Naoko Ernest

Hi, I’m Naoko. I live mostly in Ghana as I travel and write about my experiences there. I do 3D architecture and love to design homes.


Thanks to trending ideas, fashion seems to be bringing bold and beautiful colors and patterns back into our lives once again.  And as exciting as that sounds, and is, you’re not too sure your wardrobe will be living up to this fashion trend. We see these beautiful bold prints and patterns on people as they walk the streets, exuding confidence, and although we like what we see, we’re not too sure we will be able to pull that off. Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and that you can pull it off. Here’s how anyone can wear bold prints and patterns successfully.



Oh, the perks of prints and patterns! There are so many out there in the world, that there’s a guarantee you won’t be wearing the exact same ensemble with another person on any given day. There are bright colors, muted tones, floral patterns, stripes, grids, geometric ones. Each and every one has its own beauty, and pairing it with another is your personal statement. That being said, we’re not going to just slap whatever pattern we find on to our bodies, we’re going to wear what we feel like. Think about creating outfits that go with your atmosphere, your mood, or a theme. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to wear grey and grey over grey, express yourself, if you get what I mean.

Knowing what look you want to express will make you feel more comfortable and more confident in wearing the bold patterns. And that’s half the work done.



A solid color will act as a pop of color in your outfit, completing the prints and patterns. Pick a neutral color or a color which is cohesive with the main color in the prints. It will allow it to get the attention it deserves, without the need to overcrowd your outfit with clashes of patterns. It’s like a sandwich-the pop of color is the jam meshing the ensemble.



With so many prints and patterns to choose from, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and end up with a mismatched outfit, or underwhelmed to even try because of the thought of mismatching an outfit. So how do we work through all of that to find the perfect match?

Stick to two main colors

Highlighting more colors may end up making your look too busy. It’s better to let your outfit represent just two main colors.

Build your outfit around the most prominent patterned item

Use the boldest print as the piece determining all other items added to the outfit. Pair it with a simpler, less colorful piece, so that you do not distract from the boldest piece or end up having two competing items in your outfit.

If you prefer to be more colorful, stick to one color family

Preferably, you may want to wear an ensemble that highlights more than one or two colors. Try to pick colors that are from the same color palette or theme. It will make your outfit look more put-together.

Pay attention to the size of the patterns

Pair a smaller pattern with a large pattern. And when choosing patterns with the same scale, stick to one color or one color palette. This is more visually appealing and gives you a more organized look.

Layer on a solid color

You could use a solid color jacket or cardigan to layer over your print outfit. This will help complete your look while toning down the patterns.  


Just because your outfit is bold doesn’t necessarily mean accessorizing will overdo the look. That depends on what you accessorize with. Every accessory works with an outfit. What you should know and note, though, is that particular accessories go with types of print outfits? Accessories can either take your look to the next level or completely take a U-turn and make your ensemble end up looking like a disaster. So how should you accessorize? What colors should you use and how bold should they be?

Use accessories with colors that can be found in your outfit

Work with the colors you have on. In many cases, it would be better if you highlight a minor color in your outfit using your accessories. This will create a subtle matching effect, making your outfit look well done and complete. Matching with the main color may make the whole outfit seem overdone and just too much, but this may depend on the intensity of the patterns.

Match your shoes with your bag

You can match the color of your shoes with your bag. It could be a color found in the outfit, but then again, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If you have a print outfit but it doesn’t have any colors in it to match your shoes or bags, no worries. You just have to match your shoes to your bag, without it being a color in your printed outfit. It’s like a splash of color and complete on its own.

A patterned outfit with neutral shades can be paired with any accessory colors

A patterned outfit with neutral shades like black, grey, or brown can be considered as a solid color and be paired with any accessory colors. This muted kind of print outfit is not so loud, which makes room for more color to be added to the outfit as a whole. In this case, using accessories.

Use accessories that compliment your outfit’s theme

Sometimes color isn’t the only thing that determines your accessories. If you’re going for a themed look, let’s say a bohemian look, a straw tote bag, a big blue necklace or a straw hat could do the trick. They may not be in the color palette of your look, but they will end up complimenting your look because they go well with the look you’re going for.