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How to Wear Printed Pants Like a Pro



I mean, a girl can only buy so many dresses. And while I definitely love running around all day in a dress when the weather permits, sometimes you need to change it up a little. Enter the printed pant

It’s the perfect thing to wear when the weather is warm enough that you want to feel a little breeze, but not so warm that you absolutely need to bare your legs. They’re the fun, stylish way to wear color and patterns and they’re also super on trend right now.

Whether you go for a bold-patterned pair like these fab Tolani palazzo pants or a more muted take on the trend – like these from IRO – these styling tips will get your printed pant game in gear for the upcoming warm months.

Choosing your perfect pair: I’m of the extra petite variety, so I prefer to wear skinny, tapered bottoms. I generally stick to slim patterned pants as well (true story, my first pair came from Forever 21’s kids’ section and they work out perfectly). With that being said, short girls can totally wear the wide-leg printeds if they want to. It’s just about finding a pair that fits well, doesn’t trail on the ground, is a bit more fitted through the thighs and then adding in a big pair of heels.

Figure out which look you want to achieve. If you’re feeling boho, grab wide-legged pants. If you want to look a bit less daring, try a slim pair. And if you want to cop that slightly sporty look, go for baggy, sweatpant-like pants

Choosing the occasion: This is more of a daytime look so keep them for picnics, class, outdoor concerts and festivals…that kind of thing. If you must wear your printed pants at night, dress them up with some high pumps, a clutch, a tank top and some jewelry.

Top it off: Printed pants are generally looser, so stick to more fitted silhouettes on top. Play around with it. Maybe your top will look great tucked in, maybe not. I personally love a leather jacket with a pair of printed pants. If your pants are of the wide-legged variety, try a crop top over them. If they’re a bit slimmer, a tucked in button-down adds a cool contrast. You can never go wrong with a black or white tank or tee – and if you want to pair trends on trends, add a denim or a moto vest.

Now add some shoes: Heels are pretty much always the way to go when you’re wearing printed pants. Printeds tend to be lightweight and breezy so they won’t always be the most flattering things – but don’t avoid them for that reason, just counteract it by adding some height. Pants that don’t cover your ankles are also a better bet. By leaving the top of your foot exposed, you can slim your entire leg under the printed pants.


In short… Take every cue from Diane Kruger. She looks GOOD in her printed pants, no?


    I'm a Chicago-based writer and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism who has written for sites like,,,,, Racked, Thrillist and The Huffington Post.