Breaking the pattern

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

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.

Top to toe

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.

Clash tactics

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.

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.

Mixed bag

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?

Subtle accent

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.

Print rules

Don’t be put off by prints if your wardrobe is a sea of plain clothes. Follow these tips and you’ll be addicted to pattern in no time:

:: Beginners are best off choosing prints with lower contrast (different shades of one colour).

:: For most women, prints look better on relaxed styles rather than stretch or sharply tailored pieces.

:: Large florals, bright geometrics and tropical prints generally look better on the bottom half with an understated and solid colour for the top.

:: Full-figured women look best in a print on a fabric that has fluidity. Avoid too much volume, which adds bulk.

:: Petites need to avoid super-busy prints like the plague.