What to Wear With Large Prints


Here's a good way to wear a large print -- with a contrasting solid color blouse.“Here’s a good way to wear a large print — with a contrasting solid color blouse.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

One trend that never seems to go out of style is the print. But that doesn’t mean it works for everyone. The size of the print and the size of the person determine what’s going to look good and what will look lame.

First, who can wear a large print? Most women can if they understand their shape. Petite women, instead of a rule of thumb, should use the rule of fist. If the print pattern is the same size or smaller than your fist, you can pull it off. If it’s larger, leave the item on the rack and let a taller woman have at it. Women with fuller figures need to be careful as well. Large prints can make you look larger than you are. Who wants to look like a floral sofa? A good guideline is to stay under the span of your hand. A print that’s larger probably won’t flatter you.

So how do you wear a large print?

  • Keep it simple; pull a color from the print as your base, whether it’s your top or bottom. This solid pulls the ensemble together and prevent head-to-toe chaos.
  • Wear fitted prints. Large prints on flowy, draping pieces will make you like an exposition tent. But this doesn’t mean skintight. Cinch an oversized print blouse with a belt and pair with leggings. Large print mission accomplished!
  • Match your accessories to your prints. This isn’t your grandmother’s matching handbag and shoes. If your print has multiple colors, use one for your purse and another for shoes. If you’re a little shy on the large print concept, take baby steps by first wearing a large print accessory like shoes or belts.
  • Coordinate print styles. If you’re doing tribal prints, an African print dress with an Aztec-pattern scarf just confuses the eyes and sends mixed-map messages. For an animal print, don’t wear the whole jungle at one time. No need to have the jaguar and the zebra print clashing it out! An animal print looks great paired with black or another dark solid.
  • Get a bit edgy. A feminine floral dress is great, but break it up with a denim vest or sassy pair of boots to avoid the "Little House on the Prairie" look.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but fashion is fair game for critique. Use these tips for a fabulous look!

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  • Bella Petite. "Petite Fashion Advice: Can Petite Women Wear Prints and Patterns?" June 21, 2010. (Sept. 11, 2012). http://bellapetite.com/petite-fashion-advice-can-petite-women-wear-prints-and-patterns.html
  • Diaz, Monica. "Who’s Afraid of Prints? 8 Tips on How to Wear the Season’s Hot Fashion Trend." Fox News Latino. May 30, 2012. (Sept. 11, 2012). http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/05/30/8-style-tips-on-how-to-wear-prints/
  • The Denver Post. "Five Tips: how to wear floral prints this summer." May 31, 2012. (September 11, 2012). http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_20744960/five-tips-how-wear-floral-prints-this-summer
  • Fritton, Nicole. "Fall 2012 Runway Report." HarpersBazaar.com. (Sept. 20, 2012). http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/fall-fashion-trends-2012#slide-2
  • Melby, Leah. "50 Musts: Fall 2012 Trends." Elle. Sept. 6, 2012. (Sept. 21, 2012). http://www.elle.com/fashion/trend-reports/fashion-trends-fall-2012#slide-1
  • Scarborough, Eliza. "How to . . .Wear Prints." DailyMail.com. Jan. 24, 2010. (Sept. 12, 20120). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1245810/How–Wear-prints.html
  • Schiavone, Kristen. "Two prints are better than one." Chicago Tribune News. April 25, 2012. (Sept. 17, 2012). http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-25/features/sns-201204251800–tms–sstylectnks-a20120425apr25_1_classic-color-combination-solid-color-floral-print


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