Mixing Prints 101: Fashion Tips to Wear Mismatched Prints Like a Star

Image credit: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Mixing prints is one of fashion's riskiest trends, but if you get it right, it can have a big payoff, says Lori Bergamotto contributing style editor of Lucky magazine.

Bergamotto visited " Good Morning America" today to show us how to pull off this tricky trend. First, the basics:

  • When you're mixing prints, you need one of the pieces to act as a neutral so it doesn't come off as clash.
  • Keep texture in mind as well as print. Knits can help break up the pattern and balance the look.

Here are three foolproof combinations that Bergamotto says always work nicely together.

1. Stripes and Florals. Stripes act as a neutral and can help ground the "floatiness" of a floral. Look for a unifying color and pair with a solid shoe.

2. Animal Prints and Animal Prints. (Yes, you read that right.) Choose pairs that are complimentary, but not too matchy. The key to pulling off this look is scale. Look for one print that has a smaller pattern and another that is more graphic. Keep the jewelry and accessories simple.

3. Polka Dots and….just about anything! They're one of the easiest prints to pair thanks in part to their ability to look super casual and ultra-feminine all at once. When rendered in neutral shades (black dots on a white shirt), they can be the anchor to an otherwise bold look. Worn with stripes, tweeds, global, chevron, houndstooth, florals, and more, the polka dot is the print that keeps on giving!

On "GMA," Bergamotto started with a floral-printed pant from H&M with shades of dark purple and green, a pop of red, some blue and gray as the foundation for all three looks. The flattering silhouette and the varied color palette makes it a little easier to pair with things probably in your closet already, she says.

Trendy Look: Put the floral pant with a black-and-white polka-dotted shirt and wide-striped sweater for a fashion-forward look. The polka-dot blouse peeks out to anchor the look and adds some lightness. The wide-striped, knit sweater leaves room for the print to breathe and doesn't overwhelm the outfit as a whole.

Seen on model: Pants- H&M, $ 34.94; Shoes - Modcloth, $32.00; Blouse - Tommy Hilfiger, $69.50; Sweater - Forever21, $22.80

Middle Look: This look is almost right, but misses the mark. While the fabrics and slate blue colors play nicely together, too much of the same can be your downfall when it comes to prints.The chambray polka-dot shirt hits the same slate blue color note and instead of looking like a well-orchestrated outfit, it comes off as a clash. To fix it, opt for a neutral piece like a white or a beige top instead. This will help break up the monotony.

Seen on model: Pants- H&M, $ 34.94; Shirt - Old Navy, $24.94; Over Shirt - Joe Fresh, $49; Shoes - Aerosols, $59

Tragic Look : In the fashion world, you often hear people say "stick within the same color family," Bergamotto says, but when you're mixing prints, you need one of the pieces to act as somewhat of a neutral. Here, it should be the striped shirt, but because the stripes are so thin and in black and white, they come across as too severe. You want something that is going to help mute your other prints, not turn up the volume on them. While the plaid blazer picks up on the green tone in the pants, it doesn't compliment the painterly print of the floral. Bottom line: There's just way too much going on here.

Seen on model: Pants- H&M, $ 34.94; Jacket - Gap, $98; Shirt - Modcloth, $32.99; Shoes - Jellypop,$49