We recently attended Toronto Fashion Week, and there were plenty of wild prints and pop art details to see. Most notably, NARCES and Hayley Elsaesser showed some eye-catching prints (see below) that would take the right kind of gal to pull off (some were just too ’90s).
But that’s fashion week, right? Designers show off bold takes on fashion that may or may not ever be worn? But, hey, we like prints, and we’re pretty sure you do, too. So we decided to take the playful print trend from the runway, and find looks that are a bit more wearable that you can buy right now. Ready for the ultimate spring and summer wardrobe finds? Take a look!
13 playful prints that aren’t too out there
Not So BrightIf you're going to go bright, mute it a little. For spring and summer, our impulse is to stand out in exaggerated brights. But a slightly toned down primary colour will let you blend in. Then it's the print doing the popping, like this purdy birdie.
$46 at ZaraZara
Anchors AwayWith spring, comes the return of nautical-inspired pieces. Try something new (and sexy) like this sheer blouse with a subtle anchor print.
$60 at MangoMango
Painterly PatternsThe kimono sleeves on this dress are airy and sophisticated, and they match the painterly pattern beautifully.
$80 at ZaraZara
Go BigMacro prints are literally huge, and they take some daring to pull off. We love a simple pattern for a shift dress, like a classic polka dot.
$180 at ASOSASOS
Art MattersWe love a long-sleeved dress, and we love anything with an arty bent. This block print design feels very classic, and it could sit in your closet for years to come.
$138 at ASOS ASOS
Micro GraphicsThe beauty of a micro print is that it's slimming and conversational. The focus is more on the pattern than the shape, and because people will want to come up close to see what it is... well, you'll have a lot of people to talk to.
$129 at Club Monaco Club Monaco
Micro GraphicsA beautiful floral piece adds a feminine finishing touch, but we love it when it is teeny tiny. It's an eye-catching look that's hard to figure out, and we love a little mystery in our clothes.
$13 at H&MH&M
In the NavyIt's a shirt, yes, but it's also a dress. Have pieces that serve double-duty is the key to a good wardrobe. And we love this toile-like pattern.
$40 at H&MH&M
Wild ThingsAnimal prints can be a bit much for some people, but if you anchor your look with it, you'll be fine. Pair something like this Michael Kors jersey dress with very simple accessories, and your look won't be too loud and scary.
$125 at Net-A-PorterNet-A-Porter
Chevron So RightEverything is right about this Banana Republic skirt. The pleats are chic, the gradated chevron pattern adds length to the lengths and we love the demure midi length. It's the perfect spring skirt.
$134 at Banana Republic Banana Republic
Top It OffDon't feel obligated to go full-on print this spring an summer. Sometimes a playful topper over a solid skirt or pant is sweet enough.
$45 at MangoMango
Black and WhiteAnd because black and white is so hot right now, we thought we'd offer one more option. It's your classic chevron, but with a linear twist. The rubbed out vertical lines give structure to the shift, giving you a leaner silhouette.
$53 at ASOSASOS
Tiny DetailsYou can keep the fun to yourself if you don't feel up to making a print statement. These adorable coin purses will give you a smile every time you open your purse.
$9 at MonkiMonki