May 032015

I’ve been thinking about how pattern can break up an area and make it look smaller. So, just for fun, I thought we’d look at swimsuits in prints! (The original 2009 illustrations for this post had disappeared, so I rebuilt it with swimwear from Modcloth. Pictures contain affiliate links.)
Wade a Minute Swim Dress in CactiWade a Minute Swim Dress in RougeIn the first pair, the print works well to draw the eye in, creating a column effect.
Wade a Minute Swim Dress in FlamingosWade a Minute Swim Dress in Marine Blue

In the second pair, the slimming effect of the print is diluted by the change of the strap color.

The third pair reminds me of the saying “round adds pounds”. Not that she looks large at all; it’s just that the navy and white polka dot isn’t significantly more flattering than the solid red.
Seaside Muse Swim Dress in Monochrome DotsSeaside Muse Swim Dress in Red

What are your thoughts concerning (slimming effects of) prints?

  6 Responses to “Friday Fashion Lab: Effect of Print”

  1. Set #1 – Print definitely works!
    Set #2 – I’m not sure – Maybe. The black looks pretty nice, though.
    Set #3 – Hmmm The dark isn’t a good fit and the turquoise is. Let’s say the print works.

  2. They do distract – what these prints all have in common is that they are dense prints (little ‘negative’ space). So they have more of a slimming effect.

    If the prints were sparse and had more negative space, they may not be as slimming.

  3. For years Rebecca, I steered away from prints thinking that blocks of colour were better for me. I am petite but a short waisted, big bosomed apple shape. Wearing prints on my top half I believe, is actually much more flattering than a solid as it ‘breaks up’ my large expanse of bosom. But I don’t always feel that confident about my own judgement. Your post though, is a fantastic example of my thoughts re prints. Thanks for the confidence boost!

  4. I would reserve judgment. You would have to see all the prints vs solids on the same model at the same point in her pregnancy to get a fair estimation of whether it was doing what you expected. Not sure that’s what’s happening here.

    I am smaller on bottom than on top, and tend to wear my prints in skirts (although I do have a few print jackets that I like, and a couple of wrap dresses). I think the print tends to call attention to itself and away from the solid area.

    I also find that on top, prints can be tricky, especially large florals. A strategically placed rose can make a 32G boob look like the prize winning cabbage at the fair surer than anything.

  5. I agree with Wendy, and in general, the print works by moving the eye around. I buy few prints, I’m picky about colour and composition. Since I am tall and wear a 14-16, a print dress needs to be fairly small scale or I look like a walking wallpaper sample.

  6. I think the 1st suit, with the red flowers, looks great and is slimming – the way the flowers are positioned in the middle draws the eye in and well, it just looks really good. Don’t like the way the other one looks; it’s not very flattering.

    The all red suit vs. the polka dot one looks way better in my opinion.

    Thank you for the print perspective; I hadn’t thought about it really, and I do like wearing prints a lot more than boring old solid color clothing.

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