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Styling Tips 

Here's How To Wear Multiple Patterns At Once

It's called power clashing.

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Image: Thefashionguitar.com

All of your plain, dark winter clothing should be firmly stowed the back of your closet by now to make way for a selection of bright, cheerful, warm-weather pieces. Every spring we see florals make a reappearance as one of the season’s stalwart prints, but a handful of other trending patterns have emerged, too. From succulent cactus motifs to bold ginghams, it’s hard to limit yourself to just one style. So we’ve pulled together this power clashing how-to so you don’t have to decide between your favorites anymore. 

We were inspired by a head-to-toe Valentino look from The Fashion Guitar, where the New York-based blogger styled a floral dress with a striped, long sleeve top underneath. Plus, her biker boots and candy floss pink hair perfectly capped off the look with even more contrast. 

What makes this outfit sing rather than suck is that all the details are perfectly balanced: the colors of the sleeves pick out the accents on the floral print of the dress, the flowers themselves are fairly small, so even though they are bold, there are fewer of them than the stripes. 

When you’re aiming for a power clash, rather than just a clash, there are just a few things you need to remember to make it work: pick out details of your outfit that compliment one another, whether it’s a specific motif or a color scheme, to bring cohesion to the look. Balance out heavy, all-over patterns with lighter, sporadic prints, and make sure that there is an uneven balance of the two – meaning that both patterns don't take the spotlight at once. Layer a tee beneath a wrap dress so just a flash of the bottom layer comes through, or for a shirt-and-pants-combo, make sure that you pair a simple, repeating pattern (like polka dots) with a more complex design so that the latter takes centrestage. 

Feeling experimental? Check out 9 power-clash pairings that we picked out for you to mix it up this spring: 
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