The Shy Gal's Guide to Wearing Bold Prints

If the thought of oversize florals and stripes sends you down a stress spiral, take a deep breath. Bold prints are more wearable than you think. Just follow Sofia Sanchez de Betak, the über-stylish art director and fashion consultant who street-style photographers can’t get enough of. She’s the latest feature on Finery (the wardrobe organizing app that shows the closets of some of the most fashionable women on earth). Here’s how she embraces large, lavish and loud prints without looking like a walking kaleidoscope.

When You Find an Outfit Formula You Love, Stick to It

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Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/Getty Images

Pair With Black And White

The contrast between black and white makes a graphic statement all its own, so adding a bold print on top of that doesn’t feel like that much more of a commitment. A black velvet trim or hint of white within the pattern itself can help make your look even more cohesive.

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Layer It Over A Muted Base

Unlike black and white, nude or neutral tones allow your print to totally steal the spotlight (and somehow not overwhelm you in the process). Try a beige jacket over a patterned dress or a sand-colored slip with a bright coat to break things up.

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David M. Benett/Getty Images

Continue The Background Color Throughout Your Outfit

Placing your pattern on an extended backdrop dilutes its intensity and makes it feel much less intimidating. Here, de Betak’s white tee and jeans allow us to take in a single element of her adventurous coat (the blue lines) instead of being dizzied by all the details at once.

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Or Pull Out Another Hue To Feature

If you’re feeling more audacious, pick a richer shade from your print. Even the brightest pigments are guaranteed to complement, not overshadow, your statement piece perfectly.

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Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Opt For Minimal Accessories

We’re talking style and quantity here. Clean white shoes and navy ankle socks are quirky but low-key partners to this bold mini-dress. Moral of the story: Don’t overthink bold prints. Wear them minimally (but confidently) and you’ll never be “too much.”

Shop de Betak’s favorite prints and patterns in her wardrobe over at Finery.

Abby Hepworth


Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...
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