Photo:Courtesy of Who What Wear Collection; Courtesy of Staud/BFA; Courtesy of Anna Sui
If you scroll through TikTok or Instagram on any given day, you'll realize that the most popular trends fall into two categories: overly sexualized and anti-sexualized. You see those polarities through rising fashion aesthetics like villain-era dressing and Hot Girl Summer, which are all about embracing micro miniskirts and baring all the skin. On the other side of the spectrum, you have the rise of the coastal-grandmother and preppy aesthetics that emphasize more demure and functional pieces such as oversize knitwear and breezy linen. All of these trends are ultimately about playing with, subverting, and even controlling the gaze through what you choose to wear. And while they may seem entirely different stylistically, it's ultimately about having the power to decide how you want to be seen this summer.
Of course, for fashion lovers, that choice can be challenging. If you're anything like us, you love the idea of a risqué cutout piece just as much as a crochet cardigan, so opting for one particular style for the summer feels like choosing a favorite pair of shoes. Luckily for us, one trend manages to bridge the gap between that modest feel and the excitement that riskier trends bring to the table: tropical prints. Hear us out on this. Tropical prints were one of the standout print trends in spring/summer 2022 collections, and it's the perfect thing to invest in for the summer. And if you don't believe us, keep reading, as we've highlighted how this print has managed to make a comeback and found the best tropical-print pieces to shop right now.
Photo:Courtesy of Staud/BFA; Courtesy of Johanna Ortiz; Courtesy of Anna Sui
Every season, a few print trends manage to make a comeback, and tropical prints happen to have found their way back into the fold. But this isn't your grandpa's tropical-print button-down. You can see that through how designers such as Johanna Ortiz gave the pattern a more contemporary look with an almost Matisse-like feel and minimal hues and how Staud paired the print with more sultry pieces. They're less focused on the cliché vacation print and are instead emphasizing the feeling of being on vacation. Designers are using abstraction, geometric shapes, watercolors, cutouts, and vibrant colors to bring this print into the future.
If you're not sold quite yet on why this print trend is perfect for summer, then look no further than how the fashion set has adopted it. Of course, there are the traditional ways of styling this pattern, but the possibilities are endless for this print. You can find it in everything from conservative linen button-downs to full-length cutout gowns, and you can style it in whatever fashion suits your style best. Ultimately, the key to making this print work is by leaning into how you want to look this summer, and if you do that, you'll be sure to serve a look that grandpas (and fashion girlies) everywhere can get behind.