Prints are bigger than ever, both on the catwalk and the street. A glance at your Instagram feed will show you stylish street-style stars and perhaps friends alike rocking popping colours and prints to perfection. However, for some, venturing into the unchartered territory of prints can be a little overwhelming. If you’re a monochrome addict looking to branch out and invest in some beautiful prints, we’ll help you go about choosing which pieces to purchase and guide you on dipping that first toe in the water. When done right, prints can infact become versatile wardrobe staples to add some panache to every outfit, yes, believe it or not, leopard print can be a neutral…

Image: Showbit, Janice Man outside Carven show in Paris


See, leave & return

Image: Showbit, Margaret Zhang outside Chloe show in Paris

My golden rule when shopping for everything, not just prints, is to fall in love, take a shopping break and then only return to buy if you’re still dreaming about the item in question. Prints especially can be statement pieces in their own right, so if you’re planning on debuting your piece at an event, you want to make sure your memorable outfit will be worth the investment. The same rule applies when online shopping, leave the browser and only buy if you’re still thinking about it post-coffee break. 


Timeless vs. trend prints

Image: Showbit, Tiffany Hsu outside Elie Saab show

Prints fall into two main categories, timeless and trend led. Obviously trend-led pieces have an expiry date whereby they will no longer look fresh or are overdone (for example, the Aztec pieces of the last few seasons) whilst rose florals, breton stripes and tartan prints are timeless and never go out of style. Depending on your budget, you may want to invest more in the classics and head to high-street labels for the more on-trend pieces. 


Shop by occasion

Image: Showbit, pair classics like denim and black with prints for versatile dressing

Cost-per-wear of a stunning printed dress will be significantly higher than some leopard print loafers or an everyday bag that you can pair with neutrals for a simple and sophisticated look and therefore get more wear out of. Think about where you’ll be wearing the item in question before buying. The plus side to buying an all-in-one printed playsuit or dress is the ease of putting it on, pairing with some luxe sandals and being ready to go without having to worry about mixing and matching separates. Remember to think about your lifestyle and everyday needs when deciding which print pieces to invest in. 


The 3-Outfit rule

Image: Showbit

A rule of thumb to shop by is the 3-outfit rule. You should be able to conjure up at least three different outfit combos with the new item without having to buy several other items to complete the look. If you can do this with your printed item and you’ve followed tip number 1 (see, leave and then return), go ahead and click to buy, or swipe the plastic!

Top tip: If you’re still not feeling confident as can be about wearing your new printed piece, pair with your favoured neutrals: black, navy, white, camel and grey if in doubt. Now without further ado, just go out and rock it!   

If you’re still not sure about investing in a printed piece, or that designer bag you’ve been lusting after forever, see our article on how to work out cost-per-wear and make a decision.