Fashion Magazine

What Are the Different Types of Prints on Clothes

By Attireclub @attireclub

Prints in fashion and clothes are a great element that does not get the exposure or recognition it deserves. Not yet at least. A cool print can amp up your style game instantly and can make you not only look more polished and sophisticated in an instant, but it can also make you feel confident and give you a great attitude.

We’ve written a lot about prints before: how to mix them, how to wear them and today we are breaking down the different types of prints.

This will give you a better understanding of prints when you are wearing them and when you are mixing them, as having a clearer picture will make it easier for you to be in control of your image and of the things you wish to communicate through your clothes.

So, here are the types of prints you will find and what they actually mean:



A representational image is an image that evokes an element, be it a person, a plant, an animal or anything else in a way that is very similar to the way it is perceived by most people. Representational prints are often photographs, realistic or hyper-realistic paintings or drawings or simply naïve drawings or paintings.



A figurative image is an image that represents an object in a way that it is recognizable, but at the same time very stylized. There are different degrees of how an element can be manipulated: for example, an object can simply be represented as having colors that are different than the ones it actually has (for example glowing purple leaves), but it can also have a higher degree of manipulation, such as a strong shape change or something that makes it barely recognizable. For example, Picasso’s paintings are a good example of what figurative images are: a viewer can tell that a certain painting for example represents a person, but that person is represented in a very “processed” manner.



By abstract, we understand obviously exactly the opposite of representational and figurative: if these first two categories define images that are more or less clear in nature, an abstract image is an image that interprets a concrete element in a way that looks very different from the way the object looks in real life. Basically, abstract images try to express the essence of something. They can do that for objects, people, plants and animals, but also for feelings, characteristics and ideas.



A pattern can be defined as a repetition of a form, a motif, or any other element that can be reproduced indefinitely. While classic patterns are generally abstract in nature (so that wherever the pattern begins or ends is irrelevant), modern day patterns can also consist of representational images that are being place one next to the other at a small distance on a piece of fabric.

Remember: When you are mixing prints, you can mix either prints of the same category or from different categories: It doesn’t really matter as long as you create a coherent and balanced look.

Prints are elements you should definitely think of incorporating in your wardrobe. Granted, they are not for everyone, but every once in a while, it’s definitely worth at least trying to put on something new and see where it takes you. You might be in for a surprise…

Fraquoh and Franchomme

Further reading:

The complete guide to mixing patterns and prints

How to wear 3 patterns or prints 

A quick guide to wearing animal prints

A guide to coordinating the colors of your clothes (+examples)

Choose the colors of your clothes like a pro!

Choosing the colors of your clothes according to your skin tone

Discovering what colors to wear according to your natural features

Choosing the best color of clothes for dark skin tones

P.S. We want to hear from you! What type of print do you like to wear? Do you mix prints? What types do you like to mix? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

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