Prints perk up clothes meant for summer fun
Floral designs dominate, but polka dots, paisley and animal prints also are popular.
A fashionista cannot live on solids alone. Her designer diet has to be supplemented with prints.
Prints add personality and dimension to the latest looks, from Capri pants to belts. In a way, the patterns have become symbols of summer.
"They are especially popular this time of year," said Pam Viglione, Agenda consultant at Stein Mart. "They are brighter, more uplifting and go with the weather. They speak to the lifestyle, when we are thinking about vacation and having fun."
It seems one idea of a good time is frolicking in the flowers. Floral prints are in full bloom.
"There are lots of flowers, because everything is so feminine this season," Viglione said. "Women love them. It makes them feel like a lady."
Libby Dalton, personal shopper for Proffitt's in Knoxville, Tenn., agrees.
"I hear so many comments from the customers," she said. "They make them feel young. It makes them feel like going to a garden party."
For most of the designers, the bigger the flower, the better.
Floral prints pop up on a number of pieces. It's only natural they would lean toward sundresses. Flowers are also delivered on jackets and soft blouses, such as the camisole top. They surface on a variety of bottoms, with the flirty floral skirt being cultivated often.
Not born to be a flower child? No problem; there are many other prints from which to choose.
Another popular choice is the polka-dot print, which made a comeback last spring.
"It's something you can just have fun with," Dalton said. "It's new; it's trendy."
Try polka dots or paisley
Like the florals, polka dots can be big or small. Quarter-size dots convey sassiness, while pin-size ones look a little more prim and proper.
Also on the print scene is paisley, which is seen more in the fall. The season's vibrant colors and sleek silhouettes make the classic pattern warm-weather-ready.
"I love that bandanna halter with the paisley print," Dalton said. "It looks great with a little cropped pant or a belted skirt."
Ladies can take a calculated risk with geometrics. Pucci-inspired prints make a splashy statement this season, not only in clothing, but also in accessories. A groovy shoe or purse can make a solid outfit dance.
Stripes are also popular for men and women. The multicolored striped is a staple in guys' closets this season. Striped seersucker items speak to the preppy resurgence.
Something else to talk about is the conversational print. It can include just about anything.
"We have a flirty little skirt with (a pattern of) purses, shoes and a little lingerie top on it," Dalton said. "It's really cute."
And it wouldn't be a print story without a mention about animal prints. They always claw their way into the picture.