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Monthly Archives: July 2017

For the Love of Prints Banner1


By | How To..., Understanding Prints & Patterns, Wardrobe Savvy | No Comments

Take a moment to peer into your closet. What do you see, lots of prints or more solid colored garments?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a lover of prints, to me, they’re more interesting than solid colors and my preference for them stems from my coloring and personal style.  

Ann Prints

Like most things, too much of something is rarely a good idea; too many prints and your outfit can appear noisy and/or haphazard, too many solid colored outfits and you risk looking a little boring.

Prints and patterns are design elements which I believe deserve at least twenty percent of your wardrobe. They add interest, can display your personality, elevate or lower the formality of an outfit and even change it’s overall mood. Understanding about prints and patterns and what makes them work is important in working out which ones will work best for you.

Recently, I’ve been writing and recording lessons for our new online image consultant course and thought you may also enjoy some of what I’m teaching.

First off, let’s start with the difference between prints and patterns. A print is a motif or design printed onto a fabric. While a pattern is a motif or design that can either be woven or printed into a fabric. Therefore, all patterns are prints but prints are not patterns.

Prints verses Patterns

Now that we understand prints and patterns a bit better, here some of the major categories of prints :

  • Geometric: shapes made from geometry
  • Linear/Lineal: Straight lines
  • Florals: Flowers
  • Abstract: Images of objects distorted from how they look in reality
  • Animal
  • Ethnic/Tribal: Art that originates from specific regions, ethnic or tribal groups
  • Motif: clearly repeated designs, think shoes, leaves, elephants, butterflies etc
  • Graphic: Images generated on a computer 

Print categories

These categories can further be grouped into classics and fads. It’s important to make this distinction because classics prints and patterns are worth investing in if the garment is also classic in style, while fads are trends that are unlikely to last beyond a season.

Classic Prints and Patterns

The following prints and patterns have withstood the test of time. These kinds of prints and patterns have proven to be, time and time again, wardrobe staples that remain elegant, chic, and sophisticated.


There are three kinds of stripes: vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.

Vertical stripes are more flattering when the stripes are closer to each other and thinner. The wider the stripe, the distance between the stripes and/or the higher the color contrast between the stripes, the wider you will seem to appear to be. An especially noteworthy stripe when it comes to work wear style is the menswear-inspired pinstripe. Horizontal stripes, on the other hand, are perceived as more relaxed and casual. While diagonal stripes are seen as creative and individual. The same styling rule applies to diagonal and horizontal stripes as they do to vertical stripes.  



Floral prints are no longer limited to spring/summer. They can be worn year round. The feel of a floral print or pattern is dictated by its color palette, the closeness of of the images to reality and the type of flowers.

Light or pastel florals convey romance, innocence, and femininity. Dark florals express more strength and are therefore more suited to business wear. Those with a background in a similar depth to your hair will look most at home on you. Bright florals are seen as youthful and fun and are especially appropriate in the summer. Abstract floral prints are creative on trend at the moment. Liberty florals have a retro feel and are typically smaller in scale. Lastly, folk floral prints are bohemian-inspired and have more of a BoHo influence.



The major categories of plaid are glen plaid, tartan, windowpane check, madras check and gingham. Both glen plaid and tartan are menswear inspired and are great for office dressing. Meanwhile, madras checks are for more casual occasions. The same can be said for gingham, no matter what the silhouette gingham is a casual and playful print that is best reserved for social occasions.

Windowpane checks are great for your work wear wardrobe. We would advise you to wear only one piece in windowpane check as it can get overwhelming. However, a head-to-toe windowpane check suit can work for those who work in more creative industries. 



A major group within the animal print family is that of the wildcats. Leopard, tiger, and cheetah prints are classics that will never go out of style. Every year and every season, we spot these wildcat prints on major runways. Leopard is practically a neutral!  All jokes aside, these wildcat prints and patterns exude an undeniable drama, sex appeal, and strength. Zebra and giraffe prints are unexpected incarnations of the animal print and express a more creative side. Python prints express that same drama and glamour as the wildcat prints. However, python prints can be too much so to be on the safe side opt for them as accessories. Lastly, cow/pony and dalmatian prints are quirky, unusual and even comical. These two prints are definitely more on the casual spectrum. Cow/pony prints can also be enlarging, so proceed with caution.

Wild Prints 1

WildPrints 2


People either love or hate the spot/dot print. A trend that can be traced back to the 40s-50s and still remains relevant today, the spot/dot is certainly here to stay. Even spaced spots are more retro, and smaller, uneven spots look more modern and more suited to wear in a corporate setting. Pop art spots and confetti spots in varying colors are whimsical prints that translate to daytime or party wear.

Spots and Dot Prints


Originating in India, paisley prints and patterns were made fashionable by the British. This print is very strong in bohemian fashion. When donned as an abstract print, paisley can be appropriate for business casual events.



The army origins of the camouflage print give it a rugged, masculine and casual image. This print is enjoying a trend renaissance right now. Camouflage is becoming big in the street wear scene. 

Camouflage Prints


Fads come and go. So while these patterns and prints are fun, it is unlikely that these will last more than a season or two. You’ll be much better off going for these prints and patterns as low investment pieces in your wardrobe. Though their longevity isn’t the best, it makes a great impact for the season.


Resort wear and summer-inspired, palm prints and patterns are great in fun silhouettes like rompers and cropped tops.


This may be the only exception to the ‘fads’ rule. Part geometric and part linear, illusion prints can last you more than season especially when done in neutrals.


Comic prints are pop art influenced and are typically loud and in-your-face. Proceed with caution, comic prints can make a major statement but can be enlarging.


Motifs occur every season. Repeats of either tropical motifs like birds of paradise for summer, leaves for fall, map prints for winter; all of these are unique motifs that can elevate your look. 

Fad Prints

In part 2 I’ll cover the in’s and out’s of wearing coordinating prints.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Iconic EyeWear Banner


By | Style Clinic | 3 Comments

I LOVE eyewear.

Even if you’re not blessed with the need to wear glasses everyday sunnies play a HUGE part in a fashionable woman’s wardrobe. Aside from shielding your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun and even protecting the delicate area around your eyes from sun damage, eyewear adds a certain je ne sais quoi to any look that can’t be duplicated by another accessory. Even a simple jeans and tee combo, while you’re out running errands, look more incognito chic than urban blah when you add a pair of statement sunnies into the mix.

Like other style favorites and closet classics, iconic eyewear styles have a colorful history in fashion and has continued to evolve and weave into current trends and stay relevant.

This week I’ve dived into the fashion archives to find the most inspiring and iconic eyewear moments:

Audrey Hepburn

One of the most memorable and iconic scenes in both fashion and cinema history is the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn’s Holly Golightly made the black wayfarer style sunglasses an instant must-have.


First Lady Jackie Onassis-Kennedy

Jackie O made lucite frames in both oversized oval and octagon shapes look and feel oh-so-elegant. She was also a huge fan of tortoiseshell frames.


Janis Joplin

Round boho style frames were a fixture at Woodstock back in the 70s. No one made an impact with these round sunglasses than folk rock icon Janis Joplin.



Lucite oversized round sunglasses were a huge trend back in the 60s. These frames went so well with the over-the-top style of the era. From micro mini skirts, graphic and loud florals down to bold colorblocking, these lucite eyewear pieces finish off the look perfectly. Iconic model and 60s fashion ingenue, Twiggy, made these frames her signature piece.


Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

The 00s were an era of fashion where the Olsen twins simply reigned. Graduating from childhood stardom, the Olsen twins started making a name for themselves with their impeccable style and love for vintage fashion. Mary-Kate and Ashley made oversized oval sunnies cool again, they never leave home without it.


Lady Gaga

Music superstar Lady Gaga took statement eyewear to a whole new level. Whether it’s a part of her performance look or a part of everyday haute couture style, she coordinates unique eyewear to the equally unique couture pieces she wears. For Gaga, eyewear becomes an integral part of her creative fashion expression.

Lady Gaga sunnies

From Reading Stones to Contact Lenses 

Would you believe that eyewear existed in prehistoric times? Evidence has been found that the inuit people fashioned glasses to protect their eyes from the sun, using walrus tusks and ivory. How ingenious right? It just goes to show the fundamental functionality that eyewear has. There was also proof found that the ancient Chinese used smoky quartz as lenses.

Early eyewear

We’ve clearly evolved from the primarily protective nature of eyewear into something more ornamental and personal. Our eyewear of choice definitely expresses something about our personal style and is very effective in conveying a message about one’s personality. Certain frame shapes and styles are more polished and formal, while others are more casual and/or whimsical. Since eyewear can be easily changed and swapped out on a daily basis (if you can afford it), they are a great way to experiment with colors, styles, and textures as well as being a great way to express different facets of your personal style.

With that in mind, let’s review eyewear styles over the last hundred or so years to see how they’ve been influenced by culture and current trends of the time.

1900s / 1920-40s

At the turn of the century, the rise of movie stars consequently saw the rise of popularity of eyewear. The stars used sunglasses to go incognito and shield themselves from fan recognition. It was also used to protect their eyes from the harsh lighting they used onset.

In 1929, sunglasses started getting mass produced and marketed to summer vacationers. In 1936, polarized lenses came into the scene introduced by Edward Land. He came up with this using his polaroid camera filter. Toward the end of the 30s-40s, sunglasses were adopted by savvy city chic women and became a widespread fashion trend. 



The 50s was all about fashion eyewear. Cat-eyes were particularly prominent in this decade, whether for eyeglasses or sunglasses. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Brigitte Bardot used eyewear as a vital part of their look.

1950s catseye


Exaggerated shapes defined eyewear in the 60s. The mod style that was prevalent in this decade counted eyewear as a key part to pulling off the mod trend. Large round frames or large square frames in lucite or colored plastic were the weapons of chicness during this period.

1960s eyewear


The Bohemian style was the fashion hallmark of the 70s. There was more variety in this decade of eyewear fashion—aviators, fading lenses, and wire frames were all in vogue.

1970s eyewear


The era of excess is what people often called the 80s. Bold and brash colours and unapologetic playful eyewear shapes and style dominated. Large and white sunglasses were particularly popular in the 80s.

1980 eyewear


From excess to minimal, small and wired lenses became the eyewear du jour in the 90s. From pop princesses like Britney to Sarah Michelle Gellar, this style was all the rage.

1990 eyewear


The rise of it girls like Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and the Olsen Twins gave rise to a new generation of style lovers. These it girls were always perfectly coiffed and never stepped out without their trademark oversized sunglasses. In the 2000s the bigger your sunglasses were, the better.

2000 eyewear

2010 and beyond

Sunglasses are a multimillion dollar industry. Different lenses for different prescriptive needs along with various brands with their own takes on the classic eyewear shapes are flooding the market. Iconic eyewear shapes like the aviator, cat eye, and mod are all still considered chic. Every season though, designers step it up a notch with details like carved arms on eyewear or pearl or studded embellishments on the frame.



If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP