# 10 Item Wardrobe # bold prints

How to Wear Bold Prints

I hope you are having a lovely week! I am still on holiday in England but have another video for you that I shot back in California.

This week we are talking about wearing bold prints. If you are somewhat of a fashion wallflower, you might feel intimidated by wearing bold prints. I'm pretty shy with prints, believe it or not, but I do inject them into my ten-item wardrobe each season because I think they look good and I like to challenge myself.

Here are some examples of bold prints in my ten-item wardrobe for Spring/Summer:

My best tip for wearing bold prints is to pair them with neutral accessories such as a neutral cardigan or blazer and neutral shoes. This allows the bold print to be the star of the show. Make your jewelry subtle as well. As you get more confident with your style statements, you can begin to experiment with mixing prints and accessorizing them creatively, but for beginners, I recommend going neutral.

Check out this week's video to hear more on this topic. If you are unable to see the video above**, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
If you feel shy with your fashion choices and constantly find yourself wearing black or neutrals consider adding a bold print to your ten-item wardrobe. Have fun challenging your fashion sense and enjoy wearing bold prints.

Comments of the Week
On last week's post, How to Preserve Your Clothes Between Washes, Margaret P. says:

Being a good bit older than yourself, Jennifer, and I guess older than most of your readers, I would like to say that dress shields were commonplace to my mother's generation if not to mine. Most dresses she had in the 1940s and 1950s came with dress shields sewn into them and they could be snipped out, washed and then replaced with a few stitches (no stick-on ones in those days, of course.)

Patricia W. writes:

I loved this post, in particular, nostalgic to me, because it reminded me of my sister and I being with my paternal grandparents on most Saturday nights while my parents went out to dinner and dancing...my grandma in her apron, her dress shields in her good dresses,and spying through the crack in their not quite closed bedroom door as my grandfather laced her into her corset on Sunday mornings before she donned her dress for church. Our Mother and Father, uncles, aunts, and cousins would always be in attendance for Sunday afternoon dinner.

On the subject of dress shields, TL writes:

Just like a previous reader commented I was also concerned about the amount of waste created by disposable garment guards so after some more online research I found there are washable ones (in cotton). These were actually what people used in the old days, before deodorants :) They are still being manufactured in small amounts, so just do a search on washable dress shields/ garment guards and you will find several different models. Some are strapped on to your underarms, others to your clothing (pinned with safety pins or adhered with adhesive strips).

Thank you, ladies for your reminisces and tips. I read every comment and appreciate them all!

This week I would love to know... what are your thoughts on wearing bold prints? Are you comfortable wearing them? Do you have a special way you style them? Let us know in the comment section below and you could be picked as the comment of the week!

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Charlene said...

I totally agree with you on this post. I have several bold print dresses and usually wear them with a neutral cardigan or blazer unless the weather is just too hot. Neutral shoes make a huge difference too. It also makes a difference to me for my bold prints to be colors that aren't terribly bright. I think because most of my wardrobe is neutral, wearing really bright colors just doesn't feel right.

Jennifer Branch said...

I think prints can be beautiful and as long as you match them with your wardrobe palette they can be versatile. However I don't think prints are ever quite as flattering as solids. With a print you notice the lovely dress. With a solid you notice the lovely woman wearing the dress!
I like keeping prints to a minimum because of that.

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Susan said...

I love Jennifer B's comment.
I have always admired women you can wear a bold pretty floral, but I am not one of them. I have very soft "girlish' facial features and seem to get "lost" amongst bold colors and patterns, so I have found my comfort zone in solids accented with statement jewelry or other accessories.

Pammie said...

Jennifer - I stay away from pretty much any kind of print. I have very curly, long hair, and I feel that wearing a print is much too "busy" a look for me. I enjoy wearing solids (mostly neutrals) and since I'm a knitter, love wearing a solid top with either a wrap or scarf that I've made in an accent color or several colors. Thanks so much for your blog and videos - I check in every week to see what going on !

Abbie said...

I generally stick to smaller to medium prints as I am very petite. I think large, bold prints can be overwhelming on me. I do have a few scarves though with larger prints/patterns that I love.

Christine said...

Jennifer, I LOVE bold prints and have been wearing them for the past few years. I always get complements and even stopped in the street twice by random people who like my dress. The difference is now you've taught me how to gracefully except the complement, and to say thank you with a humble smile. As I walk away I feel now I've learnt this special lesson, I'm actually smiling and feel like I have wings on my feet as I continue on my way lol X

mini said...

Hi Jennifer

As a Canadian who has lived in England for the last 10 years, my use of prints has increased immensely. The English have a unique way of wearing prints and looking comfortable doing it. I really notice it when back home for a visit, as I seem more conscious of the prints I am wearing than when I am in the UK.

I have also come to realise that we tend to over-estimate other people noticing what or how often we wear a particular item of clothing - a bit of the spot-light phenomenon.

Hope you are enjoying our lovely and warm weather whilst you are on your holiday.


Maureen said...

Hi Jennifer,

I appreciate this topic. I don't know why, but I almost exclusively buy solid or striped garments. However, I do have a couple of bold print dresses, and I am complimented on them every time I wear them. Your video has inspired me to discover what prevents me from going for prints more often. Thank you!

You also mentioned using jewelry to complement or off-set clothing. I have found that I tend to shy away from bold, "chunky" jewelry even though I know I shouldn't. I am 6 feet tall, and I have heard stylists say that the bigger/taller a person is, the larger jewelry and prints she should choose. Day after day, however, I choose to wear dainty accessories, because larger pieces make me feel self conscious.

In the coming days, I will be more courageous with my style and wear my bolder items and see how it feels. Thank you for being my muse once again.


Rose said...

Great topic! I love prints but now that I'm in my sixth decade I've accepted that they aren't me. I'm a curvy 5'2" so I rely on colour and silhouette to lengthen my look. Bold colour is fine but prints tend to overwhelm my short stature so I reserve them for scarves and other accessories. That said I think prints can be lovely on people like yourself who have some height.

Sarah said...

I've been slowly adding dresses in bold prints to my wardrobe over the past few years and I use the same strategies you mentioned-pairing them with neutral cardigans and accessories. Actually, I think that's one of the things I like about wearing a bold-print dress: it speaks for itself so I don't have to give a lot of thought to accessories when I wear it. Also, I think the key is to find a print you really love. This makes you excited, rather than intimidated, to wear it.


Wearing prints will make to appear to be more friendly and people respond to friendliness and smiles.

Sue Walker said...

Hi Jennifer

Another great topic! I was particularly interested in Rose's comment as I'm 67 and just over 5' tall, but occasionally I do wear bold prints. Having joined a couple of facebook fashion groups, plus having posted photos on my blog for feedback, I realise it's a fine balance when you're short. If there's too much contrast within the print, or if it's a large print, it may wear me rather than the other way round. I've received compliments when wearing a couple of my print dresses and tops, so it does sometimes work. Take an honest friend or family member when shopping for prints would be my advice!

Linda LaRoche's Blog said...

I think you look great in your new Boden dresses. And, I love the older pink/purple combination dress on you, (TB or is it RT?) it suits you.
I don't think it's only a question of a bold print drawing attention; attention can be had in standing out from the crowd with a polished look. I have one floral summer dress but undoubtedly prefer a monochromatic look. It's understated and elegant. And like you, I never tire of a simple classic look.



Anonymous said...

Last year I discovered a style of crinkle cotton dress that suited me perfectly (except that they were sleeveless). The dresses came in a variety of prints, all of them bold! The style was so ME that I bought several of them and then a couple more this year. Since I am a woman of a certain age, my arms are no longer flattering, so I collected several cover-ups of varying weights. So, I can wear my bold dresses, be perfectly comfortable, and not worry about my arms in my light cotton duster-type cover-ups, which are all neutral. I think I look good and enjoy being colorful.

Anonymous said...

Since I am petite, a large print would be over the top for me. I have to keep the print on a smaller scale. And yes, I am guilty of having a wardrobe of neutrals -- particularly black. I found that a good way to segue into prints for me was to wear a neutral print: my go-to dress the past two summers is a sleeveless faux-wrap dress from Loft that is very lightweight and comfortable. It has a horizontal zig-zag pattern of black and tan on a white background. Perhaps because it is neutral, and therefore "safe", I do mix patterns with it to great effect. I wear a Talbots merino wool cardigan with it that is a black and brown floral pattern on a white background. They look smashing together, and I always feel pulled-together when I wear them. In fact, I wore them out to dinner last night with a pair of black and tan spectator mules... which I guess would qualify as yet a third pattern. But they all played together nicely, probably because they were all neutral. I don't think I would have pulled it off had they been colored prints.

I really don't think that people notice if you've been wearing something to death. I know I don't usually remember what someone wore, unless it stood out for some reason. People are too busy thinking/worrying about themselves to notice what you are doing/wearing.

Rita said...

I love the Pink/burgundy/black dress on you. You have high-contrast coloring, which works well with a high-contrast print.

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