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  • Whitney Sylvain

PRINT BLOCKING: THE NEED TO KNOW.


Throughout fashion’s history, we’ve seen print blocking on the runways and executed by street style stars during fashion month. While Versace and your favorite editors can make print blocking look so glamorous, there are ways to flourish with your own version of print blocking for a more casual lifestyle. Print blocking is a pretty ostentatious—and challenging—way of styling and can easily look like you got dressed in the dark. So, here I am, blessing you (once again) with some necessary style advice. Read below for my tips on how to navigate print blocking so you get it right the first time.

First Thing’s First: Size & Scale Matter - If you’re unsure about how to step into the print blocking arena, consider the size and scale of the prints you want to combine. Pair large-scale & small-scale prints so your outfit doesn’t look too overwhelming. While I’ve seen people get away with this, it takes major skill and the right prints.

Prints for Beginners – Opt for leopard print or plaid as a starting point. These prints are good “neutrals”—easy to understand and style with other items. Leopard & plaids keep print combinations grounded.

One Small Step - If print blocking is unfamiliar to you, it’s okay to take baby steps—gotta crawl before you walk, sis. So, here’s a tip: start by combining a printed belt with a printed top and solid-colored bottoms. This is an easy way to begin if you’re not quite sure you want to do a full print blocked look.

Base Color - It’s the miniature details that set an outfit off. If you’re considering a few ostentatious prints, opt for patterns that have similar base colors. That way they will look more cohesive.

Duplicate Patterns, Different Palettes – What also has been helpful in my print blocking success is what you see here; wearing the same pattern in different colorways. This is possibly the easiest way to print block. Two polka dot prints (or any print really) in different colors. One piece is yellow with white dots, the other white with black dots. The fact that the motifs are the same makes this cohesive, the difference in colors add dimension. (Also consider different prints in the same color palette. For example, pairing a black and white houndstooth skirt with a black and white stripe top)

Now, let’s dive into the look. I am a major advocate for re-wearing, recycling, & revisiting my wardrobe. After bouncing back from my high-low-hate stage (I went through a period where I hated high low skirts, like this one) I pulled this beaut from the back of my closet so she could make me happy once again. Coincidentally, the dress and crop top are both from Forever21. I purchased them when I was deep in my fast fashion days. Honestly, I’m still in pretty deep, but thrifting and quality pieces have helped to rescued me a bit. The shoes are from Zara, earrings are from Aldo. And the glow? Well, I accredit that to growth, and to Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation!

See full Color Blocking Wardrope Playbook below:


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