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Pattern and Print Personality!

Incorporating patterns and prints into your wardrobe is one way you can easily give an outfit an eye-catching style. You should have at least three different prints or patterns in your closet that match looks you’d want to create. These should be based on your personality, but how do you know which ones will fit your character?

Some women, some plus-size women and fans of monochromatic outfits tend to shy away from patterns and prints because they find it all a little overwhelming, or don’t know where to start. But bold prints and patterns can actually be extremely flattering, and finding the perfect one for you is easier than you think. Or you can always ease into prints with neutral colors. That way, you won’t feel over the top.

To begin, here are some possible patterns to consider as we talk:

· Stripes        • Polka dots            • Paisley

· Floral          • Checks                 • Houndstooth· Cheetah print

Now let’s get you set up with some easy guideline . . .

Pair it with a solid

All-over prints can be very becoming, but some women don’t want to wear a busy pattern from head to toe. Or they struggle with wearing patterns because they feel like they look too overdone. So, try pairing one patterned clothing item with something solid. A graphic-printed skirt or a pair of pants with tribal designs looks stylish with a plain solid-colored top. The print still makes a statement without feeling overwhelming.

There’s balance when you combine a print top with a solid-colored bottom or the other way around. Offsetting a busy pattern can really pull your outfit together. For example, if you’re looking to rock a dazzling polka dot blouse, do so with a classic pair a jeans. The contrast will make your outfit look and feel prim and proper.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try a pair of printed bottoms instead. Black and white statement trouser pants are wide-leg so, they’re roomy and comfortable but still create a small waistline. To complete this getup, wear a solid-colored shirt. However, be sure that the fabric doesn’t have any ridges or lines. You’re going to want a blouse that is one full color and material so that both items look great together.

Say yes to any size

You’ve probably heard people advise curvy women to stay away from prints that are too large or too small, but both huge and tiny patterns can still be flattering. What’s most important for showing off your curves in a complimentary way is how each garment fits and whether it highlights your favorite features. Look for quality materials, interesting necklines and flattering cuts to find pieces that will look amazing on you.

Have fun!

This trend is all about showing off your fun personality and letting your confidence shine. Wear outfits that make you feel inspired and energized, and you’ll be sure to turn heads.

Dress it up

The great thing about patterned dresses and skirts is that a little goes a long way. For example, you could be wearing a long, black maxi dress that’s mostly one color. However, at the top and bottom of the dress there could be an eye-catching print. This a subtle and fun way to incorporate some pizzazz into your wardrobe.

Put it on your feet

If you’re not too sure about patterned clothing, there’s another route you can go: shoes. The trick is to consider textures as well as patterns. You don’t want to wear an outfit that’s all one shade and fabric. Instead, try and mix and match materials with your patterned shoes so that your getup is innovative and fun.

All that said, here are a few ideas of how to coordinate different personalities with pattern and print styles:

Refined

Polka Dot

A classic pattern that will give you a refined and polite appearance is the polka dot. Large polka dots on a dress create a very feminine style that’s cute, yet classy. Try a regal style with a black and white polka-dot dress and a classy cardigan over the top for work, or go with a more casual look by donning a spotted sweater. If you’re looking for another workwear option, try a simple polka-dot blouse. Choose one with a Peter Pan collar to really enhance the ladylike impression, or go with something more traditional like a button-up.

Plaid and Check

Is there a pattern more classic or timeless than plaid and checks? One cannot be too old or too young to rock some plaid, and there’s not one piece of clothing that the pattern doesn’t work on. The best part about this print is its versatility. Wear it in shirt form, or toss on a classic throwback with a nostalgic plaid jacket, especially ones with longer length. The light cover-up will help you beat chilly weather, and the extended length will highlight the vertical lines, helping to elongate your body and give you a slim shape.

A great way to work plaid into an outfit is to choose one statement piece. A plaid fashion blazer with a plain black T-shirt, dark skinny jeans and some heels is an ultimate polished look that can translate form casual Friday at the office to the weekends.

Edgy

Tired of playing it safe? Then try a style that will give you an avant-garde vibe, like a houndstooth pattern. This print is full of sharp angles that are reminiscent of a hound’s tooth, which will have you turning heads as you walk down the street. You can wear this in a large print for a workwear blouse, or go bold by finding a coat that sports the pattern.

Kick up the geometric look by adding a bohemian flare. For example, consider pairing a blouse or knit top featuring this type of print under a fringed shrug. Pair this ensemble with an oversized hobo bag, and you’ll be turning heads while feeling ultra comfy!

Animal print

You can also incorporate leopard print into your wardrobe for that edgy appearance, such as in an outfit with a flashy shirt. Or if you want something more subtle for work, try an animal print scarf. If you’re feeling really daring, you could even don a leopard print blazer.

While you may not want to go as exotic as snakeskin boots, you can still achieve the same shine and texture with other, more familiar items. For example, a leather jacket can keep you warm on chilly fall days while still delivering that cool texture and look of reptile prints. Incorporate this style in smaller doses by opting for a reptile-print handbag or chic fall leather boots.

Word print

Word print, actual words and letters incorporated into an ensemble, delivers visual interest to your outfit and can draw attention to parts of your body you want to enhance. If you’re aiming to show off your sleek legs, opt for a pair of leggings that incorporates this trend. On the other hand, you can draw attention away from your bottom and toward your top with a word-print blouse.

Relaxed

If you’re a pretty laid-back person, then boho style is for you. Choose patterns that represent this sort of fashion, like florals. Try the Boho look on flowing tunics, dresses and scarves. Flower prints are so versatile that you can wear them for nearly any occasion. Depending on the type of flower pictured and the color palette, you could wear this pattern for a night on the town or a day at the office.

Get a few different pieces to add to your collection so you can choose a style that works with each event.

For really casual settings, don a more whimsical pattern, like paisley. Try finding a loose-fitting blouse to enhance the relaxed appearance. This elaborate print is great for drawing the eye while creating a fun, carefree look.

Floral prints

Even aside from the Boho look, floral prints create a fun and flirty vibe for any style. In fact, this pattern provides an easy way to make your outfit more feminine or to contrast an edgy flare. For example, considering wearing a floral pattern dress under a dark leather jacket.

Poised

For professional settings, you need an outfit that will make you look self-assured, yet stylish. Stripes are a classic pattern that can give you that poised appearance you’ve been wanting. Choose trousers with thin black and white vertical stripes. This will elongate your body and have a slimming effect. Add a black blouse on top to polish off the ensemble. If you want to add a bold pop of color, then choose a vibrant clutch or high heel shoes. With this outfit, you’ll be sure to get everyone’s attention as soon as you walk into a room.

If you’re not sure you want to be quite so bold with your pattern choice by wearing it on your pants, then choose a loose striped top instead. One with a tie around the neck will really give it that professional feel you want.

Geometric shapes

Get the retro-digital look in your garb by incorporating geometric shapes. It’s important to have confidence in what you wear, and combining a stylish look with a flattering fit will help get you there. An intriguing variety of geometrics patterns in a dress will help slim the waist. Multi-hued geometric patterns are another popular trend you may want to consider.

How to rock the mixed-print look

Yes, with all these great choices, pairing mixed-and-matched prints and patterns can be tricky and intimidating. It may take some time for you to adjust to this new look if you’re used to everything matching, but once you master the art of mixing, your wardrobe will seem a heck of a lot bigger, as your outfit options just doubled.

So let’s wrap all this up with six tips and tricks to help you get mixing:

1. Match colors, not prints

Similar shades and palettes will help to better blend your prints, while still allowing you to make a bold statement. If you’re not sure what works in terms of matching colors, just try to keep it in the same family. This means  you should pair jewel tones with jewel tones, earth tones with earth tones and pastels with pastels. As a last resort, use the color wheel to find complementary colors. After all, opposites do attract! Remember: If the colors look good together, the prints will look good together, too.

But you may be asking, “What if I want to wear two garments with the same pattern?” Try your best to avoid this, as you might look too matchy-matchy. If, however, you do want to wear the same pattern, work with inverted or contrasting colors. For example, pair black stripes on a white background with white stripes on a black background. Or, try a neutral-colored leopard top with a bright blue leopard skirt.

Wearing the same pattern also works well when one print is significantly larger than the other. Still, try to stick with one color scheme, as you’re already taking another risk by pairing the same pattern.

2. Mixing stripes and polka dots

Mixing polka dots with stripes will always give you a chic look, especially if your color scheme is black and white. Scale is key in any mixed-and-matched outfit, but especially when you want to pair these two classic prints. Wearing both thin stripes and tiny polka dots will blend together, throwing your outfit out of balance. Choose the smaller pattern as a backup and incorporate a larger print to dominate your outfit. Remember: Your prints are supposed to complement each other, not compete.

3. Follow the rule of thirds

Tone down your mixing and limit yourself to two patterns. Three or more prints comes on a bit too strong and will be harder for your brain to process. If you do want to give this look a try, though, go with a white blouse or simple cardigan to reduce the intensity of your ensemble. Or, choose a blouse that already has a combination of prints on it, such as a half-striped, half-polka-dotted shirt paired with pants that are printed with thicker stripes that are perpendicular to the ones on your top.

4. Florals and graphics

Looking to add some life to your outfit? Start by choosing a floral pattern that catches your eye. Next, work with that color scheme when choosing a contrasting pattern.

Complex patterns such as florals or animal prints look best when paired with a simple graphic print. Consider pairing a floral pencil skirt with a black-and-white-striped blouse, as these two patterns always mesh well together. Leopard and and polka dots also complement each other. Consider pairing leopard pants with a polka dot blouse.

Color and scale are extremely important here, as you don’t want it to look like you got dressed in the dark.

5. Add texture

Texture counts as a pattern, too! Mixing one pattern and one textured piece will still give you the same effect that mixing patterns gives off. Rock a ruffled blouse with a lace skirt or pair a chunky striped sweater with leather leggings. Slip on a pair of metallic stilettos to spice up your polka dot dress.

For the bold, brave and confident, go ahead and mix multiple patterns with texture. The sky is the limit when you combine a patterned and textured piece!

6. Break it up

If you feel like your outfit is looking a little busy, avoid pattern overload by spacing the prints out a bit. This also allows you to get used to this new mix-and-match approach you’re testing out.

Distribute your prints more evenly to create a more subtle appearance. Start by pairing a patterned skirt with a printed shoe, or try a solid skirt with both a patterned scarf and bottom. Incorporating at least one solid is a great way to break up the print-on-print-on-print that is your outfit. Another way to divide your patterns is to throw on an oversized belt to divide your floral blouse and black-and-white pinstriped pants. When in doubt, stick with black and white and you’ll be golden. And treat stripes as a neutral: It’s all about balance, color coordination and imagination.So go ahead, take a risk: incorporate these trending prints, patterns and ideas into your wardrobe to have fun with your style and feel confident in your clothes. Give these outfits a try and you’ll look like you just stepped off the runway!

Published on Oct 05 2022

Last Updated on Oct 11 2022

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