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How to Style Printed Trousers – 5 Smart Tips

How to Style Printed Trousers – 5 Smart Tips

Over the last couple of seasons, the Scandinavian style with clean lines and natural colors were omnipresent in fashion.

Contemporary was what we were looking for.

However, in Summer 2022 patterns and color blocking are back and bringing some fun and joy to our wardrobe. That leads to the question: How to Style Printed Trousers?

We see a lot of pattern trousers, mainly in kick flare or flared style, so the vibe clearly states the ’70s are back.

Plain trousers are obviously easier to combine, patterns can be a challenge.

To help you excel in this challenge we will look at some rules for pulling together an outfit with pattern trousers.

Also when you enter the pattern game, don’t forget about the endless possibilities of patterns.

Some patterns just have two colors and a structured, geometrical pattern.

Others have several colors and a wild pattern such as paisley or flower prints.

Depending on the pattern, you have different options when it comes to your outfit.


How to Style Printed Trousers

The safe way to style printed trousers is to wear a plain top that picks one of the colors in the trousers. Alternatively, wear a plain light color, and add a light-colored blazer to it. The more experimental way is to combine different patterns, a game for pros. A rule of thumb when combining different patterns is to combine patterns from one pattern family, such as geometrical patterns with geometrical patterns.  Also make sure that the colors are matching, or are from one color family, such as blue dots with a blue flower print. Keep the size of the pattern in mind. The same rule applies here: small size pattern with a small or medium-size pattern and large pattern with a medium or large pattern. 

Pattern with Two Colors

Pieces with a two-colored pattern are easier to combine.

You can just repeat one color from the trouser in your shirt, or you are following the rules of color blocking.

For example a pair of blue trousers with white dots and a red shirt.

Even if the pattern is a little more choppy, like Leopard print, this rule still goes.

Pair leopard print with either black or another neutral color such as white or creme, or choose the classic denim shirt.

Pattern with Several Colors

Patterns with several colors are very dominant.

Therefore choose a plain T-shirt or overshirt

Also, avoid ruffles or any prints. You should calm the print down a bit with a solid piece so it doesn’t get too crazy.

Another idea to calm down a print is to wear a blazer that is a bit longer.

Also if you have several colors in the pants, you can choose the shirt in one color of the trouser and the blazer in another one.

As long as they are plain, that works very well.

Mixing Patterns

One of my favorite topics is fashion. Mixing patterns.

This really depends on a sensitivity to fashion – even if there are a few rules you can follow to avoid a mismatching look.

1. The Color Matters

For example, choose blue as your basic color and pick patterns that all have the same blue.

So you can mix a blue dotted skirt with a blue shirt that has flowers on it.

This gives the eye some rest, and the outfit looks more harmonic.

You can also choose one color scheme, for example black, gray, white.

Choose colors that are analogous colors or complimentary on the color wheel.

2. The Size of the Pattern

To create a harmonic look, pay attention to the size of the patterns.

Mix small with small patterns or medium patterns and large patterns with large or medium prints.

3. Same Patterns Different Colors

That’s an easy combination, has the prints or patterns are the same and only the color is different.

So you just need to make sure that the color matches.

For example, you pair a classic leopard print with a red leopard print.

Or blue and white printed trousers with a blue and red printed shirt.

4. Neutral Patterns

Yes, there are such things as neutral patterns.

It might sound a bit weird, but there is a pattern that goes with almost everything.

Stripes, camouflage, and leopard prints are considered neutral patterns.

Why? Leopard and camouflage have colors that can be worn with many different colors.

Stripes are a calm even pattern that usually has a neutral background, for example, blue stripes on white.

5. Belts do Magic

If you feel that the combination of the printed trouser and the printed shirt is a bit too loud and unsteady, choose a black belt to create surfaces and add a line between the different patterns.


I admit, I don’t have too many prints in my closet, especially when it comes to trousers.

I always thought they are hard to combine, but when you look a bit into the topic you see, that a few simple rules will help to create the perfect outfit.

Try something neutral on top in the beginning.

Also consider wearing more fitted pants, as prints tent to let you look wider than you actually are.

So loose-fitting pants support that. Especially if you are not that tall, wear fitted pants so that you are not eaten by the pattern.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pattern Trousers

Can I mix all patterns?

When mixing patterns I would also consider the style. You can match dots with plaids, however, I would stay in one color family. So black white dots with a black and white plaid.

Can I mix vertical strips and horizontal stripes?

Yes, you can mix different stripes. The best practice is to use the same pattern and just the stripes in different directions. Another important point is to stay in one color scheme. As usual, color does a lot and can avoid the mix of patterns getting overwhelming.