Prints charming: How clashing, patterned prints are transforming the drab into the spectacular

 
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Richard James big jungle leaves suit, £925, slippers, £495 (made to order), shirt, £265 tie, £90, all from richardjames.co.uk

In the City, a full Prince of Wales check suit is considered rather outré, so the idea of an entire outfit made up of garish or contrasting patterns will be anathema to some.

But top fashion houses from Alexander McQueen to Richard James disagree – and so do we. Sort of. While we're not sure if we could rock Richard James' "big jungle leaves" suit to a board meeting, it would make a pretty awesome statement at a black-tie dinner. And McQueen's "legendary creatures" suit is a beautiful object in its own right, even if you only cast admiring glances towards your wardrobe rather than actually wear the thing.

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

If the patterns and swirls are just too much for you, an easier way to get on board with this trend is to match contrasting items, like camo with check, or spots and stripes. And just think: it will give your kids something to laugh at in pictures of you in 20 years time. Or your friends something to laugh at next year. Or everyone in the office to laugh at as soon as you step through the door. Who knows? Worth the risk, we say.

For some out-there womenswear looks check out our spring/summer shoot here.

Photography by Dominic Nicholls, styling by Alexandria Reid, hair by Liam Moore at S:Management, photographer’s assistant Storm Harvey, stylist’s assistant Gemma Carmichael, model Tom Warren at Select.

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