Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints

It’s probably not surprising to anyone that I love bold prints, but I know that not everyone feels the same way. Bold prints can be intimidating to wear, but I truly believe there is a print for everyone. Ready to incorporate more prints into your wardrobe, but not sure where to start? Consider this your how-to guide including some of my best tips for wearing bold prints as well as mixing and matching prints to create a unique look. 
By Amy Voloshin
October 2021
Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints
Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints

If you are new to wearing patterns or bold prints, I always recommend that you start your journey with an article of clothing that contains a stripe or a dot. This is a great way to wear a bold print without feeling too loud. Personally, these are some of my favorite prints to design.

Wearing patterns in sleepwear or things you wear around the house can be a fun way to play with patterns in the comfort of your own home. A robe or some pajama shorts can be small places to play with more unique patterns – like many of the ones we design. At Printfresh, Christiane is the genius behind many of the more illustrative patterns.

Over time you may find that you feel more comfortable wearing other types of prints and bolder colors. There are so many different kinds of bold prints. Some have large shapes, animals, or designs like paisleys, and plaids. You might even start to incorporate larger or unique patterns.

Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints
Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints

7 Tips for wearing bold prints

1. Pair print with something neutral

If you’re newer to wearing bold prints or you’ve chosen a print with some challenging colors, try pairing your print with something neutral. This could mean a plain white t-shirt under a bold printed jacket or solid color pants with a printed top.

2. Layer under a jacket or cardigan

If you want to try a bold top or cami, try wearing it under a denim jacket or cardigan. This lets you show a little bit of the print without going full blown pattern coverage. For Zoom meetings, I sometimes wear a Printfresh cami under a cardigan or jacket for an interesting pop of color. This even works well with our nightgowns.

3. Find a unifying color 

Regardless of what the print or pattern is, color will be the thing that harmonizes the outfit. Make sure the shade is well-matched and then play around. You might be surprised that the green leaves in a loud pattern match your striped pants perfectly. Lay out some of your favorite printed pieces on your bed and see what unexpected pairings you can create. 

4. Consider accessories

Bold prints and fun patterns don’t just have to be in garment form. You may find that patterned accessories like a scarf, hair tie, or purse might be the right way for you to wear a pattern.

5. Break the Rules

I always find that when I take the biggest chances with my clothing, I get the most compliments. I meet way more people too since my bold choices are a great conversation starter. Going to a networking event? Try wearing something bold and exciting with a pattern to get people talking to you. As a bonus, it will make you memorable when you follow up! So don’t be afraid to buck a trend or break a “fashion rule”. 

6. Invest in a print you love

As a designer, I am drawn to all sorts of things and find beauty and inspiration in so much. However, I try to be very deliberate about my wardrobe and avoid bringing in too many new things. This means that I only shop for high-quality, carefully considered pieces. I have to really think about adding something to my wardrobe before I make a purchase, and that’s especially true for prints. Set a “fashion budget” for yourself and try to stick to it - this will help you prioritize purchasing high-quality pieces you will love for many years to come.

7. Have fun

Remember to not take fashion too seriously, it’s supposed to be fun and make you feel great! 

Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints
Amy’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints

On Mixing Prints

I often get asked about how to mix and match different prints. This can be tough, but if you’re a pro at wearing lots of prints and feeling adventurous, you can mix multiple prints in the same look. If this is newer for you, it’s best to find a unifying color and to play with a contrast of style of pattern and scale. Start with a small dot or stripe, and then try mixing it with a larger pattern to make the mix look far more interesting. Still not sure if mixed prints are for you? Perhaps you can try a set that is designed to be worn together – such as our recent collaboration with Pencil & Paper Co. (pictured above).

Finally, remember that THERE IS A PRINT OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE. The funny thing about wearing prints is that it’s always a conversation starter. 

Have you added a new bold print to your wardrobe? Take a selfie and tag us on Instagram or tell us about it in the comments.

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PF MAG: Founder Amy Voloshin is passionate about creating a space that speaks to our brand, shares unique perspectives from pattern enthusiasts and finds ways to promote more sustainable living. Our blog PF Mag covers creative topics on all things lifestyle - including behind the scenes looks, fashion, design, travel, and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most. 


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