Florals, stripes, polka dots, gingham: There are plenty of great patterns and prints that you probably associate with spring and summer. Even if you aren’t really a patterns kind of girl — or if you prefer to stick mostly with solids and subtle motifs — the warm weather has probably encouraged you, at least once, to take a chance on a print. But if you aren’t into romantic florals or think that stripes are just a little too much, this summer is the time to find some new prints and patterns to wear.
The seven patterns ahead aren’t your typical spring ginghams or summer stripes. Whether you’re looking for a subtle pattern, a playful print, or a cheerful motif to add some fun to your summer wardrobe, these patterned pieces will reinvigorate your warm weather wardrobe and pair easily with the pieces you already own. Spring and summer are the perfect time to experiment with swapping out your usual solid pieces for something more fun. The prints ahead are equal parts eye-catching and versatile.
1. Bandana print
The Voile Lexine shirtdress from Isabel Marant Étoile showcases a navy and ecru bandana print, which is a perfect summery pattern whether your style inspirations are mostly French or are all-American. Marant launched the Étoile line in 1999, and it’s since become synonymous with relaxed styles and deconstructed shapes — perfectly illustrated by this summer dress.
2. Cotton jacquard folkloric patterns
If you prefer your patterns subtle, a style like Ace & Jig’s Laurel dress may be just the ticket. The dress incorporates two Ace & Jig patterns called Moonstone and Nightshade, in white and black, and black and white, respectively. Like the rest of the label’s patterns, these are inspired by the travels of Ace & Jig founders Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson, who work with skilled textile artisans in India to create one-of-a-kind fabrics that are woven on ancient looms.
3. A contemporary Ikat
Two things we love for summer are ikat and silk dresses. So why not combine them both with Equipment’s Tegan shirtdress? You may be familiar with Equipment’s line of fan-favorite silk shirting, but trust us: Silk works just as well at keeping you cool and looking polished in a summer dress. Ikat originated as a woven pattern made by dyeing threads before they were woven into textiles, and as Apartment Therapy notes, the technique was developed in many different countries, including Pre-Columbia Peru and Guatemala, tenth-century Yemen, Japan, Indonesia, India, and Uzbekistan.
4. A cross between ikat and floral
Looking for another contemporary take on ikat? Try Kate Spade’s Posy Ikat skirt. This bright, silk-blend number offers a cheerful pattern that’s somewhere between a traditional ikat and a fun floral print. The skirt is cut short, but not too short, flouncy, but not too full. The silhouette is easy to pair with all of your favorite summer tops, and the pattern will keep things both fresh and classic.
5. Bleached floral
If you love the look of tie-dye and bleach DIYs, but never quite nailed the do-it-yourself part, then you may appreciate the bleach-enabled floral pattern of SEA’s strapless dress. The pattern offers a much edgier take on a floral print, and the denim of which the dress is constructed is a welcome change of pace from the more delicate materials that are usually paired with the strapless silhouette.
6. Floral block print
Searching for patterned shorts instead of dresses or skirts? Then look no further than Madewell’s “Vinefloral” shorts. They’re soft and drapey, and feature a comfy pull-on construction. But even better? The floral print is very much reminiscent of traditional Indian prints. In navy blue and white, these shorts are a great alternative to the saccharine color schemes and exuberant patterns of many of the other floral pieces on the market.
7. Geometric stripe brocade
A must-have separate for summer is a light and breezy top, preferably one you can dress up or down. Ace & Jig’s Hope top is a versatile ivory and black style that’s an easy way into patterns for the print-phobic, with stripes of geometric brocade.