Exploring The Art of Wearing Prints

Now that I am working in a fabric store, I am immersed head deep in scads of fabric literally 24/7.  When I'm working, I'm cutting fabric.  When I'm not working, I'm buying fabric.  It's a slippery slope of indulgence, imagining every amazing thing I could create with the plethora of options at my fingertips.  

But most importantly, I am learning a lot about the things I don't like.  
Which is actually why I accepted the job in the first place.  To understand textiles from a more well-rounded view rather than marinating in only things I like.  One big item I tend to skip over is prints.  Short of stripes and the occasional geo print, I never much cared for wearing prints...  Perhaps it's because I'm pint size and I've always felt that prints are ill fitting for my shape and stature??  Or maybe because prints can easily be a nuisance or a distraction from the natural flattery of styling?  

Meaning: the difference between receiving this compliment: 
"I love that print!" 

...and this (more preferred) compliment: 
"I love that print on you!" <--- I never hear this one.

I may hear "I love that color on you." or "I love the way that fits you."  But when it comes to prints, I've always had the narrow opinion that prints wear YOU.  
It's rarely a graceful collaboration.

However, now that I am faced with prints everyday, I've begun seeing the science behind printed textiles and more interestingly, learning the art of wearing them well.

So of course, I dove right into experimenting and decided to make an article of clothing with a print! 

 If I was going to wear a print, I would focus on color first since that is something I know well.  If all the colors in a print are flattering to my own tones, I figure I'm halfway there to wearing a flattering print, right?  I also chose to wear the print away from my face since I consider that for the experts - not to mention, my big hair and little face is enough as it is.  

Anyway, I came up with a pencil skirt.  A piece with simple lines, good tailoring, and I made it with an awesome print!

I absolutely love Mexican blankets with their colors and designs.  I grew up with a lot of them and the aesthetic is something I've grown familiar with.  
I wanted to recreate the look in my own way with this skirt.

And of course, in Tiny Closet style, I paired this new number with some old faves: my cropped denim jacket, chambray,
 aaaaaaaand my white oxfords!  As commanding as this skirt is to look at, it is already fitting in nicely with my Tiny wardrobe :)

On my nails, I am wearing Revlon's Posh green.  I adore this color for manicures!!

jacket: American Eagle Outfitters / chambray: Shades of Gris / skirt: The Tiny Closet / oxfords: CMG 

So by taking this print in baby steps, I felt like I was able to control my look and not let my clothing hog the spotlight.  The downplaying pieces like my chambray and jacket (and no accessories) allowed the print to be a statement, while melding well in an understating ensemble.

But then again, I suppose it's all a matter of opinion! 
 What do you think of this undertaking?  Back to square one?  

In the matter of my opinion, this experiment has certainly opened my narrow viewpoint....  In fact, I'm in love with wearing this print!  And I'm so excited about the possibilities of using my new philosophy to tackle some other prints I've been eyeing!  

More on that soooooooon!


  1. I absolutely love that print on you! It is such a fun and pretty design and the workmanship is amazing. Love the black piping (is that what you design folks call it?) around the hem.
    I am impressed and a bit jealous of your skills.

  2. This is such a great outfit, I love the pattern and colors in that skirt and the jean jacket was a great touch to this entire look!!!

    Carsedra of:

  3. That skirt!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh-mazing.
    I'm a sucker for prints as well, so i am loving that skirt. it!

  4. I love this pattern! You did well with understating your other pieces. You are amazing with fabric!

  5. OMG, this skirt is beautiful from the print to the exposed zipper, the split in the back, with the black bias trim! I love it all! I want this so much! I too am of the big hair, small face, and small stature (5'3") so I know what you mean about a print wearing you. But YOU are definitely wearing this print.

  6. success ! this IS a great print on you- definitely a good fit. i also agree with k.nicole wiliams up there, the finishing on the skirt is awesome *snaps* to your skills!

  7. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO!!! The print looks freaking awesome on you, it was made for you. love the exposed zipper great job! you are definitely wearing this print DARLING

  8. Divine! That print is lovely, I am very fond of Native American prints as well, would look stunning on you. LOVE YOUR HAIR!!!! :)

  9. ok.. so where is the Etsy shop so I can get me one??!! ;)

    love it.

  10. You're one of my hair twins, by the way :)

  11. This pencil skirt is perfect! The tailoring, print and length! It's difficult to find the perfect pencil skirt and it's so cool that you can make your own. I say copy and paste this in every color and pattern under the sun. A girl can never have too many pencil skirts.

    The Kimmie Chronicles

  12. You should do a post on how you made the skirt!!! Also, I am loving the hair! What do you put in it to get those beautiful curls???

  13. The skirt is beautiful. THe cut and finish are very flattering for your figure and your hair looks great !!!

  14. Me encanta! If venturing out of your comfort zone looks THIS good, you should def do it more often.
    Now, more importantly, how can I get one a printed skirt by Tiny Closet Collection in my size nena?

  15. Yes! You are definitely wearing this print and it looks good on you! Hey, if you ever make more, I'd most definitely purchase one!

  16. Wearing prints are also out of my comfort zone, but I would wear this skirt in a heartbeat! I love love textiles and the look and texture of Mexican blankets. The skirt looks perfect on you . . . along with the big hair, flawless complexion and big smile! I'm "pint size" as well, so perhaps I might take a step on the wild side and wear a print or two!! Hope to see this skirt available for purchase one day :)

  17. The skirt is absolutely popping. Your photograph has a wicked unmatched eye of perfection. I must get my sewing machine fixed. I can only sew a straight seam, but that is better than not!

  18. amazing outfit, it's all so very flattering and I love the colors

    Deejay Speaks

  19. Love love your Aztec print skirt. You put the whole outfit together wonderfully, the colors are nice and vibrant.
    The oxfords are very nice and look comfortable.:)

  20. OMG I love that print on you!! NO seriously, I do! :-). And the shape of the skirt is everything. It would also look great with a nice heel and a simple tank on top, finished with a statement necklace. I have Revlon Posh too and it's one of my favorite greens. It works for pretty much any season (important for us East Coasters!) so its incredibly versatile.

  21. I'm loving this skirt! You know of all the fashion blogs I subscribe to, yours is the one that when I see you in my inbox I squeal (literally) and can't wait to read that days musings. You come across as so accessible and down to earth. I know great things are going to happen for you.

  22. Love it, very graphic, you wear prints well.

  23. I totally adore this ensemble. The pattern is beautiful.

  24. So excited to see how you pulled everything together in this outfit. Great pieces pulled together in a way that appears so effortless. This is definitely my style. I have a pair of off white oxfords (not as cute as yours btw) and a Aztec'ish print skirt with vibrant colors and never tried to pull together the way you have here. Hanging out with my home girl this weekend. I know what I'm wearing. :) Thanks.

  25. Love the skirt! The fit is great on you and I like the way you pulled the outfit together. The oxfords are a nice balance to the jacket and shirt and the skirt and nails are just the right punch of color. The pattern is large the colors are bold which I think is a very good choice for a skirt or pants. You look very comfortable for someone who has ventured out of their comfort zone. Continued Blessings to you.

  26. FabUlous! Love the print on U! Lol!

  27. Annnnnd I'm not about to say this because you said you'd prefer this compliment over the other but....I LOVE that print on you! The colors go gorgeous with your skin tone and everything.

    Also I just want to hair is THE bomb! I wish I could get my Wash N Go's to look like yours. My hair just turns into a frizzy mess and won't lay right :-( on some of your close up pics I'm just staring at your hair like "Awww! look at her cute lil coils and curls!" LOL!

  28. *swoon* you look like you feel good too. This skirt is delicious and certainly worth you expanding your color canvas. LOVE the sophisticated trim and kick-ass element of the exposed zipper. You hit the right note Natalie. Thanks for sharing with us!

  29. A good print is a must !
    Love your hair and skirt : )

    Breakfast at Cindi’s

  30. i so want this skirt and your hair is amazing! i adore your blog!

  31. I can hardly believe you thought you couldn't wear prints. You look SUPERB!