Forget plain.....go for a pattern

PUBLISHED: 17:31 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:31 23 May 2013

Undated Handout Photo of Love Label at Very printed pencil skirt, £20 ( See PA Feature FASHION Prints. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FASHION Prints.

Undated Handout Photo of Love Label at Very printed pencil skirt, £20 ( See PA Feature FASHION Prints. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FASHION Prints.


There’s plenty on offer for minimalists this season, but for maximalists there will always be print.

Reaching for pattern is the easiest way to add personality to your wardrobe. You can be as fashionably loud as you dare, without uttering a word.

From girly florals and vacation tropicals to strict stripes and bold geometrics, there’s a print for everyone this summer.

The key to your print’s impact is all in the styling. Whether you want to be a wallflower or work the room, this eclectic trend is versatile enough to turn the volume up or down.

Pick your statement design and join this season’s print parade.

Fashion hasn’t just gone overboard on print this season – it’s taken the plunge with print on print. Co-ordinating the exact same print with separates on your top and bottom half creates an instant wow factor.

The effect can also be slimming if you pick your prints wisely – a small, repetitive pattern like a geometric keeps the eye moving and therefore camouflages your hot spots.

Matchy-matchy options are endless, ranging from a summery but smart blazer suit through to a more casual blouse and skirt.

The easiest way to work print head-to-toe is with a maxi dress or jumpsuit; just as effective but you only need to invest in one eye-catching print piece.

If one print isn’t enough, be greedy and attempt two. Break the fashion rule of only wearing one print per outfit and bravely clash together separates with opposing patterns.

Avoid the just-rolled-through-a-jumble-sale look and keep your outfit cohesive by picking out one common colour in each print.

Remember, you want your overall look to be stylishly edgy rather than shamefully odd.

As clashing prints will break up your frame, avoid this technique if you’re lacking in height. Those who are top-heavy should wear a darker print on top and lighter/brighter on the bottom, and vice-versa, to create balance.

For a less risky way of print-clashing, accessorise using mixed prints on your bag and shoes.

Ingeniously for the indecisive, fashion brands are now expertly managing the tricky task of clashing for you, merging multiple prints within one garment.

Mixed prints take all the guesswork out of throwing two prints together and there are some fetching combinations. Who knew that baroque and animal print could be best print pals - or gingham and florals?

Beginners should stick to a double print, while print pros can dabble with three in one pattern. The triple technique is often used on coats and jackets because they have a bigger surface area.

As a multi-print piece is a statement in itself, keep the rest of your look pared down with neutral shades. Pick out a colour from one of the prints and use it to match accessories for a touch of elegant co-ordination.

Prints aren’t for everyone. To tread carefully into the carnival of print, look for plain jackets or blazers with a discreet print trim on pockets, lapels, hems or cuffs.

For a virtually silent take on prints, invest in outerwear with a print lining so you can slowly acclimatise yourself to the boldness on a daily basis.

If you don’t fancy stepping out of your plain clothes comfort zone, make your current wardrobe ‘pop’ with statement print accessories like bags, shoes or scarves.

A print day bag is tricky territory because it’s unlikely to match your day-to-day wardrobe but a pretty patterned clutch will transform a little black dress from bland to beguiling.

Sienna Miller stole the show with her powder blue dress at the Bafta Television Awards. Get a summery short-sleeved version of her frock with Miss Selfridge’s lace skater dress, £39 (

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