One of my FAVOURITE, fun things to do is clashing prints!

I’m drawn to the playfulness of it, to experiment and see what random prints work well together. Of course, I find it immensely satisfying when they do.

Clashing prints is a quick and easy way to update an old outfit and is becoming a big trend in racing fashion and Fashions on the Field competitions.

milano imai clash prints fashions on the field

The best part is there are no real rules. You will need to develop an eye for what works and what doesn’t, but really, you just never know till you try!

Choose Colours that will Clash Well

My first tip to successfully clashing prints is to have a good understanding of colour.

Look at the humble colour wheel to find harmonizing colours, as well as contrasting colours (those on the opposite side of the wheel). Colours next to each other work well too.

Colour wheel

Those colours you think wouldn’t normally work well together, actually do.

Brown and turquoise, orange and navy, pink and red, chartreuse and blue and green and purple are some of my favourites to clash!

Surf life saving raceday red and yellow

When faced with a Surf Life Saving Day theme race event, I had to deal with red and yellow; a combination I really didn’t think would go together. But, I was surprised to find it worked really well when a print was incorporated.

You can also check out runway shows and top designers to see what colours they are pairing together.

Sometimes focusing on matching the colour rather than the print works well too. Click here for some of my other tips on how to choose the perfect colours. 

Now for clashing PRINTS, there are plenty of options!

1) An easy place to start is to clash prints with stripes.

A nice striped blouse paired with a floral or animal print works beautifully as seen here on Georgia, winner of Oaks Day 2015.

Striped blouse floral skirt georgia

Or vice versa as seen here on Bec.

Floral blouse stripe skirt clashing prints

2) Combine big and small patterns/prints.

Wear the same print, one version being larger than the other, like Crystal’s leopard print ensemble below.

This also shows clashing prints in monochrome for maximum effect!

big and small leopard pattern monochrome

Photo by race photographer Richard Shaw.

3) Wear the same pattern in two different ways.

A horizontal stripe next to a vertical stripe is very effective as shown here on Emily, especially with the pop of colour.

horizontal and vertical stripe dress clash

4) For those who are a little more daring, try clashing two bold prints.

Our brave Queensland Myer FOTF State Finalist Inessa won wearing a striking print-clashing ensemble in yellow and orange.

She clashed a stripe full skirt with a printed Versace blouse and accompanying stripe bag.