How to Accessorize a Bold Print Dress
By Tucker Cummings
, last updated January 20, 2012
Every woman wants to rock a bold look and feel confident when they walk into a room. And while putting on a dress with a great geometric or animal print can make you feel like a million bucks, that mood can quickly fade if you customize your look with clunky accessories. If you want to find the perfect touches to balance the look of a bold print dress, here are some smart tips for picking the perfect accessories.
Easy on the Eyes
Nothing makes you look like a train wreck faster than mixing different prints. Everyone who looks at you will do a double take, but not in a good way. If your dress has an oversized paisley or geometric print, avoid pairing with polka dot leggings, a herringbone purse, or a striped shoe. When you’re wearing a dress with a bold print, the dress should be the star. Adding in other pieces with a conflicting bold pattern dilutes the look and overwhelms the eye.
Particularly for a bold print with multiple colors, you want to avoid accessories in multiple colors, because you can verge into clown territory quite quickly. For a more sophisticated tactic, pick a single color from the pattern of the dress and match your accessories and the rest of the outfit to that shade. This will keep you looking classic, rather than cartoony. For example, a leopard print dress in khaki and chocolate brown can be paired with chocolate brown boots and a bold necklace of wooden beans in a cocoa color.
Make It Sparkle
Let’s talk jewelry. With a super bold print, you actually may want to dial back your bling a bit to keep the overall look from being too busy. Coordinating with your color story is always a good move: think monochromatic beads, studs, or chunky bracelets. If you want to flash gems, opt for studs or small hoops over large, dangling earrings. The print is visually exciting, so don’t go overboard with shiny baubles that will distract from your already arresting attire.
Clutch Me Closer
Every outfit needs a classy purse, to ensure you have a place to hold your makeup, money, and phone. But when wearing a bold graphic print, it is often a smart choice to ditch the purse or handbag and opt for a small clutch instead. Purses with straps, especially straps that go across your chest, are going to break up the pattern of your dress and lessen its dramatic impact. A modest clutch in a solid color (or semi-solid sparkling/sequined treatment) will ensure that you dress pops in all the right ways. Leave the patterned purses at home and let your dress be the star of the show.
So Shoe Me
Granted, women have a certain affinity for shoes that match their outfit. And for the most part, they should. But matching, say, a pair of leopard print shoes with a bold leopard print dress can look a little too matching and mature for someone who prefers a more youthful style. Keep the shoe neutral or in a coordinating color, and you’ll look far more fresh.