Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shopping Help: Prints and Patterns and How to Style Them

If you're leery of prints, don't be!  They make a closet fun, plus prints are often easier to mix and match.

I was asked by Forever 21 to showcase some of their pieces, and since it's one of my favorite places to find printed pieces I thought I'd do a Shopping Help post around that.  I can't believe I've been shopping at Forever 21 since I was 14 years old, and still at 31 I find pieces there!  Ahhh!  Let's not analyze that too much and move on.  ;)

Here are some printed pieces that I think are great for any season with the right layers.  Even the springy looking dresses!  (See THIS POST on how to wear a dress in multiple seasons.)

I especially love that the skirts are knee length because as I've mentioned before...why is it so hard to find knee length skirts these days?!

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |   six
seven  |  eight  |  nine
ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

If you aren't sure what to pair with a printed piece, my favorite trick is to pick a color from the pattern and use it in the rest of the outfit.  I learned that one from Stacy and Clinton.  (I miss them!!!)  For example, for Option 4 above you could pair it with accessories, completer pieces, shoes, or a skirt in any of the colors: orange, red, purples, and even greens.  

Shop for the Look:
Dress: c/o Forever 21 (exact)
Cardigan: H&M (similar, similar, similar)
Boots: c/o Forever 21 (exact, similar, similar)
Belt: Cotton On

In the outfit above I paired the dress with a navy cardigan since there is navy in the print.  (See HERE for why I love this dress.)  For a fall-feeling look I went with booties instead of an open-toe shoe.  THESE BOOTS are awesome, by the way!  I was surprised how comfortable they are.  The website says the heel is 3 inches, but I think it's more like 2 to 2.5"...and even then you can hardly tell because they're comfy.  They're also made of rubber instead of plastic or wood, which adds to the comfort.  There are two more very similar options that have different shaft heights which you can find HERE (lower shaft) and HERE (higher shaft).

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o Forever 21 (exact)
Jeans: LOFT (exact)
Boots: c/o Forever 21 (exactsimilarsimilar)
Scarf: Gap (similar)

The other thing you can do with prints is to pair them with neutrals.  However, if you want to mix things up, mix your neutrals!  Here I used three neutrals--grey, black, and brown.  

Lastly, if the print is neutral, like options THREE, SIX (I love this one!), TEN, TWELVE, and sort of EIGHT, pair it with any color!  Easy peasy, but your outfit won't be boring because you'll have a fun pattern or print working in your favor.  

Which piece is your favorite?

Thank you to Forever 21 for sponsoring this post.  For more info on PMT's sponsorship philosophies, see disclosure.


  1. I'm always leery of mixing neutrals, especially black and brown, but maybe the key to it is to go whole hog and mix it up with all 3 of the basics. I'm adoring that second look - grey AND black AND brown? Get outta here! You look fab and now I have yet another outfit to Pin and dupe. :D Motherhood wears well on you, m'dear. <3

  2. I love that one too! Can't believe it's Forever 21!

  3. I love black and brown together! But now that I think about it, I think I usually mix textures when I do it too--black fabric with brown/tan accessories that are usually faux leather.

    And hanks for the motherhood comment Maricel. It helps when you have a good sleeper on your hands! Very, very grateful for that.

  4. Ya for pattern! I love both the looks. That #7 dress is beautiful. I am rocking a totally pattern mixed outfit today after you "reminded" me that I have a top in my closet that I forgot I had when you previewed your "Pieces for Casual and Business Casual" post. Thanks for that. And I am doing it with a pencil skirt to dress it up a bit and posted it on my Instagram as part of a 30 Days No Shopping Challenge I am participating in.

    I just love black and brown together. I realized that last year when I had black skinny jeans and wanted to wear tall boots with them. I did not have tall black one, only brown ones. I slipped them on and wow, like magic, it worked. And now, I don't have to buy black boots!


  5. Oh, I love number 10! So cute!

    And I would not have guessed you are 31. Looking good! I really like knowing that because I'm the same age! =)

  6. Who doesn't miss Stacy & Clinton?

  7. Yeah!! I saw your outfit on Instagram! I looooove that skirt, even though it didn't work for me. (I did a Mix & Match with it anyway! http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2014/10/mix-and-match-floral-skirt-color-choices.html )

  8. I know--I look really young for my age! My mom looks younger and younger the older she gets. Like, she's approaching 61 and I swear she looks like she's 45!

  9. Kayla @ ShoeaholicnomoreTuesday, October 28, 2014

    I love the chevron dress and the soutwest print shirt. Super cute! I miss Stacy and Clinton too. Why did they get rid of that show?!

  10. The boots have a rubber heel and re Forever 21? Sold dude. I'm too damn old for uncomfortable shoes anymore. I'm 28 with a 9 and 7 years olds, (plus two cats. and two dogs.)I need comfy AND cute! Those totally fit the bill.

  11. I reallyyyy like that Southwest print shirt. And the chevron dress looks so fun!

    Re: WNTW, I think Stacy and Clinton moved onto other things and they wanted to end the show on a good note rather than a dying one. I'm bummed though, because as much as I love Stacy and Clinton as individuals, I love them the most TOGETHER! They're hilarious!

  12. Yes! I've been looking for brown ankle boots for-freaking-ever but didn't want one with a substantial. Even though these have a heel I don't mind because I can hardly feel tell. I didn't know the heel on these were rubber, so it was a very pleasant surprise. Definitely good for keeping up with the kids! I spent all day Sunday in these, at church and then running errands around Target, the mall, and Trader Joe's.

  13. My favorite is #2. :)

    Style question from a secret blog reader who's never commented before: how do you decide if a skirt or dress is nice enough to wear to the office? I'm working on building a professional wardrobe, my biggest priorities being affordability and comfort - but I also want to look nice. I like your style, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Thanks!

  14. Hi Maggie! Thanks for reading the blog, even if in secret. :)

    That's a great question that I'm not sure I have a solid answer to besides an intuitive sense. And even then I still question my sense of what is appropriate or not! Anyway, I'm not sure if I can articulate it in a helpful way yet, but I'll try. I think a lot of it depends on how casual or formal your office is, which is kind of tricky. If it's helpful I would probably pay attention to my supervisor as well as other coworkers to get a gauge of how nicely to dress.

    For the skirt itself, I tend to lean on material. For example, jersey stretch material tends to feel more casual to me but can usually be made into a casual business casual office look. But it probably wouldn't be nice enough for the nicer side of business casual and definitely not for business looks. A skirt with more structure and more substantial material usually seems more polished, as opposed to a skirt made of thin cotton material.

    And then of course length matters. Never too short in any setting, no matter how casual.

    Not sure if that's helpful! Let me know if you have more questions and I'll do my best.

  15. That's definitely helpful. Thanks. :)

  16. Skirt #12 needs to get into my closet NOW!


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    I know you are busy so I appreciate any of your advice and help. I am big fan of your blog. Congrats for creating such a following.


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