How To Wear Prints and Patterns

It’s official, floral prints, stripes, and dots are sticking around this season. As fun as these trends are, they also take a bit of finesse and knowledge to pull off. You’ve heard time and time again “horizontal stripes will make you look fat!” However, with these how-to tips on wearing prints you’ll be sporting the season’s hottest trend in no time!


Let’s tackle stripes first. It is true that the wider the horizontal stripe the wider you can look. This is because it causes the eye to slow down and it is easier to focus on.

Robert Rodriguez at Nordstrom, $245

Of course, all of this doesn’t mean that you must avoid wider stripes at all cost. If you are lacking just a bit in any area (chest, hips, butt etc.) a wider stripe is the perfect option to make you look and feel more curvaceous.

J. Crew, $65

Smaller stripes are busy, making it more difficult for the eye to focus, creating a slimming vertical stripe effect.

Karen Kane, $119

Pieces with a combination of wider and narrower stripes are an easy and chic way to wear stripes.

Prints can be insanely fun and insanely scary all at the same time, but they don’t have to be, scary that is. The most important part to nailing the print look is to choose a print that is the right size for your body.

Girl. By Band Of Outsiders at Net-A-Porter, $280

If you have a petite frame then you want to choose a smaller print—a large print will overwhelm you.

Gap, $54.95

If you have a medium frame you want to choose a medium-sized print and is on and so forth.

Haute Hippie at CUSP by NM, $465

To keep balance, pair your printed piece with a neutral compliment: a floral jacket with a solid colored blouse and a neutral bottom.

It is very hard to go wrong with dots, but there is one instance when being aware of the size of the dot is crucial. Polka dot tights are feminine, fun, and stretchy what could possibly go wrong? Well, thanks to that comfortable stretch a tiny dot can instantly become the size of a grapefruit on your thigh while the dots at your ankle are the size of a dime… Not always the best of looks.

Banana Republic, $22.50

If the dots are knitted into the fabric generally the size stays true. If the dots are printed onto the fabric then make sure to ask the stylist or sales person on hand or look up reviews online before purchasing.

By Kristianne Young

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