My favorite picture of my oldest niece is one of her wearing purple pants, a tutu, a sparkly pink shirt, a headband, and two different shoes.  While you may be quick to assume that the tutu is what put me over the edge, it is actually her self assured expression in the photo.  She is so very proud of herself, and for that reason, her discombobulation works.

I’ve always been a big fan of mixing and matching.  I think when things are too carefully concocted, they seem a bit fussy and overdone (like matching your bag to your shoes- ick!).  While it may seem silly to take inspiration from a child, it’s actually quite the contrary.  See, children are somewhat uninhibited when it comes to fashion.  They have not yet become slaves to trends and “rules” about what goes with what.  They see it, they like it, they put it on.

I’m not suggesting that you throw on just any old thing, but what I am suggesting is loosening those chains of style and having a bit of fun.  Who are these people making up the “rules” anyway?

When mixing patterns, I do suggest staying within the same color family.  I also would try incorporating prints in different scale (one big print, one small print).  The days of plaids and stripes being considered a faux pas are long gone.

1. American Apparel Stripe Mid-Length Pocket Tank, $29, 2. Miu Miu Stitched Sandal, $595, 3. Hazel Polka Dot Print Skirt, $79, 4. Ben-Amun Worldly Charm Rope Bracelet, $145

See?  Mixing and matching is child’s play.