mindy mixed prints collage
How To Mix Prints And Patterns: A Beginner’s Guide. (Instagram/Mindy Kaling).

Mixing prints and patterns is a total fashion do–it just takes a little while to learn how to do it the right way.

Anyone who’s ever tried her hand at mixing prints knows that it’s surprisingly difficult. Something that we did accidentally as kids (I swear, one of my favorite outfits growing up consisted of a floral, primary-colored shirt and plaid shorts) is suddenly so much more difficult now that we’re supposed to be real fully-functioning ~*adults*~. There are just so many rules to follow, especially when it comes to prints in the fashion world, that sometimes it seems impossible to figure out where to start. Well, that’s where I come in with this beginner’s guide to mixing prints. You know, because I love ya.

As someone who takes almost all of her fashion cues from Mindy Kaling, I know that it’s possible to effortless mix prints and look like a total #kween. Rather than try to convince you with my own style acumen, I thought I’d let you learn from some of Paris Fashion Week’s street style stars. Let the education process begin:

1. Keep it monochromatic

Street Style - Paris Fashion Week
(Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images).

Just as it’s always easier to throw on a black-on-black outfit when you’re rushing to get dressed for work in the morning, it’s easier to keep things monochromatic when you’re trying to mix your bold prints. You don’t always need to stick with stripes like Olivia Palermo did, but she had the right idea with keeping the color palette the same throughout her look.

2. Keep one piece more neutral the other

Street Style - Paris Fashion Week : Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015/2016 : Day Two
(Photo: Vanna Bassetti/Getty Images)

You wouldn’t necessarily notice it from far away since the shirt is so eye-catching, but the skirt does indeed have a subtle patchwork pattern. This is probably the easiest type of mixed-print look for beginners to pull off because, really, it doesn’t seem so much like you’re mixing prints as much as you’re mixing textures, a skill that’s arguably much easier to master.

3. Keep it matchy

Day 9 - Street Style - Paris Fashion Week - Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016
(Photo: Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images)

Just as it’s easier to put together a mixed-print outfit when all of the base colors are the same, it’s a little easier to pair prints when the prints are similar enough at first glance. The plaid-and-horizontal-stripe look works on Allure Russia’s Creative Consultant Anya Ziourova because, in this instance, the stripes take the place of a solid neutral. Really, mixing prints is all about proper strategy.

4. Go for the florals

print on print fashion rules
(Photo: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

I am of the (perhaps incorrect) opinion that florals match other florals no matter what. So there.

5. Go big or go home

go big or go home mixed prints collage
(Photos: Kirstin Sinclair, Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images)

Sure, these photos may be street style from one of the most serious Fashion Weeks in the world, but if you’re going for a mixed-print look anyway, why not go as bold as possible? Really, as long as you’re confident, it’s hard not to pull off anything you want.

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