Pretty Patterned Pieces

Woman's Day
July 18, 2012

By Donna Duarte-Ladd

simply vera vera wang handkerchief hem pieced dress
simply vera vera wang handkerchief hem pieced dress

Yes, you can wear prints!

If you shy away from patterns because you're afraid they draw attention to places you'd rather hide, think again. These clothes are both flattering and affordable.

"This is the perfect summer dress!" says Anne Gallagher of Hoboken, NJ, who's sporting the frock here. "It can easily go from day to evening."

Vertical brushstroke stripes visually elongate Anne's legs and torso, while the horizontal ones nip in her waist. Simply Vera Vera Wang Handkerchief Hem Pieced Dress, $70;

A structured handbag with prominent hardware balances the flowy style of Anne's maxidress. Lulu*s handbag, $52;

Wedge sandals give Anne a height boost so she looks longer and leaner. The gold color makes them a fun finishing touch. White Mountain Swift sandals, $55;

Wildlife by Heidi Klum for QVC Reversible Enamel Stretch Bracelet, $49.50;
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Shape Up

A freeform print works best on a bottom with a structured silhouette, like this flared A-line skirt. Earrings: AMI Clubwear earrings, $9.99; Blouse: Jennifer Lopez Embellished Woven Tank, $54; Skirt: Jaclyn Smith Tribal Print Linen Skirt, $19.99; Shoes: Nine & Co. heels, $35;
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The Right Fit
Opt for printed pieces with a looser cut. If they're too tight, the pattern can accentuate problem areas. Blouse: Avenue Print Poncho, $54; Pants: UNIQLO Skinny Fit Tapered Jean, $49.90; for stores. Shoes: Merona for Target Ballet Flats, $19.99;
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Keep Moving
These florals slim because they draw the eye from shoulder to knee as the boatneck and dark trim emphasize hourglass curves. Earrings: Stone Earrings, $7.99; Dress: Dressbarn Jersey Abstract Shift Dress, $39.99; Shoes: GoJane Two Tone Gladiator Sandal, $17.60;
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