Polka Dots and Stripes: Do’s and Don’ts with Pairing Prints

It’s a real trend right now to pair up seemingly mismatching prints. Things our Grandmothers may never have worn seem to attract our imagination. However, I believe there are some guidelines to follow. We should remember that the goal of modesty is to not draw too much attention to any area of our bodies and so prints should not be garish or so obviously clashing they are no longer modest. Remember, even if these things may be paired in a garment by a designer and look good, they do not look good when paired together with a scarf and shirt or skirt and shirt.  Besides, designers aren’t really known for being examples of modest apparel in most cases.



Printed Clothing Don'ts

1.  Pair multiple colored polka dots with multiple color stripes. This is too busy and garish.

2.  Pair polka dots with small regular flower prints.

3.  Pair paisleys with polka dots.

4.  Pair stripes with checkered or gingham prints.

5.  When in doubt do without.








Printed Clothing Do’s

1.  Pair polka dots and stripes, especially if they are alternating and match in color.  E.g., black background with white polka dots and white background with black polka dots.

2.  Pair polka dots with large floral prints.

3.  Pair paisleys with large floral prints.

4.  Pair stripes with paisleys.

5.  Pair checks with paisleys.

6.  Pair checks and polka dots.

7.  Pair leopard with zebra or tiger stripes if the colors match or there are less than three colors.

8.  Pair the same style prints in larger and smaller scale, e. g., large and small polka dots, or thicker stripes with thinner stripes.

9.  Have fun and wear your mismatched prints with confidence.

Remember, anything looks better and is appreciated when it’s worn with confidence.  


Always look in a mirror before leaving the house and ask yourself if you have passed the modesty test.

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