9 Ways to Mix and Match Prints Like a ’90s Fashion Diva


Remember how ’90s fashion was the epitome of bold prints blended together in a beautiful chaos?

Nineties fashion was all about carelessness and comfort, but careless doesn’t have to mean sloppy. From mixing florals and plaids to going all out Courtney Love, here are 9 ways to mix and match prints while still looking dressed to the ’90s (see what I did there?):

1. Go big or go home

Nineties fashion wasn’t about being shy. If you rummage through your closet and want to throw together pink polka dots and a masculine stripe – go for it! Mixing prints is all about self-expression. The more outrageous, the better (and it pretty much makes laundry day a breeze!).

2. Mix a large print with a small print

While the whole point to mixing patterns is to go for broke in the self-expression department, you don’t want your prints to fight for all the attention and leave you in the dust. You wear your clothes, not the other way around. Try mixing a larger print (for example, a plaid) with a smaller print (perhaps a floral) to prevent clashing.

3. Go floral from H2T

If you’re a fan of Blossom Russo, you likely want to try her oh-so-charming H2T floral look – but don’t want to look like you shot your couch. Luckily, balancing this old-school ’90s fashion trend is an easy fix: Choose floral pieces that have a structured, modern silhouette, and minimize the accessories – let your prints be the accessory. Finish off the look with a neutral pump and strut your stuff.

4. Throw in a texture

Don’t forget about patterned textures, like lace or polka dot tights and printed over-the-knee socks. If you’re just as shy about mixing prints now as you were in the ’90s, it’s an easy way to break into the trend without overwhelming yourself.

5. When in doubt, go with plaid

Fact: Plaid is the best. It can be tomboy. It can be feminine. It can be downright adorable. It’s also perfect for layering – and with fall just around the corner, plaid will keep you warm and stylish. A plaid down vest plus a fitted plaid boyfriend shirt equals a stylish lumberjack.

6. Pair with grown-up accessories

Wear your ’90s fashion inspired prints and pair them with grown-up accessories. For example, match your top, shoes or clutch to one of the colors in your print. Or, if your office is into the whole casual Friday thing, wear a fun print with a serious one as if to say, “I’m professional, but I also know how to party.” (And when it comes to adding a scrunchie into the mix, proceed with caution.)

7. Play with proportion

Choose a type of print for your ’90s fashion statement – for example, stripes – and play with proportions. Pair a thick-striped top with a thin-striped pant, or big plaid and small plaid. The sky’s the limit! Ironically, the more your prints don’t match, the more they do.

8. Mix loud and neutral

If you’re a print-mixing newbie or want to wear the trend to an otherwise conservative event, try mixing a metallic or neon print with a simple neutral. Give one print the starring role and the other a nod for best supporting print.

9. Wear with confidence

When it comes to this ’90s fashion trend, there really are no rules, only suggestions. As long as you strut around confidently in your uber-unique ensemble (a la the Fresh Prince) you’ll look fabulous. The worst thing you can do is take the plunge and wear a bold, loud, wonderfully mismatched outfit – and then not leave the house. Have fun, and enjoy your second childhood with pride.

Now, the real question: Who’s up for a little Macarena? Anyone?

Which ’90s fashion flashbacks have made a comeback in your closet?

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Image: love maegan

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).