Printed jeans bring chicness, craziness to the style table

The fashion industry remains obsessed with finding new ways to spice up the traditional American blue jean. The latest revisions to this fashion staple offer a way to pack a punch into the drab outfits that tend to find their way into everyone’s winter wardrobes. Colored denim wiggled its way into the spring and summer clothing lines and as soon as the general public began to handle wearing color on their bottoms, printed jeans arrived on the scene to throw everyone for a loop.

Contrary to popular belief, printed jeans do not need to look like one wrapped grandmother’s curtains around one’s legs. This trend is manageable. Just heed the loving advice and words of caution below.

Pick a small print

Whether it is flowers, animal print, paisley or geometric design, go small or go home. A tiny polka dot pattern is a safe try at this trend. A large print tends to draw the eye to sections of the respective print (especially with a floral pattern) and no one wants wandering eyes on their… ahem…bottoms.

The darker, the better

Darker patterns on a dark color elongate the legs, thus creating the illusion of a leaner silhouette. Find jeans or pants in blue, gray, purple, black, brown or burgundy red with a pattern in the same or complementary color and run with it… to the nearest cash register.

Tailored is good

Notice the word is “tailored.” not “skin-tight.” Patterned pants look so much better when fitted to the wearer, not vacuum-sealed to the wearer’s legs.

Skinny jeans are lovely, but no printed “hot pants” please, if for no other reason than they’re too similar to boxer shorts. For this trend to work, avoid boot-cut or wide-leg trousers, as well. You don’t want to look like a rerun of “That 70’s Show.”

No stripes

Do not even think about striped pants. As difficult as it is to believe, these atrocities are out there, waiting for unsuspecting victims. Do not fall prey to this fashion faux pas.

Note: This is not a ruling against pinstriped trousers, but instead the circus tent pattern. No matter the shape or size, it won’t be flattering.

Simplicity on Top

Paired with a simple top, the pants take center stage. Pick a secondary color from the pant or a neutral color for the top. Sheer tops, chambray shirts, collared oxfords and simple blouses work best with funky pants.

If one is feeling really bold, a small striped shirt paired with a floral pant looks quirky and cool — be careful that the print does not overpower the stripe, as not to have competing patterns.

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