Set in Print

Monochrome print clashes even the minimalists can get with

Photography: Teri Roberts | Styling: Jason Basson

Prints act as steadfast statement pieces in your wardrobe. Albeit usually being branded as strictly playful items to be worn in more casual settings, in the right shades, they have the range to fit into whatever dress code. The trick is to not start with intense colours and patterns that are generally more difficult to integrate into toned down style.

stripes and polka dots

The challenge with wearing stripes is that pinstripes are often very corporate, while anything red or blue easily gets categorised as nautical. Thicker varieties also live on a knife's edge between style and humour thanks mostly to their close association with carnival folk. The least typecast option here is a mid-weight stripe in a neutral black and white. Don't be scared to combine stripes, and if you do, make sure to vary the spacing between your stripes and consider pairing with an item that inverts the colour palette of the original item; channeling the overall carefree and fashion-forward look without it being too much of a stretch.

With polka dots, although it's an energetic print with a distinctly 1940s and 50s throwback feel, keep them clean in combination with a pair of slick, black pants, but then step the look up with a check kitten heel.


Not always indicative of romance, the floral theme might be a firm favourite amongst older needlework aunties, we must never forget that “every rose has it's thorns”, particularly when it comes to the darker, moodier varieties. Wear it in combination with polka dots for a look that speaks to a more easy-going attitude, or combine it with some pinstripe trousers for a look that's all about strength.


Checks can either go edgy or office official. Because it's a heritage motif it easily reads more serious than other prints. However, it also has a bit of a rebellious alter-ego thanks to the association of certain types of check with subcultural movements of the '80s. Wear it on its own with a denim trucker for a modern update on '80s edgy, or go for a more playful take on corporate style by counterbalancing the more serious check with a whimsical polka dot print.

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