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How to wear pattern and print without looking frumpy

— by Alyson Walsh

Alyson Walsh; That's Not My Age;

Photo: Dvora @Fashionistable

I like pattern and print when I see it on other things, like art gallery walls, soft furnishings and ceramics, but not so much on me. On a  scale of surface decoration (a pie chart of pattern?), I definitely gravitate towards the plain end; but I love a good Liberty print, a vintage paisley, a Josef Frank textile design from Svenskt Tenn. And bold pattern in fashion can look fantastic: I’m thinking Rosita Missoni, Iris Apfel, Stella Jean. But there’s just something about it that makes me feel quite self-conscious and a little bit frumpy.

The best way to avoid the frump factor, is to stay within your comfort zone. When I wore the kimono top and wide leg chinos, on a scorching hot day in London, I’d moved into an area of unease. Reverting to a pull-on-and-go top in a favourite colour combination with a pair of worn-out old jeans, I instantly feel more relaxed. More like me.

And, have you noticed that Warehouse is looking loads better? That’s because cool Brit designer Emma Cook (a former regular at London Fashion Week) is the new creative director and she’s doing interesting things with pattern, print and silhouette. I’ve included a few bits and pieces below:

 

The silver sculptural necklace I’m wearing is handmade by Claire Stratton who runs a small business in Stroud and holds two to three sales a year, locally and in London (where I bought mine). Contact: [email protected] And the navy blue leather clogs are from Troenthorps in Sweden. More Scandinavian design.

Now, tell me, how do you wear print?

 

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I like pattern and print when I see it on other things, like art gallery walls, soft furnishings and ceramics, but not so much on me. On a  scale of surface decoration (a pie chart of pattern?