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Style over 50: How to wear mixed prints over 50 | Fab after Fifty

Challenge set by Julia Rees

style over 50 how to mix prints image

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut in terms of we wear (and do!) over 50. Sometimes we just have to step out of our style comfort zone.  Julia’s latest challenge is to encourage us to try mixing prints – something I have to confess to never having done – in fact at one point in my life colleagues used to refer to me as ‘Miss Match’ as I took great care to ensure that everything I wore matched! The idea of wearing anything that competes or clashes is totally alien to me!  However now that lockdown means that I am working from home alone its an ideal time to experiment with what I wear – nobody will see me!

So, on to today’s challenge and Julia’s great tips for mixing prints :

Welcome to day 25 of the “New Year New You” Challenge, and tomorrow’s challenge is to wear mixed prints.

We are posting each challenge the evening before so that you have time to prepare your outfit/ your challenge ahead of time.

How to Wear Mixed Prints Over 50

How to break fashion rules over 50 quote image

“I want to remind people of a different kind of glamour, a different look, and breaking rules of fashion. I want to break the rules”

Dita Von Teese

Today, I want to challenge you to have some fun, experimenting with mixed prints.

“Never mix prints” is one of the outdated fashion “rules”, similar to “blue and green should never be seen”, and we now often see examples of print mixing, and it’s a really fun way to elevate your style.

And yet, many of us still hesitate before placing two prints next to each other, and it never quite seems to look right when we attempt it ourselves.

Mixing prints is a little daunting, and yet when done right it looks fabulous. So, here are a few tips to help you get mixed prints right.

  1. Cheat

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You can follow my example and cheat by having all the mixed prints in one piece, such as in this skirt. I paired it with a simple green sweater which picks up one of the colours in the skirt. (see this post for how to wear a bold print over 50).

However, whilst technically, I think this counts as mixed prints, it’s not really in the spirit of the challenge so here are a few tips for mixing prints in different pieces, and a look from this summer.

2. Pay attention to Balance

Balance large and small prints.

If one print is big, then balance it out with a smaller scale print.

Balance loud and subtle prints.

If one print is bold and bright, balance it with a more subtle print, or mix neutral coloured prints with bold coloured prints.

You want the overall look to be balanced and not about competing prints!

3 Make use of the “new neutrals”

wear printed accessories to mix prints over 50

Simple black or navy horizontal stripes are considered as neutrals for the purposes of print mixing, so you could combine a striped top with a bolder print skirt, or vice-versa.

Similarly, subtle animal prints such as snakeskin and leopard print, are considered as “neutral” for this purpose, so style them with a bold print, such as florals.

4 Pay attention to your body shape

In general, large prints and horizontal stripes make you look bigger, whereas small prints and vertical stripes are slimming.

With this in mind, wear the larger print/ bolder print on an area of your body that you want to draw attention to, and keep the smaller/ subtler print for the area of your body that you want to minimise/ distract attention from.

5 Mix prints that have a colour in common

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Pick prints that have a colour in common to make the look more harmonious.

Or if you want to start simply, opt for black and white and mix black and white polka dots with black and white stripes for a subtle take on mixed prints, or opt for shades of grey.

The polka dot print above is so subtle, you can barely discern that there is a second print.

6 Mix prints of the same colour but in different sizes or inversed colours 

For example, you could wear a black top with white polka dots and a white skirt with black polka dots. This will be aesthetically pleasing and create a balanced harmonious look.

7 Make use of accessories


If you’re not ready to commit to full-on print mixing, try adding the second print with an accessory, such as a print scarf or bag.

You can even try print mixing with your dog!

mixing prints over 50 image

And remember, it’s supposed to be fun, so don’t overthink it! It’s an opportunity to express your personality and be authentically you!

The aim of this challenge is to experiment and have fun with your wardrobe, by wearing what you already own to put together new outfits.

It’s about putting together what you own in new ways and shaking you out of your style rut. So, just have some fun with it!

You can share your outfit on our Facebook Pages (@StyleConfidenceandSuccesswithJulia and @Fabafterfifty – don’t forget to follow us if you don’t already ) and if you love using social media you can also share your looks on Instagram or Twitter with #NewYearNewYouChallenge2021.

“Look good, feel good, live your best life“

Julia and Ceri xo


Julia Rees

Julia is a Style, Confidence and Success Coach and she is passionate about helping women to look good, feel good and live their best lives. She helps women find balance, clarity, confidence, freedom and success both within their personal and professional lives, and she is also a Style, Lifestyle and Travel blogger

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