How Anyone Can Wear a High Contrast Print


how to wear high contrastPrints and patterns can add variety and interest to your outfit and wardrobe.  Ideally choose a print that relates to your own value contrast.  But should you wish to wear a print that is outside of your natural value contrast then here is the easy way of choosing one to flatter.

I think of value contrast like a stairs.

  • High contrast = jump from the top step to the bottom step
  • Medium contrast = walk down the stairs one at a time
  • Low contrast = stay on the same step and don’t move

So if you want to wear a high contrast print and you’re not high contrast here is my quick tip.

Find a print that walks you down the stairs rather than one that jumps from top to bottom.


High Contrast Print Tips


Another example

How anyone can wear a high contrast print


Simple isn’t it!

how to wear high contrast

In this outfit there is a combination of light, medium and dark colours (including the pink shrug I’ve added to it).  I’m medium value contrast, so by choosing a dominant light- medium colour (rather than dark) in the pattern it allows me to play outside my ‘boundaries’ and wear a high contrast.  This is how I can easily add black tights and boots and the like to  my winter wardrobe.  When the medium or lighter colour is still dominant there is enough lightness in the outfit to flatter my colouring and not feel all heavy and dark.

Ideally if you’ve got light colouring, keep the larger part of your outfit to light or medium value colours with only a smaller proportion in a dark value.

More resources on Value Contrast:

What is My Value Contrast

Getting Your Value Contrast Right

How to Work with High Contrast

How to Work with Medium Contrast

What is Medium-High Value Contrast?

3 Steps to Finding Your Contrast

9 Real Life Examples of Working With Contrast

7 Important Factors for Working With Contrast


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  • Love this post! Finding ways to push boundaries is a siren call for me. I love how this top and how the pinky/purple iris meanders down the silhouette of the outfit carrying the same piny/purple color from the shrug to the wrist wrap. Perfect!

  • Thank you so much for the articles on contrast. I am a coolish soft summer and I have at last discovered why some combinations work at the venerable age of 53! Its a very interesting subject, possibly more
    important than dressing for my body shape (though that helps ☺).

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