Prints are forever cropping up on the catwalk, whether it’s summer florals or party-time leopard print, so what do you do if you cannot bear to be parted from your all-black wardrobe? On the other side of the print spectrum, are those people who just love ‘em and clash and mix away.
Thankfully there is somewhere in the middle of this print rainbow and to show you that anyone can wear a print, we’ve been trying various prints on in TGIOF towers. And the overall verdict? They’re not as scary as you think they might be…
Prints charming… well, yes they are aren’t they? I used to be an absolute print-phobe. I didn’t like them AT ALL, I was a plain block colour kind of girl until recently. But I have been converted! Not just with florals but animal print as well – let’s face it, you can’t escape it right now, they are everywhere!
Jumper with sequin ampersand £49, Blake 52
This sweatshirt is a perfect nod for when you want a little bit of razzle with a cheeky dazzle. Even I can’t resist the sequinned leopard print!
This is a great outfit when you want to look and feel smart with a little edge. A fitted leopard print shirt, beautiful camel coat and slightly naughty (but super comfy) faux leather trousers are perfect with boots during the day and a heel at night.
Harpenne are an emerging brand dedicated to women with a twinkle in their eye.
This animal print dress in bright purple is a great day-to-night staple.
Oh, how I love a piece of clothing in a raucous print! Floral, leopard, zebra, polka dot, botanical – I’ll take them all. I think it’s something to do with injecting a bit of fun into my largely routine-based days. Plus, a busy pattern certainly hides a multitude of sins; those being the effects of bearing three children and a lifelong love affair with wine and cheese.
If I’m feeling frumpy and a bit blue about being a stay-at-home-mother-in-slacks, I turn to prints. The brighter the better. They lift me. And even if the slacks are on, at least they’re emblazoned with a bad-ass print!
Fleur mini dress, £30, Nobody’s Child
Well now we’re talking! Polka dots AND florals – and that splash of pink is lovely!
I think it’s prints like this that I love the most. They’re fun for a night out and your outfit’s sorted with just one piece of pretty clothing. Add a bright pink lip and you’re good to go!
And yes, I do still love to wear a mini dress at age 40. And I know I will at age 60 too, goddamnit!
I thought I’d try this dress out as it’s in a very subtle print with a formal style – things I’d normally steer clear of. I’ve never really worn shift dresses and I felt quite uncomfortable in this one.
The fit was unflattering for my shape, but I think a bold print and a riot of colour could’ve given me that confidence to give it a whirl! I’m realising I like the distraction of a busy pattern and bright shades.
Floral Elin maxi dress, £40, Nobody’s Child
Floaty florals are right up my street – and this dress couldn’t be comfier. It almost hits the ankle so it’s got a bit of that boho vibe about it.
The mono floral print is gorgeous and super effective at masking my mum tum. With such a busy print, this dress needs very little dressing up. I’ve been wearing it with my Dr Martens and a pleather jacket!
Oh, this blouse! I’m breastfeeding, so anything that buttons up gets a thumbs-up from me. Especially if it’s in a brilliantly bright green leopard print. Then throw in those floaty, sheer blouson sleeves and you’ve got a dreamboat of a blouse with an incredibly flattering fit.
I’ve been dreaming of wearing it with the leather trousers I’ve always wanted! One day…
If you’re wary of an all-over leopard print but you fancy a flash of something fun, then this coat is perfect. I adore it!
It’s like wearing an actual duvet and the borg leopard lining is just the cosiest. It’s waterproof too, so practically perfect in every way.
I’m not print-averse, however, I do only feel comfortable in my print zone – namely stripes and leopard print. To me, these are neutrals and they litter my wardrobe, alongside the bursts of bright, plain colours in there.
I’ve never really done florals though – too girly for me – and I find some small, ditsy prints too grown up and proper for my style, however, I’m determined to get out of my animal print/nautical rut, so am dipping my toe into a whole new world of prints.
Black and floral smock dress, £13, Primark
My top tip if you’re trying something new, is not to splash too much cash on it.
This little mini smock dress cost just £13 from Primark and I love it. It’s roomy enough to cover peri-menopausal weight gain yet the frill details make it pretty enough to wear out at night as well.
The major selling point for me though? The colours. While it’s floral, it’s – as they would say in fashion speak – a dark floral, so it’s not as girlie. I’m sold.
Mmm… there’s definitely a pattern here… Another red and black print has made it onto my thumbs up list. This time though it’s spots, which I always think are a bit childish, but this blouse from Sosandar is proving anything but that!
I love a nice top and jeans for a night out and this one with the flattering wrap fit is perfect for that. It adds interest to my favourite black jeans, but isn’t too out there – and it looks great with my red ankle boots. Winner all round!
Heart Satin Skirt, £30, Nobody’s Child
If all over print is too overwhelming, mixing a skirt or top with a plain block colour is the way to go.
I remember the ‘90s very well, which is why I’ve steered clear of all the slip dresses and skirts that are back in fashion once more, however, I may be convinced to give them a go now that I’ve tried this gorgeous Nobody’s Child heart one on.
Mixing it with a pastel jumper makes it a totally great get up and go outfit and I must admit, I LOVED the elasticated waist.
I know this is not strictly out of my comfort zone – it is after all leopard print, but it’s leopard print in sequins! Obviously I adored this skirt, but actually think I would’ve preferred it as a dress. If you’re going to do sequins, you should really properly do them.
However, it does show how you can ‘tame’ a print by adding black. The velvet jacket, also by Sosandar, is the perfect way to tone down any print – throw it over floral dresses or an animal print blouse and you won’t scare anyone!