Tuesday, 28 June 2011

SOCiAL STYLE: Think Prints

So I’m in the party and this chick walks by and I’m like 'OMG she looks so fly!'….  I should make her the Diva of the week. And then I stop and go, 'but she only has on a simple top and a normal skirt though…..' *confused face*….. then I thought it must be the crop top, *but half the party is wearing that*….. then I realized that hers just stands out and then BY GEORGE I GOT IT!!!!! The pattern was just so billboard, Grammy, Oscars number one!!!! That’s what made her different. The colour, the direction, the texture, the pattern itself…. everything just worked for her.

From tiled prints, to animal, floral, or geometric, electric, eccentric and mind boggling exciting prints and patterns have seeped their way back into the hearts of fashion designers. There is nothing like the right print on a hot romper or button ups and it just adds that little Je ne sais quoi to the outfit. However before
you jump on any pattern binge bear in mind the most important ingredient in any outfit; YOUR BODY.

Patterns have to be chosen with common sense and a good eye, you don’t just throw on something that looks good on the hanger. Social Kingston’s Advice to you today is to think about it and below we’re going to      help you to figure it out.

The size of the pattern on the item should suit the body. Bigger patterns tend to drown or overwhelm smaller bodies. It may also cause a larger body to look crowded and seemingly magnify body parts. A great way to make a good pick of the patterns before you is to find one that more or less scales to your body type.  If people see your top and not you in your top its probably too much. Smaller patterns may become dizzying, especially on larger bodies where more fabric and colour is utilized.

The size of the item is also an important consideration when choosing your pattern. Sometimes the smaller the item the better the pattern. This is particularly true if the pattern is very busy or extremely colourful. On the other hand a long flowing dress or a hoodie may be the perfect item to showcase the beauty of the pattern.


Patterns can be harsh on the skin. So if you know that blue generally doesn’t work with your skin tone, do not convince your self that ten different shades of blue will.  It is important to choose patterns with harmonious colour schemes or one that features a colour complimenting your tone. This way you flow with the fabric and energize the piece. Men’s patterns in particular have a tendency to be very sharp and crisp which makes them bolder and more obvious. Try not to go with every color in the rainbow, especially when the colours are not from the same shade e.g pastels, earth tones, etc..

Position and Direction

Whatever you wear will always have an effect on the way your body looks. If your body is wider than you would like it to seem, don’t go for patterns that run horizontally. Bold patterns may also give a larger appearance.  If you have a body part that you would rather not highlight e.g. belly, breast,  DO NOT choose a pattern that skillfully places a big red rose or anchor on your belly and another that covers your left chest. Instead try smaller pattern variations that run vertically or diagonally. Better yet incorporate solids in the outfit to help mask these areas.  


You should also ensure that the fabric goes with the vibe of the pattern. Some patterns will look like a dream when its flowing and while others can take the weight of heavier more inflexible materials. Just make sure that the look of the pattern connects with the feel and movement of the item.

These are only some of the factors one should consider when choosing the right pattern for their body. These are not foolproof mechanisms but they come pretty close. If all else fails just try it! More often than not the science of fabric and body construction prevails. But every now and again the chemistry between you and that one item on the rack might tip the scale in your favour.

I’m your Social Therapist for the day and your homework is to go out and get yourself a irresistibly sexy patterned item and let me know how it goes in our next session of Social Advice.

KA Blogger

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