01/11/2012 01:43 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Mix and Match: The How-To Guide (PHOTOS)

Ever since J.Crew President And Creative Director Jenna Lyons hit the big time (meaning an appearance on Oprah, obviously) in 2010 girls have aspired to mix and match with the same devil-may-care attitude...and the results are amazing. Lyons is an expert at pairing unexpected hues and patterns with aplomb; and rather than looking like she got dressed in the dark, she looks perfectly imperfect. While our girl-crush has major style, let us not forget that Consuelo Castiglioni, the genius designer and founder of Italian label Marni, has been pairing overblown florals with graphic prints for years.

The key to mixing and matching is making sure your silhouette remains streamlined -- no clown looks here, please. Top off your neon silk blouse with a striped cardigan, printed pants, nerd-chic glasses and high-heeled loafers for a look that will have the street style photographers panting after you. Just remember to keep it all tailored, otherwise, off to the big top for you.