These Are the 6 Prints You Should Be Wearing This Summer

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Our summer 2021 style motto is definitely “go big or go home.” Maximalist fashion is trending big time, and not just by way of bold colors or dramatic silhouettes. These six prints are at the top of the list, whether you’re a one-pattern-at-a-time kind of gal or a Margherita Missoni-level print-mixing master. Here’s how to wear each of them with confidence.

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checkerboard summer print trends 2021
Christian Vierig/Getty Image

1. Checkerboard

The skater print is having a major moment right now, and not just in shades of black-and-white. Squares of contrasting blues, mix-and-match pastels and even denim are cropping up all over our Instagram feeds. While you can absolutely try a full checkerboard dress or pants, this is one print that works equally well in smaller pops, like on a tote bag or with a pair of classic Vans.

Shop the trend: New Girl Order T-shirt ($35); Vans sneakers ($80); Kickers cardigan ($87); The Ragged Priest ($103); Lisa Says Gah sandals ($254); Stine Goya dress ($390)

florals summer print trends 2021
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

2. Punchy Florals

Florals will literally always be en vogue for the warmer months of the year, but there are often nuances to which blooms reign supreme. For 2021, it’s any floral that demands attention, whether for its vibrant colors, large size or use of embroidery or texture. The main idea is simply to choose something that will stand out from the pack and embrace the celebratory nature of our first post-pandemic season.

Shop the trend: Halogen shirt ($59); J.Crew shirt ($118; $82); Chelsea28 dress ($99); Rollas dress ($129); Simon Miller shorts ($195); Tory Burch skirt ($428; $257); Autumn Adeigbo dress ($395)

patchwork summer print trends 2021
Getty Images

3. Patchwork

Consider this a twist on last year’s cottagecore craze. Back then we were all about delicate knits and lace collars, but now we’re craving quilted materials and patches of paisley, Liberty florals and bandana prints. Our favorite pieces are done in flowing silks with easy silhouettes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also rock jeans, shorts or a cropped jacket in more structured fabrics, too.

Shop the trend: BP shirt ($35); River Island Plus top ($56); Vigoss jacket ($138); Warm shorts ($225); Anthropologie dress ($228); Free People dress ($253); Staud dress ($265)

paisley summer print trends 2021
Christian Vierig/Getty Image

4. Paisley

We’ve been seeing a ton of ’70s-inspired paisley prints popping up lately, and our favorite pieces have to be those that embrace ’70s silhouettes as well. Floaty midis, pussy-bow blouses and wide-leg trousers are the way to go here. Just be sure to style them in a way that reads more 2021 and less Bianca Jagger with square-toe sandals, structured handbags and delicate jewelry.

Shop the trend: Vila pants ($56); Bardot jumpsuit ($169; $102); Veronica Beard top ($430; $135); Tahari dress ($138); Love the Label skirt ($148); Acne Studios top ($180); Faithfull the Brand dress ($229); A.L.C. top ($295)

watercolor tie dye summer print trends 2021
Christian Vierig/Getty Image

5. Watercolor Tie-dye

Yes, the print that took over our entire pandemic wardrobe last summer is back, but this time with a bit more polish. Rather than vibrant color combos and graphic designs, the 2021 version of tie-dye is much softer, more akin to a watercolor painting than a summer camp craft. Think sunset hues, pastels and wavy lines in place of rainbow swirls.

Shop the trend: BP joggers ($49; $21); ASOS shirt ($35); Row A dress ($45); Mango dress ($80); Sundry top ($88); Zelie for She top ($89) and skirt ($89); Cotton Citizen dress ($185)

bright stripes summer print trends 2021
Christian Vierig/Getty Image

6. Super Bright Stripes

Candy-colored stripes of all shapes, sizes and directions are definitely in this summer. These aren’t your typical nautical lines or blue-and-white styles—in fact, the more colors you can pack into one print, the better. Pair them with neutral-hued basics, like a plain white tee or easy button down to start, or amp things up a little bit with a solid-colored skirt or top featuring one of the shades pulled right from your stripes.

Shop the trend: Eloquii skirt ($75; $45); Collusion blazer ($72); Anthropologie sweater ($110); Maggy London dress ($138); Farm Rio dress ($228); Mes Demoiselles skirt ($425)

Abby Hepworth


Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...
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