Two color prints, especially ones that have white grounds, can be treated like solids which enables you to match a variety colors with them to create different looks. By having this flexibility, you can get more with less and easily change up your outfits without a closet full of clothes while also avoiding looking too matchy-matchy. In today’s post I am going to show you how you can treat some of your favorite two color prints like solid colors. Below are five different two color prints to show how you can try it with your own wardrobe.
How to Treat Two Color Prints Like Solids
Using this versatile navy and white wrap dress from Boden, I treated it like a solid navy dress and added these orange heeled sandals from Anthropologie to give the outfit a punch of color. Finishing the look, I used this navy bag from Vince Camuto and gold layered necklace from Stella & Dot.
The key to treating two color prints like a solid color is to choose coordinating pieces that match back to the color in the print. Seeing that this dress is navy and white, and navy is a neutral, any accent shade can be added, not just orange. Try a pair of shoes, handbag or necklace in colors like, a green, yellow, pink, soft blue, lavender, and more. The colors are limitless.
If you have coloring that is bold enough to wear black and white near your face, you can really pair any color with this Modcloth zig zag printed top. Here, for example, I added a pair of red jeans, but any color will work. Finishing the look, I used these silver flat sandals from Tommy Hilfiger, a black bag from she + lo and black stud earrings.
It may seem easier to add color to two color prints that are neutral and white, like the previous two outfit, but trickier when adding color to prints that aren’t neutral, like this green and white fern print in this jumpsuit from J. Crew. While the options may be a bit more limited, the approach is still the same– use colors that coordinate with the colors in the prints. Green being a versatile shade, there are may options that could be paired with this jumpsuit. Here, I used these pink Havaianas, but if you don’t like pink, no worries, add any color you want.
For this summer look, that could be great for vacation or just casual weekends, I finished this outfit with a white cross body bag from Marc by Marc Jacobs, a denim jacket, summer hat from Modcloth, Michael Kors sunglasses and gold and white chandelier earrings from Bloomingdales.
With this cute little summer dress from Tory Burch, I added small splashes of blue through the Lonna & Lilly blue agate earrings and MICHAEL Michael Kors handbag. Finishing the look, I found these silver and yellow flats from Boden that work perfectly with the dress without looking too matchy-matchy.
This T Tahari skirt in coral and white is a fun way to wear a professional skirt in a print for the summer. But you might be confused about what to do with it. Do you seek out a coral top that matches the coral in the skirt? If this feels like a fool’s errand, or too matchy-matchy, just look for colors that work with coral. Here, I added this green t-shirt and layered a sleeveless Theory trench jacket in navy over it. Finishing the look, I used these nude strappy wedges from Sam Edelman, a coral bag from Brahmin, and gold earrings from Max & Chloe and bracelet from Nordstrom.
See your two color summer prints as solid ones and have fun with all the accent and pop shades you can wear with them.
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Hiya B 🙂 What if the second color isn’t a neutral? And would you always consider the solid to be the darker color or does it really matter since light or dark you are still considering it a solid and with a broader view point, most solids would go together if their tone (or is that hue) is similar?
And did anything I wrote make sense?!
Um, what? LOL, maybe it is late but I am not understanding your question
Nope – it’s all me. I’ve trying to figure out how to ask this for a while…lemme try it this way: what if the navy and white dress were navy and red, could you treat it as a solid navy dress OR a solid red dress or does the background need to be white. And with the background being white, can you treat it as a white dress? Don’t think of it any more tonight, it will rot your brain!
It’s a little trickier when the prints don’t have a white ground. However, it’s not impossible. It really starts to all depend on the print. Using your example, if it was a red and navy dress it does become trickier because you always want to make sure that what you are accessorizing with the dress does work with the colors in it. And, yes, if the background is white then you can treat it like a white dress, but you still want to make sure that the accessories you are pairing with it works with the other color. I hope that makes sense.
I’m not a professional like Bridgette, so my input is probably less helpful. But…I think a red and navy dress could easily be accented with something like a soft green or tonally with a lighter blue or with a neutral. You have to pick a color that looks great with both the colors in the dress. I wouldn’t treat it like a solid though. I like to consider total number of colors in an outfit, with a maximum of 5 (including neutrals). To be interesting most outfits need 3 (kind of like the base, accent, and pop Bridgette talks about so much). So with a navy and red dress, the dress would count for 2. Then a green cardigan (or green shoes + earrings) might look nice for 3.
Heather, thanks for weighing in and please never feel shy to offer your two cents!!! All of our opinions matter! It’s funny, I thought about green because you know how versatile I think it is. However, my hesitation was the idea of combining red and green. Perhaps the blue will balance it, but I always think of Christmas when those two colors are combined! But I do think you are on to something, regardless, and I love your ideas!
Something else to consider is white or metallic. Meaning, instead of the white being in the ground of the print, use it as an accent. And, of course, we all know how versatile a great metallic sandal or bag is!
Anyway, thank you for your valuable insight and thoughts, Heather!!
After I posted my comment I wished I had suggested a different color than green. 🙂 I just happened to be wearing navy (base), aqua green (accent), and dark red pop right now, so that’s the color combo that came to mind.
Love these combos, but I would really like to see some ideas using Dobbin dresses again which are somewhat similar. I thought they were particularly nice, high quality and versatile. I haven’t found the same quality with Boden! An added bonus–they’re from your hometown of NYC!!
Thanks Mary! Agree, Dobbin dresses are wonderful. I know the company well and Jess, the co-owner, is a good friend. Using their clothes in these posts are tricky because they don’t use product shots. It’s hard to crop around models. But I am always happy to feature them!
I have a printed blouse that is white/red/black/pink and for years I wore it with black pants and a black or red blazer; however, after reading one of Bridgitte’s post about doing 2 colors with a black and white skirt. I started wearing it black pants and a pink sweater…WOW have I gotten so many compliments…..Thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge!!!!!!