As fabric lovers, we cannot help but wonder how very different fabrics can be artfully combined to make the perfect ensemble. Here are a few tips for getting creative without the risk of going overboard:

1. Research. Pick five favorite designers/artists and check their work on a regular basis. Study their use of different fabrics and colors in order to understand your own taste. Remember–after all–fashion is subjective. I found NAHM , New York based designer, to be a huge inspiration on the topic of mixing and matching without being outlandish.

2. Choose a palette. It is easier to start with a print. You can pull colors to match from the print or find a complimentary color that is not in the print at all. Alternatively, try using a painting or photograph with coloring and textures you love.

3. Choose your print carefully. A smallish repetitive pattern works better than a large design. Think of it this way, a large design offers variation in one piece, which is what we are trying to create with different fabrics.

4. Pick a leader. An outfit can end up looking too busy if the different elements exist in equal proportions. Let the print lead with a simple solid lace panel or detail a sheer lace outfit with solid or print fabrics. Going from matte chiffon to shiny charmeuse is one of our favorite tricks to adding intricacy.

5. Minimize the variables. If the design calls for three equal sized panels, consider using fabrics of the same texture or having a monotone outfit with different shades of the same color.

6. Have fun, be bold and trust your aesthetic instincts.

Have we left anything out? Post a comment. Let us know what your mixing experience has taught you.