Mixing prints is not for the faint of heart -- but if you’re looking for a fashion kick-start, combining stripes with a patterned skirt is a good place to begin. Stripes are a less busy print than most other options, so you’re unlikely to run into trouble. Keep a few basic styling rules in mind, and soon you’ll be pattern pairing with the best of them.

All in the Family

Select a base color to tie the whole look together. Keeping your prints and stripes in the same general color family ensures a cohesive appearance. The hues don’t have to match perfectly, but should share similarities. Rock a navy and white striped top with a floral A-line skirt that incorporates cornflower blue, navy and pink. The look is hardly matchy-matchy, but the color consistency is pleasing to the eye. Finish the outfit with neutral beige ballet flats and simple silver jewelry.

Scale Matters

The prints you choose should balance each other -- not compete. Choose a top with a thicker horizontal stripe and pair it with a smaller print below. Think miniscule polka dots or tiny flowers. Similarly, if the print on the bottom is especially busy, such as a bold tribal print, keep the stripes up top thin and neutral. A thin-striped black and white blouse teams well with a black, white and red printed miniskirt in a large graphic pattern. Keep your footwear and accessories basic in color and design so they don't compete or clash with your intricate ensemble.