Fashion is going print mad for spring with designer Mary Katrantzou leading the way with her exotic and elegant designs. If you’ve missed out on her collection in Top Shop (now sold out!), you might want to look at Marni’s more subtle but quirky patterns available in H&M from 8th March.

Many people are wary of investing in prints for a number of reasons, which are mainly a) because they are not as versatile as plain garments, b) we tend to feel they can date more quickly and c) they are not sure if print suits them or not. Firstly, the good news is that good designs stay around for a while, so if you pick up a good piece you should get a fair amount of wear out of it. Secondly, prints can inject a bit of interest and fun into your wardrobe and you don’t need to worry about adding to the piece because it makes a statement in itself.

The most important thing with choosing prints is, knowing which ones suit you and therefore, which ones to invest in. The guidelines for choosing your prints are:

 – Get the right size print for you. Even if you are confident about pattern, a large print on a small frame can look overwhelming; equally, a dainty print on a larger frame will have no impact.
–  Choose the right design for you. Think about your body shape AND your style personality. For example, strong angular graphics can be unflattering on curvy figures and bold florals will seem too fussy if you’re either a Natural, Classic or City Chic personality who prefer will more casual (Natural), classic or simple but elegant and coordinated (City Chic) looks.
–  Be careful how you wear it: busy pattern around wide hips or a large bust will appear to add more volume so it is better to wear it away from your ‘problem’ areas.
–  Choose the right combination of colours. Especially if you wear the pattern close to your face.
–  You should feel good when you wear it! 

The creative personalities will love the more inventive designs for spring (some of which are updated old classics) such as paisley in vivid colour, dainty and bold animal shapes, tropical themes, oriental flowers and more. For those of us who are not quite so creative or confident about print there are some fabulous new striped looks in a range of shades and the classic spot in various guises too.

If patterned clothes are not for you but you like to dabble in new trends, why not try prints in accessories.

 Spring fashions are urging us to move away from winter clothes but it’s just too early to  make the wardrobe transition.  Dressing between seasons presents a few challenges, particularly from winter to spring as we are longing to wear more colour and shed a few layers.

The film and TV world seem to be dealing with this by wearing a great deal of black and white, which is terribly uninspiring.   Victoria Beckham wore head to toe black for the launch of her new Autumn fashion line and whilst her colouring can take it, it looked more like a lack of effort than an elegant statement.  Twiggy has launched her new range at M&S and the media shots show her in which shade? You guessed it, black (with white and grey).

There is no doubt it’s a challenging time of year for looking good and black and white can look fabulous, but right now we need a bit of perking up. We want to look more vibrant, feel positive and shake off that winter pallor and black just doesn’t do it.

Wearing colour makes a difference even if it’s a plain sweater under a jacket, a shirt collar poking out, a scarf or a statement bag.  Just one shot of colour, the closer to your face the better, will lift your look and your mood.   Need proof that it works?  See Angelina Jolie at the Golden Globes. She wore a Versace dress in ivory with a bold  red panel across the neckline and teamed it with red lips and handbag to match.  She looked stunning. It’s true, Angelina  always looks good because she is a good-looking woman, but the injection of red against neutral ivory made her look exceptional (the shiny fabric and contrasting shades also work perfectly with her contrasting bright eyes and dark hair). She outshone everyone, hands down, which is particularly interesting for a woman who frequently wears black.