Wardrobe Architect 7: Exploring Solids and Prints

“Deborah in a pattern? We don’t know what to think!” Such was the cry of my fellow university student some years ago, on seeing me wearing a cardigan with, yes, a pattern knitted into it.

Does this look OTT to you?

This gives you a fairly good idea of how large a part prints play in my wardrobe, i.e. not much.

Prints are not wholly absent, mind you; it’s just that they tend to appear mostly in accessories – usually scarves which I wear either around my neck or on my head. I do actually have two or three floral garments; it’s just that they don’t appear very often – special occasions rather than everyday, so they tend to get sidelined in the wardrobe. Plus none of them have pockets, which is another good reason for their sidelineity.

I’m just not a very printy person overall, be they dots or stripes or checks or florals. When I do wear prints, I prefer them on the small side and not too high-contrast: I’m not very big myself and I don’t want to be swamped. But I don’t have strong likes or dislikes among the families of prints. With one exception.

Sarai in the original Colette post describes animal print as a “love it or hate it type” and I definitely fall into the latter category. If ever I appear to be wearing a leopard-print, call an ambulance, because I’m being savaged by a leopard.

JoGayle Howard (1951-2011) with Clouded Leopard Cub, 1992
The coat bites back.
There are two areas of my wardrobe in which I’m happy to offer a place to prints.

The first is my head. My clothes are almost exclusively block colours, but I like having a bit of variety on my headwrap – though I don’t think I’d be brave enough to try several different prints at once. I want to wear prints on top, not over the top.

The other place I’d like to keep prints is in my nightwear. Sewers often struggle with the urge to buy fun novelty prints. My plan is to succumb to this urge – particularly where flannelette is concerned – and then turn the resulting hoard into amusing nighties along Victorian/prairie lines.
What could be more fun than a prim floor-length nightie covered in rocket-ships, say, or jelly-beans?

Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 109 June to November 1904 (1904) (14782776705)
The old-fashioned nightgown: for those awkward moments when you find a heavily bandaged giraffe in your bathtub. Meet any situation with aplomb!
This particular cunning plan I have already started to put into action: the stripy nightie I made in April is the first prototype, and I have already made some (admittedly mental) notes as to what alterations to make in the next iteration.

Where do you stand on prints – or where do they stand on you? Have you ever found a giraffe in your bathtub (heavily bandaged or otherwise)? Chip in below!

2 Replies to “Wardrobe Architect 7: Exploring Solids and Prints”

  1. Yeah, animal prints are a no-no for me, too. They don’t fit my personality. I do have a few striped shirts and dress pants and capris, and some of my sundresses have a floral pattern. But I tend to focus more on the style of the clothing and the general color palette than the patterns it contains, if that makes sense.

    1. Yes, that makes perfect sense! Everybody’s got some aspects they focus more on than others. I tend to focus on the colour; my husband… doesn’t! :-s

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