The way you wear prints can make or break an outfit. A floral blouse can brighten up plain office wear, but a patterned trouser and shirt combo could clash. So, how do you decide which prints you should be wearing and which you should stay clear of? QUIZ, fashion retailers of patterned party dresses , reveal their top tips:
Consider complementing colours, sizes and not going too OTT when styling prints.
New to wearing prints? You might want to ease them into your wardrobe by pairing them with solids. For something cool and stylish, match a pair of polka dot palazzo trousers with a plain white crew neck and barely-there sandals to channel summer vibes. Or, tuck a pastel ruffle shirt into a horizontal-striped A-line skirt for an on-trend look that’s suitable for work or play. Similarly, you can tone down a loud pattern by layering a monotone blazer or fitted jacket over the top. To add an edge of style and print to your wardrobe, consider patterned accessories such as bags, bandanas, and belts.
Bring pieces together that share similar colour schemes too. A floral print that has elements of pink in the pattern is enhanced by a solid coloured jacket that is the same colour of print. If you want to go for two printed garments, keep your fabrics in the same colour family or pick two stylish prints that share a single colour. This ensures that your outfit doesn’t clash and is a safe way of mixing and matching prints.
If you want to wear two different prints together in one outfit, there are ways to do this without committing a fashion faux pas. Try breaking mixed prints up with a neutral garment — channel boho vibes with a paisley co-ord jacket and skirt and separate the patterns with a neutral cami top. Or separate polka dot pumps and a patterned jacket with plain trousers. Similarly, you can also split up clashing prints with a chunky belt and cross-body bag.
It’s acceptable to wear two garments that share the same pattern too — although it can be a bold move depending on the print. One good way to do this is to invert the colours if you’re using two of the same pattern. For example, if a white cami with navy checks would pair well with a navy cami with white checks. You can also wear the same pattern together with in a larger or smaller scale. Try pairing a high-waisted pair of slacks with a strappy top that’s a smaller version of the pattern. Consider your jewellery in the mix too — if you’re wearing a geometric printed top, opt for jewellery of the same pattern.
What Not To Do
There aren’t a lot of rules around patterns, it all depends on how confident you are contrasting styles and prints. There are a few things to keep in mind though.
Do your best to avoid jumping colour schemes — with clashing prints and colours, your outfit can look too mismatch. Stick to one colour scheme and use it throughout the full outfit — this helps your garments complement each other and prevents an outfit that looks like it’s been thrown together!
They can be styled properly, but animal print can be quite loud and may not match together in the way that other patterns would. For this reason, pair animal print with solid coloured pieces — try a leopard print cami dress with black t-shirt beneath and black heeled ankle boots — the top and boots will bring out the spots, whereas leopard print shoes would have been too much.
How will you style your prints next time you’re heading out?