Florals Are Cool, but So Are These Prints

Hilary George-Parkin

Despite my New York City–bred habit of wearing head-to-toe black on a fairly regular basis, I have to admit that some of the best pieces in my closet are the ones with allover prints—and not just your standard springtime florals or Breton stripes, but weirder ones, like a pair of Giles Deacon pants covered in a pattern inspired by the head of a screw, or an AllSaints dress in a fabric that looks like a watercolor painting.

Stepping outside your comfort zone when it comes to prints can be gratifying, something that no one knows better than designer Ellen Van Dusen, whose Dusen Dusen line has built a loyal following for its brightly colored, boldly patterned textiles. In any given season, these could range from a print strewn with honeycomb tiles to another covered in labyrinth-like Greek key. And miraculously, it's all totally wearable.

"I think the key to pulling off a bright/crazy print is all about picking something that feels very 'you' and you'll feel great in it," says Dusen. "An easy entrée into wearing bright prints could be by starting with florals or stripes and expanding from there." As for mixing prints, she says, "I like to dress on a theme, like stripes on stripes, florals on florals, etc."

So go forth and try something new—below, we've rounded up six prints we dare you to try for spring.

Keep an eye on your feed—you'll see these six items all over Instagram this summer.

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