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Playing with patterns: Choosing the right one for you

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

6 Trendy summer prints

Patterns are a great way to add some fun to your wardrobe while still looking polished -- and summer is the perfect time to experiment!

"There are so many fun, flattering and trendy patterns for women," says stylist Dale Janee Steliga of This summer, spice up your wardrobe with a colorful range of prints and patterns.

6 Trendy summer prints

Floral prints

Romantic floral prints have been around for a long time, but this season’s florals boast big, bold flowers and tropical prints. "If a floral dress is too much, women can go with a floral peplum top or skirt and pair it with a solid separate and nude or solid heels," says Steliga.

Check out the Linda floral dress ($90) from Banana Republic.

Fun ways to incorporate florals into your wardrobe >>

6 Trendy summer prints

Nautical stripes

Classic nautical stripes are going edgy! "Navy or red vertical or horizontal striped tops paired with denim and metallic boat shoes are a surefire hit," says Steliga.

The nautical trend for this year is color. Instead of the traditional primary red, blue and yellow stripes, look for your favorite nautical pattern in teal, orange or raspberry.

Check out the Summer Boatneck Pullover in pink waterlily ($40) from L.L. Bean.

More sailor-inspired fashion >>

6 Trendy summer prints

Tribal print

Don’t be afraid to try something bold. "The easiest way to wear this print is a pair of shorts or a tank paired with gold, tortoiseshell or natural-looking jewelry," suggests Steliga.

Avoid going head-to-toe tribal. "The perfect complementary colors for tribal patterns are turquoise, neutrals and khakis." Finish off the look with leather wedges or sandals.

Check out the Awake Embellished Tribal-Print Top ($59) at Dillard’s.

Tribal-inspired tunics... for less >>

6 Trendy summer prints


When shades of the same color family blend and fade into each other, it’s called ombre. This super-simple trendy pattern is easy to wear. It’s popular in fashion, home goods (bedding and drapes) and -- unfortunately -- hairstyles. (Did you see Drew Barrymore’s horrible ombre ‘do?)

"Try an ombre skirt or shorts with a solid top," says Steliga. You can find ombre skirts in a variety of styles, including long and flowing or short and tight.

Check out Pretty Ombre Flowy Pink Skirt ($29) from The Little Bazaar.

Gorgeous ombre wedding decor! >>

6 Trendy summer prints


Back in the 1970s, anything polyester and chevron print was hip. Chevron is back, but it’s a seriously classy trend. Look for the pattern in everything from tank tops to cocktail dresses.

Check out the spectacular Digital Wave Faux Wrap Dress ($178) from Muse.

Chevron home decor >>

6 Trendy summer prints

Color block

Color blocking has been trending for a few years now and it’s not going away anytime soon. Color blocking is a great way to introduce bold colors into your wardrobe. It’s also a great way to play up your best assets. Brighter shades enhance your assets while darker colors minimize your trouble zones.

Check out the Rock Around the Colorblock Wedge Sandal ($36) at ModCloth.

Color block dresses for $100 >>

More tips for great summer style

Miracle hair serum for glistening summer locks
6 Fab, fun rompers to wear this summer
5 Swimsuits that enhance the bust

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