For the love of prints & patterns

Highlights: 
. The key is to strike a balance between rhythm and harmony. Like a solid scarf is a great way to break the print monotony, or even a plain or denim over layer on top such as a jacket or a shrug.

It is time to spin out that element of interest by cleverly combining style makers in prints and patterns to rev up your appearance. Push aside the boring cuts and bring in a touch of dynamism into your appearance with these busy stints...

Go subtle

Of course, it is confusing to decide which aspect should dominate your appearance. But remember, there can only be one showstopper. Says fashion designer Arpita Mehta, “Whether it is florals or stripes, I believe the subtle print should dominate, while the bold print or pattern should appear as an accent.”

“The print always dominates if put together in a correct form, whereas pops of bright colours as accents are what make your overall look interesting,” explains fashion designer Swapna Anumolu. In the plentitude of designs emerging from different printing techniques, it is important for you to decide whether the pattern or print rules your look. Says Pankhuri Jain, fashion designer, “Usually the pattern dictates the body of an outfit as prints are usually used in repetition, mostly as an applique, to enhance the overall look.”

Colour up

Confused about the colour code? Cue in. “Contrasting colours look fabulous in bold prints as they break the visual monotony. For the festive season, a tone on tone print makes the cut,” says Arpita and adds, “Colour inversion works only when there is a definite colour palette. But do not go beyond the use of three colours if you opt for colour inversion to avoid visual confusion.”

Whereas bringing in a solo hue makes for a visual flow, contrasting colours bring in a playful angle. “Go for experimentation and variety,” says Swapna, “in a mix of complementary colours that rock in different permutations. You need to decide the focal point in your appearance. If the print needs to be the focus, then the pattern should be simple, chic, muted. If the pattern is the central point, then the print must retreat visually to create a sense of harmony in your appearance.” In addition to this, keep in mind your body type before you make your choice. “The size, scale and proportion of the print and pattern should be small if you are petite, and large and spread out all over the fabric if you are big built,” advises Pankhuri.

Visual break

The last thing you want is to look like a well laid out table. So learn to break the look through stylish accessories. “The inclusion of chic jewellery, solid colour shoes, a solid bag or even a belt, definitely make your ensemble look sharper. Continuity works well when the patterns are small. So extending the same print or pattern to your accessory brings in a sense of rhythm and harmony to the entire flow of your outfit, adding a punch of fun,” explains Arpita.

“But just keep in mind that no mixture should look overwhelming and the accessories need to complement your clothes. Mixing way too many patterns can only be good when the pattern and prints are minimalistic. While accessorising patterns, you must use only solid accessories as the mixing of the patterns may look unappealing and too crowded.” The ground rule is to avoid overkill.

 

Explains Swapna, “Continuity comes into account mostly when the print is tiny and is a repeat pattern. Mitring the print at the seams correctly is the key. If the print is not tiny and continuity is used, then there is a high chance that the outfit might look loud and messy. The key is to strike a balance between rhythm and harmony. Like a solid scarf is a great way to break the print monotony, or even a plain or denim over layer on top such as a jacket or a shrug. Even wearing solid colour footwear counts like wearing white denims with a white shirt and hot pink block heels - as the shoes pop out to make the outfit look a bit edgy.”

There are certain pointers to keep in mind when you dip into your pool of patterns and prints. Says fashion designer Pooja Shroff, “Bigger frames in body types need darker tones, smaller prints, and vice versa. The size of the print is inversely proportionate to your body size, so be cautious. Try and keep your look less complicated by opting for solid tones in accessories. If you are looking at mixing stripes, checks and polkas, for instance, make sure only one out of the three is big in proportion. It is important for you to flow along with silhouettes that flatter your build. For instance, on an apple body type, a jumpsuit/playsuit looks fabulous, and for pear shapes, a maxi dress with light thread work on the bodice rocks. Essentially what you wear must reflect your personality.”

Be smart

“You can also pair separates - a solid blouse with printed pants, a printed blouse with solid lowers - vice versa,” says Pankhuri. “This way a good balance can be achieved in the outfit keeping your body shape in mind. Like, vertical stripes work well for broader-framed women whereas micro polkas work well for petite body types. Just as if you are short, you can opt wearing an outfit with vertical lines to elongate yourself visually whereas a person with a broader frame should avoid buying outfits with horizontal lines as they make you look heavier on top.” As a broad segmentation in your wardrobe, it is smart to keep checks and stripes mostly for formal wear.

Whatever your pick, craft your own look to stalk in. After all, you own the world.

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For the love of prints & patterns

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