If there was a common thread running down the Spring/Summer 2014 runways, it was prints. Animal or floral, abstract or geometric, prints large and small were seen on just about every runway and with good reason. Prints are fun to wear, ultra feminine and so expressive. But wearing prints can be daunting for those of us who think that a colored sweater from the GAP is pushing the style envelope. Here are a few tips on adding prints to your spring outfits that are flattering for every body shape.
1. Consider proportion
Very tiny prints such as micro florals are easier to pull off than large prints. From afar, our eyes view smaller prints as one color whereas with larger prints, we try to discern the actual pattern to make sense of it. If you’re new to wearing prints, try smaller patterns in colors that you’re already comfortable wearing. If you tend to wear just blacks and white, there are many black and white prints with geometric patterns that would complement what is already in your wardrobe.
2. When wearing large prints…
…keep everything else minimal. From your makeup and hair to your accessories, let the print be the primary focus of your outfit. Nude shoes and basic, no fuss accessories will complement your print instead of compete with it. A bare face and minimal hair will keep everything polished and keep you from looking overdone. This Dolce and Gabbana twill mini-dress uses a gorgeous floral print in a large print but keeps the cut petite to balance the proportions.
3. Add some texture
If you’re wearing printed trousers, pair it with a soft angora sweater. If you have a silk printed dress, a leather moto jacket will balance it out. If you’re dying to try out a printed coat (totally hot this season) wear solid colors underneath or apply some color-blocking to balance the print out.
4. You don’t have to be petite to wear prints
Trends on the runway are meant to be accessible to the masses, not just for tall, skinny girls. It just takes good styling to make it work for you. If you’re a plus-size woman, stay away from large prints and opt for more feminine, dainty prints. Also, avoid dressing in prints from head-to-toe. A printed camisole under a cardigan or printed trousers with a solid colored sweater will add style to your outfit while also having a slimming effect. Diane Von Furstenburg is renown for her beautiful printed dresses. Find some of her designs here.
5. Be bold
Wearing prints for the first time takes confidence. Start small with a camisole or a skirt in a cut that you already love and work your way up to a coat or printed trousers. Style is all about wearing what makes you feel good so if you feel silly in the dressing room, there’s a good chance you’ll feel silly in the office. Ask a close friend for their opinion and remember, as long as you feel good, you’re doing it right.