Dotted, striped and bursting with colour! Printed pants are everywhere just in time for spring to arrive. But, which prints will flatter you - rather than making you look like an ornament? Here are some rules for selecting the best print(s) at any age and for any body type.
Rule 1: Figure out your shape - are you boyish, tall, petite, curvy or plus size? Then, keep repeating my style sacrament™ 1. SASS™ - Shop According to your Style & Silhouette.
Boy Shape (lean with little curves or hips)
To create shape and add volume, opt for pleated, drawstring-waist, slouchy and “boyfriend” pants. Have fun with patterns and prints, large or small, such as florals, horizontal stripes, animal print and polka dots.
If you have long legs, try a straight leg, skinny or flare-cut pant. Be sure to keep the hem on the longer side. Try floral, animal print, geometric, tribal and tie-dyed prints.
To create the illusion of longer legs, go for a skinny, boot-cut, cigarette or flat-front cropped pant. Have fun with colour and try geometric, paisley and vertical patterns. Try wearing wedges or heels to add height and elongate the legs.
Curvy or Plus Size
Try wide-leg, flat-front trouser cuts, palazzo pants and boot-cut to balance out fuller thighs and bottoms. Stick to darker or neutral colours. Avoid pants with a large back pocket and keep the pattern simple and not too large.
Rule 2: Select a pattern that suits your personal style! My Style Sacrament™ #2? The 5C’s™ – Casual, Classic, Charming, Chic, and Couture. If you fall into the Casual or Classic categories, you’re probably going to want to gravitate toward a more quiet print that is versatile and neutral in colour.
If you’re in the Chic category, you might opt for a muted geometric pattern in a sleek modern cut and fabric. For those in the Charming category (and who doesn’t fall into this one?), you’d go with bright vibrant colours and feminine floral or paisley prints. Anything goes for those in Couture; bold, unique colours, stripes and patterns will add a va-va-voom feel.
Rule 3: Every outfit must balance colours, patterns, texture and have a bit of sparkle. This is my Style Sacrament™#3: DLDB™ – Dark, Light, Dull, Bright.
In this case, the printed pant is the star of the show, so keep the top simple. Perhaps just add a solid blouse. You can also break it up with a solid coloured blazer in a neutral or bright colour and add sparkle with your accessories. If you’re wearing a slim fit or skinny jean, you can get away with wearing a billowy blouse or a tunic layered with long cardigan on top.
Tips to looking fab and polished instantly:
Try pants with a cinched waist, to create an hourglass shape.
Vertical stripes are a great way to elongate the leg.
Almond or pointy-toe shoes also do the same trick. Avoid round-toed shoes!
If you are wearing a wider-leg or palazzo pant, go for structured or form fitting on top. This showcases your waist.