Pattern Play: How to Wear Printed Sneakers

We definitely love a blank canvas but sometimes a pretty pattern is just so perfect! Floral, animal, galaxy, striped, dots, pool, flamingo—the list goes on and on—but what you really need to know is that printed sneakers can add a fun, playful twist to any outfit.

Rule #1 when mixing prints: Vary the scale of the prints. Mix a large print with small print to keep them from competing. We paired bold Hawaiian print Vans sneakers with black and white striped shorts. This works well by using the same neutral color base as the shoes, in the clothing. Pull it all together with a cross-body bag in a fun color pop, classic sunnies and beaded jewelry.

For this outfit, we matched the darkest blue hue from the pool print Atwood sneaker from Vans to a deep blue t-shirt. Pulling in a shade of orange, which is blue’s complimentary color, we chose these peach shorts to create a cool, casual look. Top with some gold accessories, a Panama hat and bold lip color for an everyday style that’s anything but ordinary.

Now that you’ve seen two outfit ideas, here are some general rules to keep in mind when you get some printed sneakers of your own!

  1. When mixing prints, vary the scale of the prints. Mix a large print with small print to keep them from competing.
  2. Stay within the same color palette.
  3. Stripes and polka-dots always go together.
  4. Don’t match prints. You can match colors but avoid the same print.
  5. Leopard print goes with everything!

If you’re going to mix prints, stick to the rule of two. Start with your printed sneakers then use the guidelines above to pick a second print to complement your shoes. Adding more than two prints will get too busy.

Do you have a favorite print? Share it with us in the comments below!

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