How to wear... Scarf Print

One of the prints people are generally most reluctant to try also happens to be one of the best for autumn. Scarf prints are usually associated with Versace's flashy style, but in recent seasons, everyone from Burberry to Diane Von Furstenburg have dabbled in silky patterns - meaning, of course, that they've trickled down to the high street. And while one of my favourite ways to nod to the trend involves literally tying an old silk scarf around a leather handbag for an easy, chic way to clash prints, this week is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, so... I've rounded up some affordable ways to dabble in the trend and make the most of the sales. 

First things first - yes, scarf print is actually quite a tricky print to nail. It very easily looks cheap. Fabric that's too shiny, a pattern that's too bright or a shape that drowns you will make you look like you holidayed in Pat Butcher's wardrobe.

That said, get it right and it's a supremely flattering print that can brighten your complexion, smooth your figure and of course, add a healthy dose of fun to your wardrobe.


Dip your toe...

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The natural starting place for trying scarf print is of course... on a scarf. And if the thought of tying one around your head gives you Bridget-Jones-on-a-minibreak flashbacks, then go for something like this Zara top that's been reduced from £25.99 to £5.99. The scarf comes perfectly draped and attached so you can't lose it halfway through the day. Pair it with riviera-navy jeans (like this fab wide-leg pair from Whistles, down from £95 to £30) & understated accessories like these pumps from New Look (great for shorter gals as they have a slightly chunky sole) and an almost-kinda-if-you-squint-at-it Chanel-ish bag from SheIn.

Et voila! Scarf print goes from garish Donatella Versace nightmare, to chic Brigitte Bardot on a yacht in St Tropez - even if you're closer to St Helens. This is also the perfect airport outfit, if you're one of those people who thinks they might get papped stepping off the Ryanair flight to Alicante. Hey, a girl can dream, okay...


Give it a whirl...

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Going for a more muted scarf print is a good way to nod to the trend without going the whole hog, and this rusty-hued top from New Look is a really lovely piece (I excitedly bought it the day it came out and got about 45 compliments on it). It's got a matte finish so it's not giving you the shiny glare some high street bits will, and the wrapover front and knicker fastening keeps it all tucked in and in place. It'll flatter all shapes too, and has enough room for a sizeable pair of boobs. 

I wore it with a pair of jeans, but I'm planning on wearing it on a date night in the coming weeks, paired with some tailored, high waisted black trousers (again, watch out for a sheen). Now... if the term 'Pretty Little Thing' turns you straight off, then hear me out. This pair from PLT will hoist you in at the waist, and the neat pleat finish is really flattering, giving shape to anyone without much junk in the trunk, and being forgiving for those of us (like me!) who could definitely be described as having childbearing hips (ahem)The trendy way to wear trousers has been on the ankle for ages now, but full-length trousers are finally making a comeback - and they look especially chic when paired with shoes as fabulous as these. I know not everybody goes for a stiletto, and swapping these out for a chunky heel will still work, but these ankle strap shoes from Simmi could be straight off the pages of Net-A-Porter were it not for the price tag. Top it off with a little nod to baroque with a mid-blingy bag (not too glitzy, not too drab) like this one from Trendeo, and you're ready to go!


Go for it

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Let's stop beating around the bush - it's time to go full scarf. Before diving straight in, remember that not all scarf prints are created equal. This gorgeous floaty dress from PLT (yes, again, but they've gone all-in on the scarf trend and come up with some really lovely bits) goes up to a size 16, and the high-neck, backless shape plus nipped-in waist means even though the print is loud, it won't drown you. It also comes in a more traditional scarf print, but I love this one - the fabric will hide a multitude of sins, too, as all lumps and bumps will be concealed thanks to the magic-eye pattern. 

It has real goddess vibes to it, so I'd go punchy with the accessories - wedges as high as you can cope with (this pair are only £6 from JustFab so a worthwhile experiment), a statement studded belt that adds a bit of edge to it, and a vivid orange bag that picks up the colour of the pattern. If you were feeling bold, though, I'd pair it with a vivid green bag to clash... 

Natasha DanielsComment