I've Done the Research—These Are the 6 Prettiest Print Trends of 2023
Bright colours are all well and good, but in my humble opinion, nothing makes your outfits more fun or unique to you than prints. For the longest time, I've avoided anything too patterned, choosing instead to focus on building a wardrobe of classics. However, in doing so, I've lost much of the joy that should come hand in hand with fashion. As such, I've made it something of a style resolution for the year to invest in some playful printed items to balance out my current collection of basics. Handily, I just so happened to be given the task of finding the best print trends of 2023, meaning I was able to do my own sartorial research on the clock.
For this, I immersed myself in Who What Wear's extensive library of S/S 23 runway imagery, spending hours poring over every collection, from 16Arlington to Zimmermann. When I came up for air, it was clear there were six defining print trends that kept cropping up.
Photo:Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai
I know what you're thinking: How different can these print trends be from, say, last year? Designers reliably update mainstay patterns such as florals and stripes for each season and, the S/S 23 iterations feel significantly fresher this time around than they perhaps have in the past. On top of that, there were a handful of less-common motifs that caught my attention and are sure to make my outfits feel more current. That's not to say they'll be passé in a few months; I genuinely believe these print trends have staying power.
Continue ahead for my edit of the best print trends of 2023, as seen on the most recent runways. Then, shop my pick of the best market items for each.
1. Rad Plaid
Photo:Courtesy of A.W.A.K.E. Mode; Junta Watanabe/ImaxTree; Bottega Veneta; Ottolinger/ImaxTree
Style Notes: Thanks to Bottega Veneta and Ottolinger, plaid prints—the sort that dominated my angsty teen wardrobe—are back for 2023. The easiest way to wear it is via a flannel shirt, akin to Kate Moss, but designers also showcased the motif in the form of floaty skirts and fitted dresses.
If it's checks you're after, you can always rely on Isabel Marant.
Just add a cream jumper and your favourite boots.
This looks just like the skirts I spotted on the runway.
Try layering this over a roll-neck in the cooler months.
2. Love Locked
Photo:Courtesy of Paul & Joe; Moschino/ImaxTree; Victoria Beckham; Nensi Dojaka
Style Notes: This season's prettiest print trend is no doubt the love hearts that decorated the collections of Victoria Beckham, Nensi Dojaka, Moschino and Paul & Joe, which is already filtering into plenty of new-in sections.
I know it's not technically a print, but these earrings are a simple way to make any outfit feel more on-trend this season.
Paco Rabanne gives love hearts a high-end overhaul by way of its iconic paillette bag.
3. Seeing Spots
Photo:Courtesy of Proenza Schouler; Sergio Hudson; Molly Goddard
Style Notes: Having taken a bit of a back seat over the past few seasons, polka dots are back in a big way for 2023. This season's exploration of the pattern is a honed one, consisting of a largely neutral or classic colour palette. With a spotlight on variations in dot size and fabrications, these are arguably the chicest spotty clothes have ever looked.
The beige background feels just as classic as black or white.
4. Blurred Lines
Photo:Courtesy of Zimmermann, Peter Do, Roksanda, Altuzarra
Style Notes: Tie-dye always makes a comeback as we begin to approach the standard "holiday" period, but, this year, blur prints present a sleek alternative. The trend was kickstarted by Loewe, whose blur-print tube dress was worn by Instagram's most-adept dressers and Kendall Jenner alike. However, designers such as Peter Do, Roksanda and Jonathan Simkhai have taken it to a whole new level with colour clashing in luxe materials.
Just one of the many, many excellent blur pieces from Paloma Wool.
A fun addition to any outfit.
This will look just as good with tan slider sandals as it will with chunky knee boots.
5. Painterly Florals
Photo:Courtesy of Dries Van Noten; Erdem; Richard Quinn; Carolina Herrera
Style Notes: Florals are always in, but in lieu of precise, photo-style prints, designers including Dries Van Noten and Richard Quinn have taken a more paintbrush-and-easel approach with softer blooms in watercolour finishes.
One half of a gorgeous Oroton co-ord.
Photo:Courtesy of Anonymouth/ImaxTree; Luisa Spagnoli/ImaxTree; Zimmermann; Rokh/ImaxTree
Style Notes: The print that repeats itself most regularly in my wardrobe is stripes, and I'm wiling to bet that's the same for many of you. For 2023, blocky, two-tone stripes populated so many collections I just know they're going to be a thing.
If you prefer a muted colour palette, this black-and-yellow knit is your saving grace.