Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spice up your Wardrobe with Prints

A couple of years ago, I realized how boring my wardrobe had become. I had precious few patterns in my closet, but those that I had, I wore quite often.

Several patterns I didn't feel were "right" and they quickly wrote their own ticket out of my closet. I looked at the patterns I wore the most to see what they all had in common and tried to figure out why I felt great and looked good in them.

I realized all the patterns shared one trait - they all contained beige or yellow. They worked with my coloring because I am a champagne blonde. It's all about harmony - my hair color was repeated in the patterns I wore.

I started using this new tactic, and you know what? I started buying (and more importantly, wearing) interesting patterns! My closet isn't boring anymore!!

Most of us appreciate a rule of thumb so we are assured that what we buy will look great on us. Fortunately, this concept works for everyone - whether male or female, and regardless of hair color - brown, red, black, gray, or blonde.

A pattern will generally work on you if your hair color is repeated in it. I think that's why leopard print is perpetually 'in'. It contains so many of our hair colors - blonde, light and dark brown, white, and black. And redheads can wear it because it's in their color palette!

A few more tricks for wearing prints:

The 80/20 Rule
This is for anyone who has attended one of my color events. For best results, when you buy prints, make sure 80% of the colors in the print are from your own palette. The other 20% can be any color in the spectrum. Remember, it's all about creating harmony!

Filling Your Closet
The easiest way to incorporate prints is to use
the following list in descending order:
1. Stripes
2. Plaids
3. Checks
4. Dots
5. Abstracts
6. Florals*

*A quick note - be careful with florals in the professional world - they can undermine your credibility

Mimic your face and body shape

If your facial features are on the angular side with dramatic high cheekbones, a square jawline, or thin lips, and you are tall and/or slender, opt for bold, geometric patterns.

If you have softer features and are more curvy, choose soft or rounded prints, like paisley, swirls, and abstract florals.

A mishmash of prints from my very own closet: clothes, bags, shoes, scarves

I'm on the softer, curvier side, so I select patterns that are more rounded, leafy, or swirly - nothing too angular or with hard edges.

Mixing Patterns
Guys do it all the time - a pinstripe suit, striped shirt, polka dot tie. Women, on the other hand, are generally afraid to mix patterns for fear of looking silly, I suppose. I do it quite a bit and I can assure you I don't look silly. I will pair striped or plaid pants with abstract print shirts or jackets.

A few tricks to making this look work:

1. Don't combine more than 2 patterns - unless you are going for a very fashion forward look

2. Items must have at least 2 colors in common

3. Make sure the prints are different proportions - for instance, herringbone (a very tight pattern)
and a large print brocade jacket can work well together if you follow all the other rules

4. Mixing patterns mandates toned-down accessories

No comments: