fancy pants

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Fancy Pants
A floral top and printed bottom may sound like an express route to Clownsville, but the pink color palette keeps the outfit from looking mismatched. "This is daring territory," says O creative director Adam Glassman. "But when the colors are tonal and larger prints are balanced by smaller ones, the look really works."

Top, $398, and pants, $398, Rachel Roy. Shoes, Alexandre Birman.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

"If you're wary of wearing head-to-toe kaleidoscope," says Adam, "choose an outfit that has solid elements, like the chartreuse skirt of this dress." Bonus: The geometric motif centered on a black background has a slimming effect.

Dress, Bibhu Mohapatra. Chained cuff, Paige Novick. Shoes, Alexandre Birman.
pants and shirt

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Prints Charming
When mixing prints, think love, not war: Colors in the same family, like the blues and greens in this top and pants, lessen the clash potential. "I'm learning to be braver with colorful clothes, even if they're a little wild," says Snigir, 29, who recently moved from her native Moscow to Los Angeles.

Top, Prabal Gurung for Target, $30. Pants, J.Crew, $545. Bracelets, Alexis Bittar.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Mirror, Mirror
Strategic detailing at the bust can carve out an hourglass shape. "If you want to tone down the dress's brightness," says Adam, "wear it with a black blazer and heels."

Dress, Peter Pilotto. Ring, M.C.L. Cuff, Michael Spirito.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Simply Chic
When there's a lot of pattern going on, sleek silhouettes are best, says Adam, adding that the blues in this Prabal Gurung sheath "are more like a swirl of color than a busy print." Minimal accessories—in this case a simple blue topaz cocktail ring—finish the look without cluttering it.

Dress, Prabal Gurung. Ring, M.C.L.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Your Best Face Forward
The prettiest match to eye-catching patterns? A radiant complexion and an understated hairstyle. "Keep everything simple," says Adam. "Big hair, heavy makeup, and lots of prints can be very '80s."

Jacket, Hervé Léger by Max Azria.

Photo: Ruven Afanador

How to Get it Right
1. "In general, steer clear of any print that has elements larger than your fist," says Adam. "Anything bigger can overwhelm your frame, especially if it's in bright, contrasting colors."

2. Some prints can have a widening effect. Counteract this by keeping shoes simple and solid. "Pick one of the colors in the pattern," Adam says, "or choose a shoe that matches your skin tone to make your legs look longer."

3. Pair prints with dark solids to flatter your body type: If you're big-busted, wear a solid top and patterned bottom; pear shapes should do the opposite.

Dress, Clover Canyon, $246. Bracelet and cuff, Alexis Bittar. Shoes, Alexandre Birman.

Next: Adam says: Streamline your spring wardrobe