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For many women, it can be a little daunting to try out prints and patterns. Solid colors are the easiest to style. You only have to think of color theory to make a successful outfit, especially when they are neutrals. But with stripes, prints and patterns, it can get a little overwhelming. So, we’ve crafted up a guide on how to wear (and rock) the most common patterns and prints. Read how to make stripes with prints work for you with respect to balancing your body shape.


  1. How to Wear Stripes
  2. How to Wear Animal Prints
  3. How to Wear Floral Prints
  4. Further Readings on Balancing Your Outfit


How to Wear Stripes

Stripes will always be in ⁠— and with good reason. Stripes are one of the easiest and most reliable prints if you want to alter your shape. For starters, horizontal prints tend to make you look wider. So, if you want to emphasize your curves or achieve a little body contour, horizontal stripes will do the trick. On the other hand, Pretty Me points out that vertical stripes create length, not width, making it ideal for petite women. Opt for ankle-length dresses or skirts if you want to feel the full lengthening effect of vertical stripes.

Other than the orientation of stripes, you’ll also have to take note of their size. Thinner stripes tend to create a narrowing illusion, while thicker stripes do the opposite. So if you want to look effortlessly tall, look for a vertical striped piece that has thin stripes. But if you’re keen on making yourself look naturally curvy, try form-fitting pieces that have horizontal stripes with large bands.


#fashionover40 mature Alaskan style blogger wearing stripes and floral clothes on a rainy day
Talbot skirt, Loft sweater, Hermes bangle, Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, Jaeger tote, slides c/o Vionic



How to Wear Animal Prints

No matter how flashy they are, animal prints will never go out of style. However, it’s often deemed as a sexy print, so it’s a little hard to find the right occasion to wear them. Moreover, older women stray away from the print as wearing pieces with animal print might make them look cougar-ish.

But, women of any age shouldn’t be afraid of trying a fierce animal print. Whether it’s a ferocious tiger print or a fabulous zebra stripe, The Globe and Mail advises that you can make animal prints look subtle by manifesting it in your accessories instead. If you really want to push wearing animal print on your main pieces of clothing, however, then our ‘15 Tips to Look Sophisticated in Animal Print’ recommends cleanly tailored cuts so it won’t look too abrasive. Furthermore, your animal print piece will stand out no matter what you pair it with. So don’t try to overwhelm people by wearing more than one print at a time.


How to Wear Floral Prints

Best worn during the spring and summer season, floral prints can amplify your femininity and make you look fresh and revitalized. But, Best Life Online points out that floral prints can age you by making you look like you’re trying to find a younger version of yourself. And, it certainly won’t help your look if your chosen floral print is reminiscent of the patterns you find inside your grandma’s house.

To maximize floral prints, start with floral patterns that are spread out. This way, the pattern has a lesser chance of swallowing your shape. Once you get comfortable with floral prints, feel free to find ones that are striking and elaborate, but still feel modern. One way of going about this is swiping through photos of fashion shows and searching if there’s a budding floral print that’s about to take over runways and racks. This way, your chosen florals wouldn’t look like they could double as your grandma’s curtain. But, it must be said that you shouldn’t be afraid of huge, overpowering floral prints — they have their uses, too. These could be helpful if you want to emphasize and enlarge a certain part of your body. For example, bottom-heavy women can try combining tops with oversized florals and a single-colored bottom to achieve balance in their outfits.



Further Reading On Balancing Your Outfit

Learn more on body-shape related styling. Read about mastering the style challenge top-heavy  or dressing when big and tall.



example outfit with florals and stripe
Oliveo striped leather skirt, Notations floral top, Valentino studs sling backs


Image credit: Pexels

Photos of me: G. Kramm

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