Pattern Vintage Inspired


Let’s look at part two of prints and patterns as we follow on from the last post. I specifically discussed exactly what prints and patterns are and the difference between them.

”A print is a design or image that is printed onto a fabric, while a pattern is a design or image that can either be woven or printed into a fabric. Therefore, all patterns are prints but prints are not patterns.

For example, an animal print or floral are prints and not patterns. On the other hand stripes and plaids are patterns that have been woven into the fabric but can also be a print if they’re printed onto a fabric”. 

LPFloral DressPlaid

Let’s now look closely at the design elements of prints and pattern – this will help and ensure that you choose and wear the best ones for you.

1. The size or scale of the print or pattern…

 The rule is simple here: the bigger the print or pattern, the bigger you’ll appear to be. The best prints/patterns are ones that match and harmonize with your scale or bone size, weight and height.

Petites (under 5 foot 4”) look better and more balanced in small prints and patterns. For the medium to tall person, medium-to-large, prints are best. Tall women ‘rock’ large prints and patterns, while tall, plus-size girls should do medium size. Lastly, petite plus-size women look best in small patterns and prints. The general rule – everyone can safely wear medium size prints and patterns.

 2. The colour of the pattern or print…

Light, bright hues in patterns and prints will advance and draw attention to the wearer/area. On the other hand, patterns and prints that are medium in colour will recede somewhat, but deep, dark colours will dramatically minimize areas of the body.

 3. The value contrast (lightness and darkness) of patterns and prints, for example; black and white…

The higher the value contrast between pattern and print colours, the more dramatic and larger the wearer can appear. Low contrast patterns and prints in a medium/large size will be much more subtle if you love wearing big printed garments.

 4. The print location…

Where a print or pattern is placed can either be subtle or obvious – these are called focal points. Avoid prints and patterns where you would rather minimize or disguise areas of your body. And likewise, wear prints and patterns on those areas you would like to highlight.

Four important tips when mixing prints or patterns when wearing a scarf:

1. Either the top or scarf pattern needs to be dense (pattern is close in diameter or busy) while the other item is more sparse (see image 2).
2. You’ll want slightly different scales (size of the pattern) between the two items (see image 5).
3. Colour harmony is more visually pleasing when mixing patterns/prints together. If you bring in another multi coloured item such as a scarf (image 3) there needs to be a relating colour that is very obvious to the item you are mixing it with (see image 4).
4. When adding in a different colour such as red, try to match the intensities of all the colours – that is the brightness or softness (see image 1).


Mono 2



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