Fun With Prints – First Time Styling the Ann Taylor Graphic Looms Print Blouse

Learning new things about myself every day, such as…I think I may be afraid of prints. I was so excited to get this Ann Taylor blouse, but when it came to getting dressed in the morning, I would eye it distrustfully from across the room, before settling on a nice safe solid instead. It’s a lot of print, and not in my safe menswear zone like houndstooth or gingham. A week later and I finally got brave enough to put something together…sheesh!

Pattern mixing is great, if you know how to do it. I don’t, so I avoid it for fear of looking like a crazy person. Which is why I was absolutely positive this polka-dot pocket square would clash with this print blouse when I was digging in my closet for a pop of color. I tried colored necklaces, but nothing looked right. So I tucked this little burgundy pocket square in the breast pocket as a last resort…and I liked it. What do you think, does this count as pattern mixing?

This is also another example of faking fit. This blouse needs a slimming, and I’ll get it done, once I start making the tailoring rounds once again. I’m awaiting a blazer from the tailor that will cost me about $100 (shoulder & sleeve work). Ouch! I like to get my tailoring done in short spurts. Then when my sticker shock wears off, I’ll drop off a few more items and do it all over again. In the mean time, I’ll fake it ’till I make it!

And I figured out why I’m so attracted to this blouse. Anyone remember this look from Project Runway?

image: lifetime.com

It’s part of the winning collection in Season 9 Episode 7 when the contestants had to create their own prints, and then create a cohesive collection as a team. I loved the high contrast graphic prints this team created (Anya, Victor, Oliver, and Anthony), especially with the bright red-orange pops of color. Future styling idea, me thinks.

Outfit Details - Theory “Amanda B.” blazer, size 00 :: Ann Taylor blouse, size 00P (post) :: Paige jeans, size 23 (hemmed) :: Saks Fifth Avenue pocket square (similar) :: Christian Louboutin Decollete pumps, size 35 :: Chanel M/L Handbag

Does anyone else have a hard time styling prints?

28 Comments

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Really Petite

    You styled it beautifully! I have trouble with prints too. Love the whole outfit from head to toe! The pocket square is so chic:)

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Hello, Framboise!

    Cute!  What’s the style name of the jeans you’re wearing?  I like them a lot!

    • Reply February 4, 2012

      Alterations Needed

      They’re called Blue Heights 10″ Skinny from Paige. I haven’t seen this style in a while, and I fear they may have discontinued it. These are seriously my favorite pair of jeans ever (as I’m sure you can tell, I wear them entirely to often). I’ll be sad when they finally wear out.

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Cynthia Kim

    Looks great!! You always look so polished…on your blog and in real life! ;)

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Petite LG

    I’ve noticed that the collars of your shirt didn’t stay flat in these photos (just because I have the exact same problem with most of my button down shirts). I can’t figure out why. It does bother me. Do you have any ideas why and how to fix it? You look very polished and put together in this outfit. 

    • Reply February 4, 2012

      Alterations Needed

       This shirt isn’t stiff at all, so the collar kinda flops around. It’s just kind of the nature of the fabric. I haven’t noticed a problem with my stiff cotton shirts. Do you mean they get crinkly, like they need an iron? Or they don’t stay where you want them? The collars on collared shirts lay totally flat when they’re fully buttoned up, which is I think how they were meant to be worn. I don’t think they really lay perfect when a few buttons are left unbuttoned.

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Anonymous

    Looking awesome as always!  LOVE the pumps my dear! ;)

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Myminibag

    Ohh i love the look. Definitely a great print to pair with the blazer. Love it.

    I have a question unrelated to your outfit. What is that thing you are holding in your right hand? I see it in every picture. It’s nothing bad, just been curious. =)

    http://myminibag.blogspot.com/

    • Reply February 4, 2012

      Alterations Needed

       Thanks! That thing I’m holding in my hand is a camera remote control. I take my own photos, so my camera is sitting on a tripod, I stand in front of it, and click a button on the remote control to release the shutter and take the photo.

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Carrie

    A great first step into pattern mixing. :) Love the pocket square and looking forward to seeing you style this in different ways!

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    R evanche

    Oh that actually looks really polished, I never would have guessed that you had any hesitation with the prints looking at the finished product if you hadn’t admitted it.

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Shoppingisfun

    Wow, I didn’t even know women could rock pocket squares. This blog is so educational!

    • Reply February 6, 2012

      Alterations Needed

       Heck yeah, we can rock anything we want! Why should boys have all the fun? =)

  • Reply February 4, 2012

    Tranae B

    That pocket square is too cute. 

    http://www.flablane.com

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    Amber

    I feel the same about patterns! I always tend to grab my solids, just out of habit maybe? Omg, your tailoring bill makes me cringe

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    Natasha Fatah

    I love that pairing of pocket square and the print on the blouse. And you know next time, why not try a bright red to match up the inspiration look you posted? Don’t be afraid of prints – you rock them well. :)

    xoxo
    http://www.natashafatah.blogspot.com

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    Anonymous

    $100 for alternation. Ouch! sigh the thing we petite have do just to get a decent fit. The print blouse look stunning on you and you did a great job on the pattern mixing.

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    New Petite

    I think the polka dots actually work here! You look lovely as always!

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    Rinny

    I love how you styled the print blouse! The dotted handkerchief  is a nice touch too :D

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    Vanesa

    What a lovely combination! It suits you perfectly and your figure looks amazing! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    just me

    very nice combination!!!

    http://excurlythoughts.blogspot.com/

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    KTR

    Kelly, I think you did a great job mixing patterns! The black and white pattern blouse is very subtle and the burgundy (I think it’s burgendy) polka dots pocketfold adds a pop of color and create a unique flare. Love the combo! And of course we can’t forget those gorgeous red soles with the chanels :)

  • Reply February 6, 2012

    Anonymous

    I think you did a great job Kelly! I can’t do the whole pattern mixing thing either, and when I wear prints I’m the same, I don’t know what jewellery to pair it with sometimes!

    • Reply February 6, 2012

      Alterations Needed

       Yes! Jewelry is another problem with prints. I tried a bunch of necklaces before I settled on my very plain pearl & jet bead ones.

  • Reply February 6, 2012

    joëlle

    I really like the pocket square.   I’ve been trying to figure out “tomboy chic” for myself and love things like blazers and sweater vests.  I think the pocket square in a pretty color is a great feminine touch.

    PS – I got a pair of Paige jeans on eBay for $55, size 24 Laurel Canyon in McKinley.  Unfortunately, they are pretty snug in the thighs for me.  They’re new and unaltered and I’m about to post them for sale on the forum.  They’re “your” jeans – would be interested in another pair?

    PPS – I’ve been a huge fan of Kasil jeans.   They have a lot of dark washes with no fading, so they’re great for hemming.     I thought I’d give Paige a shot but it seems I’ll keep buying the same pairs from Kasil over and over.  :-)

  • Reply February 6, 2012

    Michelle

    This looks great Kelly! I love that you rolled the sleeves/cuffs over the blazer!  I agree…I am afraid of pattern mixing…or maybe it is that I do not have enough items to play with. I think the pocket square and blouse look nice together!

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