One of my favorite fashion topics to talk about is mixing prints.

It’s something you can do any time of year, and it looks fabulous when done right. Many women feel intimidated by the idea of print mixing, but once you know the tricks to mastering the look, it’s not as scary as it seems.

Want to try combining two of your favorite pieces in contrasting prints? Here’s how to do it.

Have at Least One Common Color

In order to coordinate two different prints, you want to make sure there is at least one common color between them. This color should be the same variation of shade, so the two pieces match as closely as possible. For example, navy blue and powder blue, while different shades of blue, are not the same, and therefore, would not be considered a good match. However, two pieces that both contain olive green prints would look great paired together.

Wear Different Size Prints

The scale of the prints that you wear plays a big role in how well a mixed prints ensemble comes together. Two prints of the same size tend to be too busy, so it’s better to wear one with a larger print and one with a smaller print. This creates a more balanced look and doesn’t distract the eyes.

Take Advantage of Accessories

You don’t have to wear two pieces of clothing in order to accomplish the mixed prints look. Accessories are an easy way to incorporate this trend. Scarves, hats, belts and bags add additional prints to your outfit without being too bold. This is a good way to ease yourself into print mixing, since accessories can easily be removed if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Shoes, while not technically an accessory, are also great for doing mixed prints on a smaller scale.

Stick to the Same Tones

In addition to sticking to similar colors, it’s important to keep all your pieces in the same tone (warm or cool) family. Since mixing prints already creates a complex look, you don’t want to add to it with even more disjointed elements. Plus, you should always maintain a completely warm or completely cool palette, whether you’re wearing mixed prints or not. Head over to The Style Spectrum to learn more about warm and cool tones.

Keep Your Other Pieces Simple

To keep a mixed print outfit looking polished and pulled together, make sure that the rest of the pieces in your ensemble are simple and basic. Stick to solid colors, simple textures and minimal accessories. Don’t wear additional colors that will take the focus away from the mixed prints, as these should serve as the focal point of your outfit.