It’s a well-established fact that I am fond of colourful style and included in that are colourful prints, classic prints, and prints of all kinds. But the lackluster response on Instagram lately has me wondering if I’m out to lunch when it comes to prints, if they look dated and tired on a 40-something-year-old woman. I’ve been asking myself: are prints still in style in 2020? I set out to find the answer through thorough scientific research (i.e., Pinterest, Twitter, and Google) and share my findings here!
I’ve been reading fashion mags since I was a teen and it seems to me that every season showcases designer prints in some form or another. In fact, the more bold and contrasting, the higher the fashion.
I liked this post on Glowly which shows that pretty much any print goes including the classics like animal print, polka dots, florals, plaid, and stripes and others like tie-dye, rainbow, and psychedelic. So, prints ARE still in style but what makes them modern for 2020? Most of us can’t afford designer fashion that presumably reflects the latest and greatest trends, fabrics, and tailoring, and we don’t want to wear cheap knock-offs either. What’s an ordinary gal to do?
We end up getting affordable prints from everyday brands which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, these brands follow designer trends and make them more accessible.
Whatever is in the mall usually ends up in the thrift stores so these are the pieces secondhand shoppers usually find. The problem, no matter where we purchase our prints, is that we tend to wear them in a boring way. THERE I SAID IT. 95% of the time, we wear a printed top with jeans or neutral pants, maybe with a neutral or matching finishing layer and even maybe-er with accessories. We might reverse the formula and wear a printed skirt with a neutral top or we might wear a printed dress with neutral shoes and neutral accessories. The result IMHO is meh.
You can make the argument that it looks classic but I yawn past such looks even if I’m the one wearing them! You can make the argument that a “uniform” saves time and energy when shopping and getting dressed, leaving more for other pursuits; fair, but could not the same formula be executed with more prints and colour? A recent post by Who What Wear calls these looks “basic” (in a positive way) and I have to agree (in a not-so-positive way!). After reading that post, I couldn’t help but wonder if part of the “chic basic” aesthetic comes from the fact that every example features a thin person and relatively pricey pieces. What about average or plus-sized people with a small budget?
I believe stylish prints for all sizes can be procured from secondhand sources and then we – YES, ordinary every-sized women – can wear them in a stylish modern way! Here’s how:
1. Make at least one part of your outfit a statement.
It doesn’t have to be the print but it could be! If not the print, wear at least one other piece that is NOT neutral. Some examples of mine from Instagram…
2. Wear confidence.
PRINTS ARE IN STYLE so you can wear them with the assurance that the highest fashion houses are doing the same. I binge-watched Next In Fashion and I loved it! I loved the competitors, I loved seeing them support each other till the end instead of conniving, I loved the bold designs, and I loved the messaging throughout the show:
Just have fun with prints!
Fashion that looks beautiful and is wearable is never wrong.
With confidence, you can make anything work.
I loved it so much I forgave them for the token use of plus-sized models in just one episode. Baby steps. One only has to look as far as Pinterest to see plenty of examples of women of all ages and all sizes wearing prints and statement pieces with so much confidence it’s contagious!
Are prints still in style in 2020? YES YES YES!
My highly scientific conclusion is that prints of all kinds are most decidedly still in style in 2020 and they look amazing! I don’t know why my Instagram posts aren’t garnering the love those thrifted prints deserve but no matter. I feel confident in them, I love to make a statement, and I hope to inspire other women to do the same!
PIN this post to your CLOTHING board and remember to follow THE SPIRITED THRIFTER on Pinterest!
Looking at your photos, I noticed prints look good when they are bright or mixed with bright colours (or is that just on you!). Love that kimono and shoes ❤️
Thrifting is a great way to experiment with patterns, although I don’t always have the imagination required to pick out prints that will look good. I tend to stick to checks, houndstooth, stripes and polka dots.
Prints on cheap materials or shoddy sewing can look terrible, so best to stick to better quality.
Now I’ll try not to wear them in a boring way! Thanks for the inspiration.