, try the Erdem “Connoly Trouser” from Barneys New York. Then add a simple navy blue and white striped long sleeved shirt like this Comme des Garçons “Play Stripped Heart Tee” from J.Crew. To finish it off, add some shoes in a different floral print like these Superga sneakers from Urban Outfitters, or these Dr. Martens cut-out oxfords. This spring don’t be afraid to mix and match or try a full head to toe floral look that won’t remind you of the Oshkosh outfits your mom made you wear when you were five.