Nothing makes more of an effortless fashion statement than a good print. Throwing on a nautical top with a pair of skinny jeans (see picture below) takes me the same amount of time and effort as grabbing a plain gray tee, and yet the effect is dramatically different. From graphic prints to nautical stripes to the of-the-moment florals, it’s easy to spruce up your everyday look with the help of the print.
But let’s be honest. We’ve all seen prints go seriously wrong. (Cue the Joan Rivers rant.) So to avoid a big moment in the wrath of US Weekly’s fashion police, there are a few golden rules I try to stick to when incorporating prints into my wardrobe…
Golden Rule #1: Pay Attention to Dimensions
Not all prints are created equal and they’re definitely not all flattering. In order to avoid looking wider, I always make sure to choose a print that hides my trouble spots and accentuates my assets. Some people say you shouldn’t wear stripes because they make you look bigger. I think that’s silly!! I love me a nautical look and I rock it all the time. But I am careful to choose striped tees with a thinner, more delicate stripe so that the look remains feminine and flattering.
Golden Rule #2: Keep it Simple
Whether I’m wearing a printed bottom or top, I tend to keep the other part of the outfit really simple. Skinny jeans and pencil skirts are my top picks for printed tops, while a white silk blouse or t-shirt are all you need to complement printed pants. If I’m going out, I’ll throw on a leather jacket to give the outfit a little edge.
Golden Rule #3: Find Your Inspiration
Prints are bold and fun, but also really personal. You want to choose a print that you’ll actually wear. Not just one that looks pretty hanging in your closet. My advice is to pour through the magazines and find the designer that speaks to you. Are you a Missoni lover or do you veer towards the Mara Hoffman psychadelic look? These days you can find a less expensive version of all the designer duds so it’s really about finding your style and then hitting the stores! I got the top pictured above from TJ Maxx. It was ridiculously affordable and I wear it all the time.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.