This week we look at fab patterns that are making their rounds on runways.
I HAVE always had problems with wearing patterns mainly because I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between which outfits look too “auntie” and which ones are youthful enough for me.

This is why I often find myself sticking to monochrome tops, skirts and dresses, because I don’t want to make the mistake of looking older than my age because of what I wear.

As always, one of the best ways to determine whether your wardrobe is fabulous or drab is to check the fashion magazines and runway shows. These days, colour blocks and patterns are prominently featured in fashion spreads, so instead of playing it safe with a single colour outfit, take a few risks with patterns.

The days of psychedelic eye-crossing patterns may be over, but there’s no harm in being tastefully edgy. Here are four patterns that you simply must stock up on this season, and the ways you can best work them.

Polka dots

Although traditionally, polka dots were used in the clothing of flamenco dancers and performers, today’s society associates the pattern with the 1980s.

That era has been back and bigger than ever recently, so it is no wonder they’ve been spotted on many an outfit of the famous and fashionable.

get dotty

get dotty

However, don’t go too crazy just yet – be careful with the size of the dots and also the colour combinations. The tiny white circles on black or blue backgrounds are all the rage at the moment, but you can also go larger with combining the most unlikely of colours like orange and green.

Polka dots look great on skirts and sheer tops, but avoid polka-dotted pants.


What I love about floral patterns is that they can be on everything – skirts, bags, tops, and even shoes! I recently spotted the most gorgeous pastel floral wedges (they have the same design on a pair of high heels too) in Aldo, and already my mind is figuring out what outfits to pair them with.

Floral, leafy patterns in earthy colours are in this spring-summer season, a trend that is spilling into stores all over the country.

Flower power!

Flower power!

Be mindful to choose florals with soft edges; minus the harsh outlines. And even though for some people, boho-chic was once a cool look, try not to look like a gypsy by wearing long flowy skirts with crazy floral patterns.

Tartan or plaid

Originally, “tartan” was used to describe a type of woven cloth, while “plaid” referred to the rectangular woolen cloak draped over the shoulder of Scottish highlanders.

Today, they pretty much mean the same thing, with just minute differences that not many can distinguish. However, do not mistake them for checks and ginghams (these are repetitive patterns made up of squares; a tartan and plaid pattern are made up of multiple lines that create boxed shapes).

Not just for schoolgirls

Not just for schoolgirls

You may immediately think of a Scottish kilt at the mention of tartans, but look around and you’ll see this pattern everywhere – particularly on long-sleeved shirts.

There are several ways you can play with this pattern – it looks great on scarves, bags and occasionally, shoes.

Miniskirts and some types of dresses look great in tartan, but do make sure whatever you pair this pattern with is plain and understated. Otherwise, it’s overkill.

Do avoid wearing a pair of tartan long pants.


Of all the patterns, I find stripes the most difficult to rock out in, because I associate them with being serious and formal, like a pin-striped suit. On the other end of the spectrum, it also reminds me of clowns, candy stripers (female hospital volunteers) and prison garb.

Horizontal stripes look great on tops, especially if the lines are medium-sized. For bottoms, try and stick to thin, vertical stripes.

Go bold with stripes

Go bold with stripes

There are heaps of jersey dresses that sport stripes these days. Bear in mind also that the stripes don’t always have to be the same size and/or colour.

Tell us what you think!

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