How to wear prints

How to wear prints

Nikki ParkinsonEveryday Style, Fashion, How to 44 Comments

My everyday style has had a fantastic boost this week. I don’t know about you but my wardrobe is in that limbo land between autumn and winter.

The warm days mean that winter pieces are lying and hanging there unworn and unloved.

We’ve supposedly moved on from summer but then we get a few 25 degree days. What’s with that?

I’ll admit it. I get bored with wearing the same style of clothes. That’s why it’s so much fun to add another level to the #everydaystyle challenge.

Even more fun when someone else does it for us.

Vanessa – the talented and stylish woman behind Style and Shenanigans – has been hosting a challenge all week. The #snsprint challenge has come with a daily prompt to incorporate a different print in our daily outfit.

Yesterday was spots, today is geo/checks. Tomorrow is print clash.

So, I’ve joined in. It’s given me a guide as to what to wear each day. It’s made me get out a piece from my wardrobe to suit the day’s challenge but also to suit what that particular day is dishing up, work or play-wise.

In this photo below, I was getting a head start on the week’s challenge with a print clash. Well, my low-key version of a print clash: stripes and leopard print.

Maybe buying and wearing printed clothes or accessories just scares the wardrobe life out of you? That’s ok. I’ve got some tips for you, should you wish to dip your toe – or your whole body – into them.

Prints and patterns are the chief show ponies of your wardrobe. They are ready, willing and able to come out to play and give any basic outfit a lift to the next level.

You don’t need to own and wear all kinds of prints but having one or two in your wardrobe will extend the types of looks you can create every day.

Wardrobe tips: prints

1. If you’re a minimalist then a striped print is most probably the easiest for you to embrace. Navy or black stripes work with almost any other piece. They are the most classic offering from the print department but they still have an amazing ability to pop a basic outfit.

2. If you love a bit of fun in your outfits then spots are your friend. Spots are the most cheeky print of the fashion world. The just want to have fun and you can’t help but smile when wearing them. There are spots at all your favourite stores this season so if this is your thing, buy up!

3. Tread carefully with florals. Such care only applies to those not fully on board the print bandwagon. For me, my style is not overly feminine so adding in florals to an outfit can sometimes look out of place at best and nana-ish at worst. If I stick to a modern floral I get away with it. Small florals are not my friend either. Some of my girlfriends can clash any kind of floral and look AMAZING. That’s not me. Having said that, I can get away with adding a scarf or a jacket to a basic outfit.

4. Leopard or animal print can be considered as neutrals. I discussed this concept in this post but I’ll re-state my case here. When worn selectively, animal print adds interest and texture to an outfit but it’s also super easy to wear a piece in this print back with almost anything. Worried about the overwhelm? Don’t wear it all over – or near your face.

5. If in doubt, incorporate prints in your accessories – shoes, bags, scarves. This is by no means a cop out to the challenge of wearing a print. In fact, the clever placement of prints in an accessory in an otherwise basic outfit can make the whole outfit pop. It’s a great way to bring a bit of fun into a corporate wardrobe.

Bohemian Traders dress | Seed scarf | Uberkate necklace | Karen Walker sunnies | Zoe Kratzmann boots

Bohemian Traders dress* | Seed scarf | Uberkate necklace | Karen Walker sunnies | Zoe Kratzmann boots

Your #everydaystyle

Check out below – this is just a small selection of the print-wearing goodness that happened in #everydaystyle this week thanks to Vanessa’s six-day #snsprint challenge.

I love that each of these women highlight the show-pony power of adding a printed piece or accessory to your outfit.

Special mention must got to Kim-Marie from Kimba Likes. Print week is EVERY week for this lady of style.

And if anyone is more excited about the print clash day tomorrow, then I’d be very surprised. Kim-Marie combines prints and patterns and clashes of colour like it’s the most natural thing in the wardrobe world.

I don’t share the same confidence but she inspires me to take baby steps out of my comfort zone.

How to wear prints

Left column (from top): @annalspurling | @kimbalikes

Middle column: @redcliffestyle | @icurvy | @ellaspurling

Right column: @styleandshenanigans | @sam_stories

Join in

Want to join in? Simply upload a photo of yourself showing your everyday style to Instagram or Facebook, use the #everydaystyle and tag @stylingyou so I can find you. Don’t feel you have to post every day. Post when you can. For consideration in my outfit of the week round up, I look first for clear, in-focus photos without text or borders on them. These work in best with the montage layout.

More inspiration

Check out Wardrobe Wednesday with Kim-Marie on Kimba Likes.

Over 30? Rach from Redcliffe Style links up with other style bloggers each Thursday for 30+ Style.

This week Andrea from Fox in Flats is challenging us to wear our black leather or pleather jackets – to not just keep them for good.

How was your everyday style this week? What’s your favourite print to wear?

* This garment was gifted to me for editorial consideration

Comments 44

  1. I have to say I’m enjoying this print challenge. It certainly encourages a good rummage through the wardrobe and I love to see how everyone styles the prints. Not sure how I’m going to pull off print clash day…it’s way out of my comfort zone but I do love your stripe/leopard mix above.

  2. I joined in this weeks challenge but honestly I was scraping the bottom of my maternity wardrobe and relying on accessories to keep with the theme. This week hubby left earlier than normal for work and my three year old hasnt quite mastered photo taking yet. I haven’t done a print clash before so who knows what I’ll pull off ( or put on) for tomorrows challenge! I’m off to follow these stylish ladies on Instagram. 🙂

  3. I’m a big ol’ scaredy cat when it comes to print clashing, so I don’t. Other people seem to be able to pull it off, I just look like I’ve reached into my wardrobe and pulled out the first things I saw … and it’s not good …. LOL

    1. Janet, I hear you. I’m the same. I’m too anal so don’t have the confidence or attitude to pull it off. Just what I’ve done above and usually with a stripes base (which is like a neutral to me!).

  4. I’m wearing a stripey top with animal print scarf again! Also thrashing a blue cardi with camel spots lately – I’ll wear it to death! Thx for the polkadot tip – will have to go shopping while they’re still about! In winter my prints are usually in my scarves – in fact I hardly ever choose my block colour scarves, so only buy patterned now. Happy weekend Nikki xx

  5. My favourite prints to wear have to be stripes or a little bit of leopard or zebra print ,I am not good at clashing prints either I think I am too anal to do it ,but it can do a scarf and a top together but they have to be subtle.I wish this weather would decide to be winter I am over my summer things and it is too cold here in the mornings and nights to wear summer or too warm to wear winter in the middle of the day!
    Some lovely pattern wearers here Nikki and I do love that Bohemian traders dress on you.Have a great weekend Nikki x

  6. This week’s #snsprint challenge has been so much fun! It’s also highlighted the prints I need more of in my wardrobe (spots and florals I’m looking at you). What a fabulous collection of ladies in this week’s roundup. I follow and adore them all. And I’m also going to sneak into Sam’s wardrobe and steal that leopard coat!

  7. My print clashes are VERY subtle: stripes and animal prints with a subtle print and I’m at my limit. Whenever I try to ramp it up, I can’t get out the door without reverting back to block colours.

  8. Hi Nikki – I;m loving your outfit, not sure if I can do it, but you def look great. Wondering, is your Seed scarf in grey? I thought it was – have checked out website and wanting one for myself now!

  9. Hi Nikki, still working right to left in my messy wardrobe. DH says that it’s proof that I have too many clothes. I obviously don’t agree lol. I’ve actually worn the same two dresses all week. One a navy 3/4 sleeve and the other a printed floral dress in grey tones. I’ve had a lot of fun styling the dresses in a different ways all week.
    I’m not confident in clashing prints particularly for the corporate world. And one thing I’ve realised this week is that I have a lot of print but no stripes or spots. Maybe I need to go shopping..

  10. I think I am going to really struggle with print clash as I have never done it before. I had fun with spots, but today’s check was hard as I own a lot of farm style check shirts and my geo items are all sleeveless tanks- not the best for NZ in Autumn! Luckily I have some cute red checked shoes to wear today.

  11. Thanks so much Nikki! Fashion is fun and I like to enjoy and have a play.

    This weather is throwing me too – I need to pack half my wardrobe away every season because I don’t have enough room to have it all out. The Welshman isn’t fond of the laundry baskets in our room at the moment!

    1. The weather in Sydney has been throwing me too. Freezing cold when I get dressed in the morning but way too hot for winter clothes by midday.

      1. I so agree Kim-Marie and Hootintootin freezing in the mornings and nights.Kim-Marie you do patterns so well x

  12. I’ve been reading about the challenges nikki …
    I could never do it on the right day! but I wore stripes this week.
    I will try patterned pants today, but never a pattern or floral top for me …
    need to keep nana look at bay!
    I like leopard, or spots, or colour choice of the day pops, in scarves or shoes!
    surprise, surprise! happy Friday! lol m:)X

  13. Wow, what a fantastic wrap Nikki and a huge thank you! Thanks you for being on board this week and for this wonderful post – loving your tips! What a great selection of outfits/people you have chosen too – it highlights the great variety of ways in which people wear print and how fabulous it can look. I agree that Kimba is the print queen too – her outfits this week have been fabulous – can’t wait to see her print clash tomorrow too. Thanks Nikki! x

  14. When I first read the description of print clash I thought noooooo! But when I saw your photo Nikki wow, you nailed it. This weeks every day style collection would have to be the most poppy and yeah baby. As usual …. Lurv it.

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