Couture Comment: How to Wear Prints, Patterns and Stripes

In conversation with Kerrie Ellis – Image Consultant and Personal Stylist

Just as there are many genres of fashion designers, the same applies to Image Consultants/Personal Stylists. Our commonality is our vision of clothes that fit and flatter whilst complimenting the wearer, which let’s face it, is what they are supposed to do.

It’s always a treat for me to learn from others in the trade; it helps to spark fresh ideas when designing.  Speaking with Kerrie, of ‘Kerrie Ellis Image Consultancy’, what a buzz; her effervescent personality had me nodding in agreement as Kerrie shared with me her working practice.

Kerrie’s passion for clothes and helping people dress as the best version of themselves stems over 15 years; she fundamentally believes that it all starts with thoroughly understanding her client’s lifestyle and styling preferences so that she can put outfits together for them that really feel like ‘them’.  However, looking at your existing wardrobe is, Kerrie believes the starting point to your personal styling.

When you think about it, this makes perfect sense, starting from where you are with your wardrobe purchases, past and present.  Kerrie explained that her role is to reveal your ‘Style Personality’ from the career roles you undertake, the lifestyle you lead, to the changes in your body-shape, creating new experiences as to how you show up. 

In delving deeper I wanted to uncover Kerrie’s opinion on certain aspects of fashion and clothing, those we may have a penchant or aversion too, my first question: Prints, Patterns, and Stripes, how do people feel about them and what works?

Kerrie shared with me: “a preference for prints, florals and patterns are mostly dependent upon the individual’s ‘Style Personality’; stripes and polka dots are generally seen as classic fashion choices and timeless.”

Speaking of stripes which direction?  “Horizontal stripes on the top half of your body tends to broaden your upper body, which creates a balanced silhouette if you are broader from the waist down.  Vertical stripes are great for those who are petite, creating the illusion of being taller as it elongates the body, giving you height.

“The same applies to patterns, and is dependent on placement; to draw the eye upward you could wear a floral top and plain skirt or trousers, as the eye is drawn to that which is different, the pattern being a point of interest.  Or, to bring the eye downwards, simply choose a patterned separate for your lower half, and a plain top for example.  When thinking in terms of prints, choose the size of print that is in-keeping with your bone structure and height; petite and fine boned frames may find large prints overwhelming, as bigger patterns tend to be more complementary on taller or larger frames.

“Colour blocking is another style technique that assists with playing with illusions, block colours are plain colours that are put together to separate your body form.  A classic example a white top and a black skirt, worn with a belt in another block colour, the eye will be drawn to where those two blocks of colour change.  Thus in this instance, the eye would be drawn to the waist, as you have moved the eye from the white top to black skirt and the place where they intersect is the focal point.”

The above styling details were just a few areas we were able to talk about.  I couldn’t believe that our conversation was drawing to a close; the time had flown by so quickly. I could have continued chatting with Kerrie for ages, exchanging stories from ready-to-wear garments to bespoke, and our experiences.

That said, I asked Kerrie if she would share with us her top three styling tips:

Top 3 styling tips by Kerrie Ellis:

  1. Understanding what you do and don’t like, your Style Personality is your top priority, it is the key to having a wardrobe that you will enjoy coming to time and again, as you will be wearing garments you love.
  2. Understanding which colours look good on you, and those that don’t work for you, it makes shopping easier, as you can instantly eliminate those colours which are not flattering for you. This then provides you with a capsule wardrobe that you can mix and match and works every time.
  3. Putting it all together, by understanding which pieces are flattering for you and your individual body characteristics will mean you will absolutely look your best. Are you short or long in your body structure, as this will impact the fit of your clothes.  Where would you like the eye to be drawn? Do you have a curvy or straighter body shape? How tall are you? All of these elements make such a difference to how you look.

There was still so much more that Kerrie had to share with me, so I suggest you arrange to have a consultation with her, to learn more about how to transform your wardrobe and lifestyle.

For further info take a look at Kerrie’s website https://kerrieellis.co.uk/, email: [email protected] or telephone: 07917 663330, it will be a fantastic experience!

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