No matter the print, whether it’s florals, animal, abstract, ikat, check, geometrics or stripes, finding prints that relate to your value and value contrast will make your outfit look so much better on you.
Just as with colours where you should wear the colour rather than the colour wearing you. You should be the one wearing the print or pattern rather than it being the total focus.
Your Value – that is, how overall light or dark your colouring is
Your value is most frequently decided by your hair colour, how light or dark it is.
- Brunettes and those with black hair or very dark skin have a deep or dark value.
- Light brown, dark blondes and some who are greying from a darker brown but now have a overall mid-tone grey, plus many redheads, have a medium overall value.
- Blondes, lighter grey, and white haired people have a light value.
- Dark value people need a dark background to their print. And the print or pattern needs to be overall deeper.
- Light value people need a light background to their print. The print needs to have an overall lightness.
- Medium value people will find that a print that has a medium value background or is an even mix between dark and light is bets for them.
Value Contrast in Prints and Patterns
The value contrast (difference between dark and light) in a print then relates to your value contrast (you can find out more about finding your value contrast here).
The greater the difference between the darker and lighter elements of the print, the more the print “pops” the higher the value contrast, which works well for those with both light and dark elements in their colouring.
The lower the value contrast, the better these prints will work for those who have less of a difference between their light and dark elements, have a look at these celebrity examples of contrast and value in outfits to give you a greater understanding.
If a print is more blended between light and dark, even if it has elements of both light and dark, but includes medium value colours in between, this reduces the overall appearance of value contrast and can be easily worn by a person with medium value contrast.
A bright colour can be used to create a high contrast along with a dark colour as the bright colour visually pops (as bright colours are advancing, just as light colours are).
In this video post I give tips on choosing prints to work with your colouring, we use animal prints as an example, but you can transfer this concept to any kind of print!
Not sure of your value contrast? If you’d like my professional opinion on what suits you best, this is part of my 7 Steps to Style program, which also includes colour analysis and body shape analysis.