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Analyzing Prints: Bird Cardigan

This is a follow-up post to the outfit of the day inspired by Liz and Lesley, featuring a navy bird cardigan. Beth was curious how the print on this bird cardigan compares to the print on the bird scarf from the Lily wardrobe. It's a good question! Let's take a look at the two side by side (well, one on top of the other!).

Cardigan - CJ Banks 2/21, Scarf - Kohls, 11/15

I had not realized how similar these two prints are. I knew they were both birds and foliage, with somewhat different color palettes, but the prints have a lot of features in common. I guess it's no surprise that a bird nerd like me has a lot of bird prints, but to have two with such a similar print (from different stores/seasons) is not something I expected. This was a cool observation from Beth.


At first, I misread Beth's question to think she was talking about the bird cardigan and this bird blouse because I HAD noticed that these were similar.

Cardigan - CJ Banks 2/21, Blouse - CJ Banks, 2/21

These two are both from CJ Banks in February, as part of the same collection, and they are similar, in the same color palette, but not exactly the same print. The print on the blouse is a much busier print than the print on the cardigan. Interestingly, the cardigan and unrelated scarf have a much closer level of sparseness in the print than the cardigan does with its related blouse!


The analysis of prints in clothing is not something I've spent very much time thinking about. Although I have read that it's good to pick prints that reflect your style, flattery priorities, and so forth, I haven't really internalized the significance of making well-thought-out print selections or approached prints with any sort of critical eye. I mostly just decide whether I like a print (a purely emotion-driven criterion) and in doing so, focus on the overall color scheme, the value (dark or light) of the background, the size of the print, and what is being depicted in the print (polka dots, flowers, cheetahs, etc).


But Bridgette Raes' excellent blog has a post from last fall that breaks down for us how to choose flattering prints using the five components of the print! She gives a TON of examples of prints, rating each on the five components, and then shows how to compare the five components of the print with the five components of a face to select prints that are in harmony with a person's own features. You will probably find an example where the woman's face is similar with respect to these five components with your own.


Now I'm curious how this bird print cardigan and I match up on these five components.

1. Scale: The size of the print/features

Cardigan: Medium

Me: Medium (on average; I would say smaller eyes, larger nose, medium mouth)

Match: Yes


2. Movement: Rounder/curved vs. angled/linear

Cardigan: Round/curved (mostly)

Me: Round

Match: Yes


3. Space/Ground: How much space/background is visible

Cardigan: High

Me: High

Match: Yes


This is going great so far, but I know I'm hitting a danger zone with the next two components!


4. Clarity of edge: How soft or defined the edges are

Cardigan: High

Me: Low

Match: No!


5. Contrast level: The amount of difference between light and dark colors (black and white is very high contrast)

Cardigan: Medium-high

Me: Low

Match: No!


So...yeah, clarity and contrast level are my downfall! I frequently gravitate toward bold, optic, even cartoonish, high-contrast prints that would suit the clarity and contrast of Zooey Deschanel instead of me. Bridgette's analysis does help explain why putting on a print like this bird cardigan has me reaching for lipstick (and if I ever wore eye make-up, I'd be thinking mascara and eyeliner as well).


But I have learned from experience that an ombré, soft tie-dye, or color-washed watercolor-like floral print is a good choice for my own "subtle" (i.e., almost non-existent) coloring, and I have been bolstering that category of prints, particularly in tops and scarves that I wear close to the face.


Do you gravitate toward solids or prints? Do your prints tend to repeat the five components of your face?


I link up with:

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge (Mondays; 3rd Thursday)

Mica at Away from the Blue (Mondays)

Debbie at My Random Musings (Mondays)

Leelo at Beauty by Miss L (Mondays)

Roxanne at Glass of Glam (Mondays)

Claire at Claire Justine (Mondays, Weds, Fridays)

Laura at I Do deClaire (Tuesdays)

Emma at Style Splash (Tuesdays)

Jess at Elegantly Dressed & Stylish (Tuesdays)

Gail at Is This Mutton? (Wednesdays)

Shelly at The Queen in Between (Wednesdays)

Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom (Thursdays)

Ada at Elegance and Mommyhood (Thursdays)

Jacqui at Mummabstylish (Thursdays)

Suzy at The Grey Brunette (Fridays)

Nancy at Nancy's Fashion Style (Fridays)

Michelle at My Bijou Life (Fridays)

Erika at A Little Bit of Everything (Fridays)

Rena at Fine Whatever (Saturdays)


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