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Friday, April 12, 2024

This summer's fashion is all about mixing it up. It's about making a splash with bold colors and prints, as well as experimenting with ethnic-inspired pieces.

This summer is when you should leave the grays, blacks and neutrals that invade your closet space behind.

Instead, reach for that burst of color or that bold graphic. A major oncoming trend for the summer is the use of unusual, bold geometric prints and patterns.

For ideas, think fashion maven Missoni's colorful printed dresses, tops and skirts.

From ombre to floral to ethnic, unusual prints will be taking center stage over shapes and styles this summer.

Ombre dyes, or dip-dyes, are cute and eye-catching designs for dresses and shirts. Basically, it's like a chic version of tie-dye, in that multiple colors fade seamlessly from one layer to the next.

Try an ombre dress in black and pink dyes for a funky look or a flowing tank top in maroon and beige shades for a more earthy feel.

Floral patterns are also making an impression on fabrics this summer. My favorite color combo is the black, yellow and white floral dresses that celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Drew Barrymore have been wearing lately. The contrast of bright yellow flowers against a black dress is elegant and unexpected.

In the ethnic category there's everything from water-color style prints to Native American-inspired pieces.

One interesting ethnic print to look for this season is "ikat." It's a traditional Thai print made by tightly tying areas of thread before dipping them in a dye pot to create a pattern. Modern Thai ikats are brightly colored and usually in cotton or silk.

An ikat dress is a really different, cool piece to wear out to a party or just around campus.

A basic tenet to keep in mind when wearing this season's vivid prints is to keep everything else about your outfit low key. A minimalist approach to shoes and accessories works best.

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Keep the focus of your outfit on the print by taking one dominant color from it and matching your shoes and accessories to that.

Your accessories should complement the fabric, not distract from it.

Go ahead and brave the unexpected. Experiment with these interesting, colorful patterns, and you'll be sure to turn heads this summer.

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