Hi, my name is Becky, and I’m a printoholic.
At least, that’s how I usually think of myself. When it comes to shopping, both for fabrics and when I’m at the thrift store, the print is what generally draws my eye first. I have to make a much more conscious effort to think of wardrobe staples in solids, and get way more excited about sewing the prints. I dream of someday having the guts and print-mixing savvy of people like Oona, because then I can wear more prints at once! So this exercise was an interesting one for me.
If you take a look at my closet, yes, there’s solids. The most prominent ones at the moment are my jackets. But there’s quite a few prints hanging out there, too. Sarai’s suggested homework was to pull out my 10-20 most worn items and see what’s prints vs what’s solids, but I didn’t feel that would give an accurate assessment of my particular tastes. Especially this time of year, when I rely so heavily on pants and layering pieces, and pretty much all of my jackets/sweaters and all of the Thurlows I made recently are solids. So I did things a little differently…
I went through my closet and took a look at 3 different categories of things–tops, skirts and dresses. (I left out pants, jackets and sweaters, since as I said, they’re all pretty much solid at this point, aside from a few subtle stripes in purchased pants and one Anthropologie cardigan.) I further divided tops into things I’m more likely to wear when it’s warmer vs cooler, because I suspected that my print preferences could change with the seasons. So here’s what I found–I even made pie charts, just because I could!
This one surprised me, actually. I wasn’t expecting so many of my warmer tops to be solid. But I guess it makes a little sense, because I’m also more likely to wear print skirts in the warmer weather, and I generally wear a solid top with those. (For the record, this did not include graphic t-shirts, camisoles, or other knit basic tank tops.)
This one was a little more balanced out overall, though there were also more things that I wasn’t sure how to categorize.
I’m not really surprised that nearly half of my skirts were solid. “Other” tended to lean more towards novelty prints here.
I didn’t count more formal-type dresses in here, or that would have upped the solid count. As it was, I tend to think of dresses more as a one-and-done wardrobe option, which is why prints so solidly dominate here.
To take a closer look at what I actually own, I pulled out several typical print garments for me, depending on the season.
The majority of things in both rows are things I’ve made, but there are a few purchased things in there as well.
I also took a look at what’s actually in my stash right now and easily accessible. (So not things that I already have bagged up for specific projects, and not things that are more of a texture-print.)
A few stripes, a few paisleys, lots of big graphic floral-type things, though I honestly have to say that the one I’m most excited about using is that Japanese teacup print in the center top row!
So, to summarize:
- “Floral prints”, for me, tend to be more stylized or even geometric in nature. They also more often lean towards a medium-to-large scale. It’s also pretty common for them to actually be leaves.
- A lot of my “other” fell under the categories of paisley, or a hand-dyed look, or more pictoral prints, like the day 13 skirt here. I do love a good novelty print, but in practice, am more likely to use them as bags. (Or jacket linings.) However, some of my florals could also be considered a novelty print. Lonsdale dress, I’m looking at you.
- I like swirly prints, apparently. A lot of them have curving lines.
- Yes, my taste in prints are somewhat seasonal! I’m much more likely to wear stripes or plaid in the colder months, for instance. And florals when it’s warmer. How novel.
- For the most part, things like dots and animal prints, which were two of the examples given in the post, didn’t even rank. I think I have two dotted prints total, and you see them both in this post.
- Overall, it looks like the way I should rank my taste in prints is the following:
- 1. stylized/bold florals
- 2. Abstract/geometric, often with a swirly motif
- 3. Stripes or plaid
- 4. Novelty prints
So I made this, using prints I already have, either in my finished clothes or in my stash. Photoshop is magic.