I used to shy away from mixing prints. I’m not sure if it just wasn’t my style, or if I was just a bit shy when really going for it, but it took some time to throw caution to the wind and really go for it. The funny thing is, when it comes down to it, someone can wear pretty much anything, and if they’re confident, they can pull it off. Whether you’re wearing the clothes, or they’re wearing you, is the true test in telling if something ‘goes together; or not. These trousers were my first real foray into mixing prints.
They’re by Prada and I picked them up about 3 years ago whilst on a month and a half long trip for work in Europe. I had tried too hard to just use a carry on for this entire trip. I was so proud of myself for not checking a bag, saving so much time and energy when going from city to city along the way. Then, on a flight from Zurich to Florence they made me gate check my suitcase. When I arrived in Florence, it was nowhere to be seen. Needing to hit the ground running, with more than just the outfit I was wearing, I popped into Prada and picked up these trousers and they have been one of my favorite pairs of pants since. I have them in a couple of different colors and patterns, but these are still my favorite.
Trousers with a print can be tricky. To me, they’re never as flattering as a solid. They can make my hips look a bit wider and my legs look a bit less thin than a solid, etc. We all have our areas where we’re self-conscious, this is mine and prints on the bottom half of my body is something that always made me think twice. As with anything, age adds perspective and at the end of the day, we’re generally the only people who ever notice these things on ourselves and now that I’m 36 these things matter less and less to me. Instead I just wear the things that have me most excited to put on each morning. More often than not, these trousers make a case for themselves!
In the first look I have them paired with a vintage, Prada men’s studded shirt. I found this whilst in Chicago at Barney’s (R.I.P.) and though it was two sizes too big, I couldn’t resist. It’s the epitome of boyfriend shirt, (apart from the fact that I bought it for myself) and I have worn it a million times. The details on the collar always add just enough when coming out of the top of any sweater or wearing it on it’s own with the sleeves rolled up.
On top of the shirt is a sweater by A Kind of Guise, a sweater company in Germany, who only source the best yarn and make beautifully tailored sweaters. I buy their standard men’s sweaters every year in a handful of colors. Why the mens? I have a super long torso, and the women’s are generally cut a bit shorter and a bit wider in the body. The men’s are always a bit longer and a bit more narrow. I find this to be true with a lot of dress shirts as well.
On top of the sweater are a pair of sleeves by Raf when he was at Calvin Klein, these can go over anything and everything, they have been my saving grace on the coldest days in NY, whilst skiing under my jacket and everything in between. I love them! Last, I. have on a pair of Fendi heels that are multi-colored, very comfortable and go with anything.
The second look is sort of an ode to my childhood. The print of the shirt is almost an exact, larger replica of the print on the trouser. The day I realized that my head almost exploded with joy. Both pieces had been sitting in my closet for almost a year and I had never realized it, or even thought to put them together. Also, the top is by Nili Lotan and has a bit of a western detail on the shoulders. Having grown up on a dairy farm in CA, I am always drawn to clothes with a bit of a western inspired feel to them. I still wear cowboy boots at least once per week, I have a hard time saying no to well-done fringe. Western is never really in-season, but I have never really paid much attention. It makes me happy, it feels natural to who I am and beyond that, it doesn’t matter. I have it with a nude Prada pump here. These shoes are just magic. They’re so basic, they are pretty much invisible and somehow always make my legs look longer. The miles and memories these shoes have are endless.
In this last look, I broke one of my own fashion rules. I try to never wear a single designer head to toe. This looks is entirely Prada, though fortunately, nothing is from the same season. This shirt is one of my absolute favorites, it’s from SS18 when Muiccia collaborated with female comic book artists. I saw it and didn’t think twice. The color palette is super muted, but it has every color of the rainbow. I am not one for pearls, generally thinking they’re too proper or formal. But, I bought this necklace in college after receiving my first paycheck and feeling like a real adult. It sort of just blends in here. I can’t remember who it’s by anymore, but I bought it at Wendy Foster in 2002, so I’m not sure they would even know anymore.
Last, when Prada showed headbands on the runway, I was pretty certain they wouldn’t go into production. Or, if they did, they would sell out in an instant. So, when I was in Zurich and saw this in a store window, I stopped what I was doing and immediately picked it up. Now, headbands are everywhere and you can get a similar one by Zara. They’re all good, they’re all fun and with the right outfit, they’re the perfect accoutrement!
So, in closing – go into your closets! Pull out all the prints, hold them together, try them on together, even if you don’t think they may work. You may be surprised. It gets super fun..!