Adding a bold pattern or print into your look is the easiest way to show that you've put real thought into your outfit. A pattern is any repeated design, whereas a print is a design that has been printed onto fabric, rather than woven or embroidered. The words are often used interchangeably to talk about any non-solid-color clothing. Some of the most popular patterns and prints include:\n\n1. __Gingham__ is a fabric made from dyed cotton yarn woven into a checkered pattern, [usually white and one other color](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-gingham).\n2. __Stripes__ come in all different styles, from pinstripes (very narrow vertical stripes that often appear on dark-colored suits) to the classic French *marinière* T-shirt with its distinctive blue and white horizontal stripes.\n3. __Animal prints__ mimic the stripes, spots, and scales of wild animals. Snake, zebra, and leopard prints make a bold statement, but there are ways to incorporate them subtly. \n4. __Plaid__, also known as tartan, is a woven fabric traditionally made from wool that is now a common pattern for flannel shirts. Multicolor plaid features repeating vertical and horizontal stripes of varying thicknesses.\n5. __Floral patterns__ feature flowers of all kinds. Floral prints can be tiny (aka ditsy) or large and detailed. They can be multicolor or monochrome. They are fun patterns to work with since they offer so much variety. \n6. __Polka-dots__ are a pattern of repeating circles of the same size. They can be big or small; smaller dots tend to look more neutral, while larger dots make more of a statement.\n7. __Geometric prints__ feature shapes such as triangles, squares, and trapezoids. They can be intricate and repetitive, or more abstract. Houndstooth is an example of a repeating geometric pattern in two colors. \n8. __Paisley__ is a Persian pattern featuring a teardrop design with a curved point. The interior of the teardrop often contains intricate geometric or floral-inspired designs. You’re likely to find paisleys printed on silk items like ties and scarves. \n9. __Herringbone__ is a fabric (usually twill) featuring a V-shape weave with a repeating pattern that has the appearance of a fish skeleton. \n\nLearning how to incorporate just one pattern at a time will give you a great foundation for mixing patterns later on. \n\n1. __Wear a pattern under something more neutral__. The easiest way to incorporate a print into your current wardrobe is to find a print that you can put under something—for example, a printed shirt underneath a suit or blazer. The jacket will cover most of the print, revealing just a hint of it. If you’re feeling bold, you can remove the jacket to show off the print.\n2. __Start with a subtle piece of clothing__. If a patterned shirt or dress feels like too much, start with socks, a handbag, or a scarf. Patterned accessories can add a point of interest to your look without feeling over the top. \n3. __Trust yourself__. Prints are personal: Just because you love a print doesn't mean everyone else is going love it, and that’s okay. Most neutrals are universally appealing. That's not the case with prints. So don't be disheartened if not everyone loves your print, and wear what makes you feel good.\n\nConventional wisdom says you can't mix patterns, and yet some of the most stylish dressers mix patterns regularly. Mixing patterns is a way to show confidence and add an element of fun to your look. Here’s how to mix prints and patterns successfully. \n\n1. __Get to know your foundation prints__. Start with classic, simple prints: stripes, polka-dots, and florals. Then, layer on a bolder print. For example, try a classic striped T-shirt with a more exciting geometric pattern layered on top. The lines in both patterns will compliment each other, and the simple stripe will act as a neutral. \n2. __Embrace the power clash__. You don't always have to match patterns. Mixing bold patterns like leopard print and plaid may seem like a fashion faux pas, but there’s a lot of power in selecting two prints that don’t share any commonalities. Anchor the look with a neutral item, like a black blazer or denim jacket.\n3. __Choose patterns of different sizes__. One of the simplest ways to mix patterns is to layer patterns with two different scales. Pairing a small-scale print with a large-scale pattern allows the smaller scale to work as a neutral. In this way, a skirt with a tiny floral print can work with a large-format plaid flannel for a grunge look.\n4. __Use color__. When working with mixed prints, pay close attention to colors. Bold patterns in neutral colors, like black and white, can offset wildly different patterns in a more vibrant color scheme. One strategy is to mix a monochrome pattern, like a red-and-white polka-dot, with a multicolor pattern that features the color from the monochrome, like a red floral print. \n\n\nGet a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) and let Tan France be your very own style spirit guide. *Queer Eye*’s fashion guru spills everything he knows about building a capsule collection, finding a signature look, understanding proportions, and more (including why it’s important to wear underwear to bed)—all in a soothing British accent, no less. \nLearn the secrets of pattern and print mixing with a few styling guidelines.