Winter's Biggest Print Trends Will Tempt You to Ditch Your All-Black Outfits


(Image credit: Courtesy of Versace; Imaxtree/Sacai; Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli; Imaxtree/Az Factory)

It's that time of year again. No, I'm not talking about the holiday season. Instead, for those who live in colder climates, this time of year marks the point when wearing all black becomes the default. Even for the most fashionable people, the desire to stay warm can outweigh the urge to look trendy. And while there are numerous hacks to ensure you look chic in cold weather—e.g., investing in great outerwear, accessorizing with bold pieces, or getting creative with outfits—there is one particular styling trick that everyone seems to sleep on: wearing prints. 

Hear me out on this. Patterns are the perfect way to make any winter wardrobe less dreary. Not only can the addition of a motif make any ensemble feel trend-forward, but also it can add warmth (in every definition of the word). If that isn't enough to sell you, I get it. When you live in neutral looks all winter, it's only natural to have cold feet about embracing anything new. So to make that transition easier, I've extensively researched winter's biggest print trends to find out which ones are worth your time. By looking at the F/W 22 runways and cross-referencing them with outfits from Instagram, I narrowed it down to four noteworthy print trends that can be easily incorporated into any wardrobe. Trust me when I say even the most pattern-weary people can warm up to these trends. 

1. Tartan


On the runway:
(Image credit: Courtesy of Puppets and Puppets; Courtesy of Marine Serre; Imaxtree/Off-White; Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli)

As previously reported, tartan took over the F/W 22 runways. But unlike previous iterations of this print, many plaid-adorned pieces had unexpected twists that made it feel more poignant than ever. There were sultrier takes on tartan through a micro miniskirt at Off-White and a corset top at Puppets and Puppets. And then, there was the all-out embrace of the print through contrasting tartan outerwear. (See Marine Serre and Roberto Cavalli's collections.) Each take on this "dated" print proved that plaid is not only back but punchier than ever. 

And that point is further proven by how the fashion set has adopted it thus far. Keep scrolling to see how women have been wearing this pattern, along with styling tips and shopping recommendations. 


On the fashion set:
(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

Style notes: The secret to pulling off tartan is to start small. Pick one separate you want to be printed (e.g., a skirt) and then pair it with other basics like a jean jacket and black boots. 


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Style notes: You don't have to be covered in prints to tap into the trend. Simply style your favorite basics with a plaid coat. 


(Image credit: @vivian.yrl)

Style notes: Another way you can wear this pattern is by fully leaning into the trendiness of it and pairing it with other statement pieces (e.g., a crop top and ballet flats). 


(Image credit: @sofiamcoelho)

Style notes: When in doubt, you can't go wrong with throwing on a pair of tartan trousers with a sweater, a bomber jacket, and sneakers. 

Shop the print trend:

2. Zebra


On the runway:
(Image credit: Imaxtree/Et Ochs; Courtesy of Dries Van Noten; Imaxtree/Alessandra Rich; Imaxtree/Az Factory)

Considering nostalgia is at an all-time high, it was only a matter of time before we saw one trend come back into style: zebra print. Of course, this wasn't the only animal print on the F/W 22 runways; we saw snake print and even leopard make a comeback too. But comparatively, zebra stood out from the pack. In part, that's due to how the pattern transformed basics from boring to bold. At Dries Van Noten and Az Factory, classic coat silhouettes changed with the adornment of stripes. At the same time, jeans and button-downs were given a fresh take at Alessandra Rich and Et Ochs thanks to the addition of a zebra print. 

Of course, it's easy to graze over the return of a print if it's just spotted in a few collections, but that's not the case here. Zebra print has continued showing up in the wild (aka, on the fashion set), proving this print is at the top of the chain once and for all. 


On the fashion set:
(Image credit: @hannahlewisstylist)

Style notes: Who said you have to ditch your all-black outfits? In fact, zebra print allows you to wear neutrals and stand out from the crowd at the same time. Let the print shine by pairing a zebra-print blazer or coat with black leather trousers, a sweater, and white shoes. 


(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)

Style notes: An effortless way to embrace this animal print is through accessories. Pair your favorite sweaterdress with a zebra bag. 


(Image credit: @littleblackboots)

Style notes: If you're ready to embrace this print to the fullest, opt for a zebra-print dress. You can wear it well into the spring and add or take off layers based on the temperature. 


(Image credit: @ileniatoma_)

Style notes: Still not sold on ditching your all-black winter outfits? You don't have to. Pair your favorite black puffer coat, white sweater, and black pants with zebra-print shoes. 

Shop the print trend:

3. Houndstooth


On the runway:
(Image credit: Imaxtree/Ami Paris; Courtesy of Versace; Imaxtree/Rokh; Courtesy of Miu Miu)

Ah, houndstooth—remember it? For some readers, the return of this trend may spark happy memories, while others may be mumbling to themselves, Never again. But no matter where your feelings fall, one can't deny that this print is back after looking at the F/W 22 runways. And while one may still be thinking about a time when they used to wear this print, it's safe to say that this isn't the print you grew up with.

Sure, there was the occasional classic houndstooth coat (see Ami Paris's collection), but most collections reworked this print in surprising ways. At Miu Miu, longline houndstooth coats were paired with matching micro miniskirts, while Rokh also had matching sets adorned with unnecessary belts. In contrast, Versace used vibrant hues to create punchy houndstooth cutout dresses, coats, and miniskirts. No matter how designers interpreted this print, their work took this archival motif and brought it into the present. And that, in effect, has made this print relevant again not just on the runway but with the fashion set too. 


On the fashion set:
(Image credit: @shhtephs)

Style notes: Consider this outfit further proof that houndstooth sets are back. And while this may feel "dated," you can make it feel more modern through styling. Pair a matching houndstooth blazer and miniskirt with a button-down and a tie and even style it over denim. 


(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Style notes: Don't be afraid to really lean into this print and opt for a more colorful version. The key is to pair a houndstooth coat with matching separates so you're not doing too much. 


(Image credit: @xbibigul)

Style notes: If you can't see yourself embracing a printed set or brightly hued pattern, you'll want to go the easy route. Try pairing a classic black-and-white houndstooth coat over a matching sweater and shorts, and finish off the look with knee-high boots.


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Style notes: The great thing about embracing houndstooth pieces is that they already go well with what you own. Simply take any houndstooth piece (a coat, skirt, bag, or anything else), style it with your beloved winter staples, and watch how you become a print person. 

Shop the print trend:

4. Pinstripes


On the runway:
(Image credit: Imaxtree/Versace; Imaxtree/Sacai; Imaxtree/Ambush; Courtesy of Sportmax)

You've made it to the end of this story, and if you're still not sold on embracing prints this winter, then there's one last option for you: pinstripes. Unlike other prevalent trends, this is a far subtler pattern that is easier to embrace if you're tied to the idea of neutrals this winter. However, just because this print is more subdued doesn't mean it's any less lively. In fact, designers breathed a new life into this textile on the F/W 22 runways.

There were, of course, the classic pinstripe suiting separates, but each had a special element that focused on cut or color. Designers played with proportions through oversize pinstripe blazers, nipped-in waists, and miniskirts at Versace, Sacai, and Sportmax. At the same time, Ambush incorporated dashes of red into its pinstripe suit. The unique approach designers took with this print proves that you don't always have to go over the top to make a statement; you have to make small changes. And if you find you're inspired and ready to make an adjustment to your winter wardrobe, then there's no better way to start than by embracing these print trends, even if it's just pinstripes for the time being.


On the fashion set:
(Image credit: @venswifestyle)

Style notes: You don't have to do much to make this pattern seamlessly fit into your wardrobe. Pairing an oversize pinstripe blazer with thigh-high boots is a fail-proof way to style this textile. 


(Image credit: @thatgirlyusra)

Style notes: Another easy way to wear this print is in the form of trousers. Try pairing pinstripe pants with pointy heels, a crew-neck sweater, and a moto jacket. 


(Image credit: @hannamw)

Style notes: Again, the great thing about embracing prints (particularly pinstripes) is that they can easily be added to your all-black outfits. The black maxi dress in the back of your closet can get a trendy update by adding a pinstripe blazer, belt, and choker necklace. 


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style notes: This print doesn't have to be limited to work hours. For a cool off-duty look, style a baggy pair of pinstripe trousers with sneakers and a T-shirt. 

Shop the print trend:

Next up, Color Report: The 5 Shades Everyone Will Be Wearing This Winter

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.