How to pair and wear clothing with prints. 70 looks to get inspiration

Printed clothing is the undisputed frontrunner of the last few seasons. Drawings, patterns or prints – call them what you will – can be seen not only on blouses, shirts or dresses, but even on jeans and – wow! – on Teddy bear coats made from faux fur. Prints are worn in different ways: someone makes them an accent of the look, someone prefers everything and in large quantities, someone wears print all over the body, and someone wears a thing with a print in combination with plain-coloured clothes.

Bedruckte Kleidung an Fashionistas

All photos via

So how do you wear prints correctly and how do you combine them skilfully? How important is the size of the pattern? What counts as a print and what doesn’t? Let’s understand this, because knowledge from theory always helps in practice.

Types of prints

There are rather few of them – five:

Floral prints. It is unlikely that man will create something more beautiful than what nature produces, so the only thing left to do is to repeat it.
Animalistic. Everything is exactly the same here – the patterns repeat the colours of the animals and birds that nature has invented.

Geometric ones. All kinds of diamonds, cages, houndstooth patterns – this subgroup has it all. Stripes, checks* and polka dots belong to the same subgroup.

Ethnic prints. Each ethnic group has its own special prints and colours.

Abstract prints. This print can somehow repeat elements of the previous four prints, but mix and/or distort them.

5 Arten von Prints: floral, animalisch, geometrisch, ethnisch und abstrakt
5 types of prints: floral, animal, geometric, ethnic and abstract

**A plaid can be considered as a print if the pattern is simply printed on the fabric. However, when it comes to the tartan plaid, the fabric called tartan, the plaid is not a print but a way of combining fabric threads of different shades and colours.

Floral pattern

The pattern in the form of flowers gives the look a romantic touch and is therefore not very suitable for business images. The floral print is divided into two main subgroups – the large and the small print (also called calicot), and these two patterns never go out of fashion.

It is believed that the larger the pattern, floral or not, the less formal the look; there is also an opinion that the older you are, the smaller the print on your clothes should be.

Nowadays, both large and small prints, florals and anything else can be incorporated into any look, and to any comments reply “I’m an artist, I see it this way” and let them try to criticise you. And anyway… have it your way, but I don’t recommend wearing red flowers against a green background – that combination is reminiscent of a Christmas tree. I also don’t recommend (of course, you are not obliged to follow my advice) wearing a large print for petite girls and women.

How to wear dresses with floral print: looks

Kleider mit Blumendruck. Streetstyle

Kleider mit Blumendruck. Streetstyle

Klamotten mit Prints

Klamotten - Röcke mit Prints

Animal prints

Not so long ago, these prints had a bad reputation. The fact is that in the nineties of the last century, the leopard print was chosen by women with little social responsibility, who liked to wear very short skirts, very low necklines and very high heels altogether. That was indeed kind of provocative. Fortunately, these prints managed to rehabilitate themselves in the 200s – they started to be worn as a small colour accent and, most importantly, this category of citizens stopped dressing in tight, short leopard print dresses and a set of high stiletto heels.

A win-win combination is an animal print with something black or brown. Or with jeans, which, on the other hand, we know are like salt: they go with everything, see the photos:

Animalische Prints

An animal print also goes well with neutral colours, for example with beige or white trousers or a skirt:

Die Hose und der Rock mit animalistischem Print
Animal print trousers and a skirt

An animal print also goes well with neutral colours, for example beige or white trousers or a skirt:

Animal Pattern an der Kleidung

Animalistische Pattern an der Kleidung

Geometric print

Considering that geometric prints include stripes, peas and checks, this pattern can confidently be described as the most important of all prints.

Use this print in the image according to the principle of blocking, for example, put on a monochrome skirt with a calfskin or pick up a skirt in checks, stripes or polka dots with a monochrome blouse.

Geometrischer Druck an Klamotte

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Geometrischer Druck an Klamotte

Perhaps the easiest and most winning option is to combine any print with clothes in a neutral colour, in this case beige. For the perfect image, choose high-quality garments and accessories, see photo:

Geometrischer Druck am Kleid

Geometrischer Druck an Klamotte

Ethnic print

This subgroup includes all prints whose pattern resembles or matches the national pattern of this or that ethnic group or people. The most important rule here is that you should not combine prints from two different cultures in one look, even if you are in favour of friendship between these nations.

Ethnic prints go out of fashion, but they also come back. It usually takes 2-4 years for them to come back into fashion. Keep in mind that out of 500 designers who present their collections at ready-to-wear shows, 5-10 will still incorporate ethnic patterns into their presentations. So if you like ethnic prints on your clothes, wear them whenever you feel like it.

How to wear clothes with ethnic patterns

Wie man Kleidung mit ethnischen Mustern trägt

Wie man Kleidung mit ethnischen Druck trägt

Abstract print

The main purpose of an abstract print is to accentuate a splash of colour. Abstract prints are rarely used for full-body looks, but you can often find them on accessories such as scarves, shawls or scarves.

When choosing an abstract print, you should focus on the overall colour scheme. Remember, if you’re choosing a print to wear on a shirt or scarf, for example, near the face, the main colour of the print should match your skin tone and not contrast with the colour of your eyes. To find out if a particular pattern suits you, simply hold the item up to your face and go to the mirror. If you like the look of your face and the glow in your eyes, it means that the chosen colour scheme of the print suits you.

Wie man Prints trägt

How to wear prints

Basically, all looks that include one or more printed garments/accessories can be categorised into four groups:

  • Full body print

It is assumed that the item with the print covers the whole body, such as a dress, jumpsuit or coat. Stylists used to recommend wearing accessories in neutral colours with such an image, but today this requirement is irrelevant. For example, a coat with an animal print can be accompanied by a red bag, see photo:


  • Print block

By analogy with the colour block, such a combination means that you have a sprint on the one hand and are monochrome on the other. This is perhaps the most common variant.


Print block

  • Print accent

As you have already guessed, in this case an accessory with a print is added to a picture with monochrome things or an object, whereby this accessory (shoes, bag, scarf or scarf) acts as an accent, see the photo:

Ein Accessoire mit Druck als Akzent für einen Look

  • Print + print

This is perhaps the most complicated combination of all, but as they say, nothing is complicated if you’re smart. All you need to mix prints is to follow two simple rules.

  1. Prints are always combined on the basis of one thing in common – colour or pattern. In other words, you can combine a floral print with a geometric print, for example, if both patterns are linked by a common colour scheme. It is important to remember that all other colours in your composition should also be combined well.
  2. The second rule is to be bold – after all, you’re choosing a look for one day! You also have the right to make a mistake.

Here, of course, it is appropriate to make a digression and say that the main thing about an image is its relevance in a particular context. And if you can dress as epathetically as possible, for example, in the gym, cinema, club or for a walk, then for a business meeting or wedding you should dress as the dress code dictates, regardless of whether it is written or not.

Ein stilvolle Look

The unifying colour in this image is turquoise:

Die verbindende Farbe in diesem Look ist Türkis:

If you only have 2 colours in play, you can combine absolutely any print in a look.

Der Schwarz und Weiss Look

Geometrischer Print kombiniert mit einem Blumenprint
Geometric print paired with a floral print

Prints within the same subgroup can be perfectly combined with each other. In other words, you can confidently combine stripes with triangles or what the girl has on her trousers, look at the photo:

wie man Drucke richtig kombiniert
How to combine prints correctly

Here, two types of cages in the same colour scheme almost make a full body look out of the set

A full body look

A full body look. Prints

If you analyse this picture, you might find a mistake or even several, but what do you do if you want to take this clutch and mix not two, but four prints at once?

Wear whatever you want, of course!

Ein schöner Look. Ein bisschen zu viel, aber das macht nicht

If we assume that of the above two rules you can choose only one – the second, then the girl dressed absolutely correctly. A rather complex image is also softened by neutral colours, and as a result we have a look that is as daring as it is nice.

Ein Mädchen

In the photo on the left, the black colour is the glue that binds the parts of the image into a whole. In the photo on the right, red is the colour that holds the look together:

wie man Drucke richtig kombiniert

Wie man Prints richtig kombiniert

Wie man Prints richtig kombiniert

Wie man Prints richtig kombiniert. Ein Roch mit Druck

Wie man Prints richtig kombiniert. Ein Roch mit Druck

This rather complex image could even be described as boring if it weren’t for the smile. Emma Stone seems to know how to set accents even without accessories.

Wie man Prints richtig kombiniert. Ein Roch mit Druck. Emma Stone

Wie man Prints richtig kombiniert. Ein Roch mit Druck. Die Hose

Giovanna Battaglia-Engelbert manages to mix the unmixable simply like this, and I wish you that same success.

Giovanna Battaglia-Engelbert schafft es schön

Text: Iryna Solnyschkina