A few years ago, you couldn't mix prints. A polka dots top on stripped trousers? That was simply a fashion no-no.

However, things have changed.

Today, you can pair more than dots and leopards. Even with their bold colours and patterns, African prints are now being paired with more graphic prints for unlikely but stylish combinations.


Stylish as they look, the print-mixing game isn't an easy task. Chances are that you'll look like an uncoordinated mess if you haven't artfully mastered the necessary tricks to keep you on top. Here are some tips to bear in mind:

* Leopard prints are neutral and can complement other colourful prints. It's always safe to pair them with stripes, or stripes with dots, dots with leopards.

* When it comes to patterns, pair bolder prints together for a winning look. They could be clashing prints in the same colour scheme. Alternatively, you can match smaller stripes with bolder graphics, or prints with smaller designs but representing opposing style camps.

* It is also vital to strive for visual balance. Mix lighter-coloured prints with bolder ones.

* Pair monochromatic florals with multicoloured prints that pick up the first colour. But when in doubt, go totalled monochrome.

The key in print mix-matching is to keep it simple. When you take the process too seriously, you'll end up spoiling the fun and stifle your creativity.

Play around with the prints. Mix as much as you match. If you feel ridiculous, bingo! That's the whole point.

The author, Dorcas Efe Mensah, is a fashion designer and writer passionate about her pen as much as she is about her scissors. A graduate of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design (JACCD), she enjoys dressing people and writing about same. A fun of bold colours and patterns, Efe loves playing with fabrics. She likes putting these together to create outfits that make people feel comfortable, yet stylishly confident.

She also loves to write about garments and how people reinvent themselves (despite whatever body image issues they have) using clothing.