With a few styling tips, you can master the art of wearing prints like a pro.

Prints offer a bold way to make an ordinary outfit stand out. From monochromes and geometrics to florals and animal print, they can be used to flatter, accentuate or minimise different body shapes. And there are a number of ways to make the most of these striking patterns.

Unless you’re wearing print on print or a single printed item like a dress or jumpsuit, it’s always a good idea to choose a plain coloured item to go with your printed piece. While black and white prints go with any colour, others may need a little matching.

Although geometric prints are bolder than most, they can give you an air of sophistication. They come in different shapes, but the most common are triangles, houndstooth and quadrilaterals (squares). If you fancy a clash of prints, wear houndstooth items together or triangles and quadrilaterals – and you can also try mixed geometric prints together, so long as the colours are complementary or similar.

BODY SHAPE: These flatter any body shape; how well they sit on the body depends on the garment’s structure. Fuller-figured women should avoid larger prints and bright colours that could make their shape appear wider and, instead, opt for smaller prints in more muted colours.

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Anyone can rock a black and white printed outfit featuring polka dots, or horizontal or vertical stripes. These prints look especially good with plain black base items or denim – think a black-and-white houndstooth jacket over denim or black flares. Then, add a pop of colour with an accessory for a striking and complementary contrast.

BODY SHAPE: Vertical stripes make fuller figures appear slimmer and elongated, while horizontal stripes lend a wider or fuller appearance. The size of the stripes also has an impact, with bigger stripes having a widening effect and smaller stripes a narrowing one. These effects are heightened by black-and-white stripes.

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While florals give a more relaxed feel, animal print can take on different looks for any occasion. Bigger florals look good on maxi dresses and loose blouses, while smaller floral prints are great on fitted and formal items like suits and shift dresses. Because they’re so busy, animal prints look great paired with anything black, brown or beige – like a black biker jacket, brown boots, a black blazer, or a pair of black or beige slacks.

BODY SHAPE: These work well with all body shapes; the trick is to keep the fit slightly loose – but not baggy – and the print to one item. Anything more than that could look too busy.

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HOW TO WEAR PATTERNS LIKE A PRO HOW TO WEAR PATTERNS LIKE A PRO Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on March 03, 2022 Rating: 5
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