Tropical Prints: A Mood-Boosting Recipe for Looking Hot This Spring

Tropical prints bring to mind ease of warmer climes, and are a perfect way to enjoy spring's emerging graphic print trend, while boosting your mood in the process!

This season is certainly not the first spring fashion season that has seen a resurgence in prints, but it is perhaps the first season that we have seen them used in such new and innovative ways. Everything from tribal ikats, batiks, florals and art pop prints were spotted on the runways at Fashion Week, and often used in combination with each other. One print in particular, the tropical print, stood proud amongst the crowd on the Spring 2014 runways.

Tropical prints have been around a long time. Long favoured by those living in warmer climates, they have become a sort of signifier of that languid, summer ease that is associated with the tropics. The bold, bright colours and graphic nature of a tropical print is also a natural mood-booster; you cannot help but smile when you see some of these happy combinations of print and colour.

Yet for all of the merits of a bold tropical print, its very nature transforms it into something that many print-shy customers might shy away from; the bright colours and bold prints are certainly not for those who consider themselves more restrained in their approach to dressing. But even those who prefer a more understated approach to their wardrobes might benefit from the addition of a piece or two crafted from one of these joyful tropical prints. There are two ways that these prints can be enjoyed by everyone: by using a tropical print as a layering piece, or incorporating tropical print shoes and accessories into one’s rotation.


Turning Up The Heat: Incorporating Tropical Prints Into Your Everyday Wardrobe

The easiest way to incorporate any strong piece into a wardrobe is to employ a bit of layering. Those who may not feel comfortable wearing strong print of colour should consider layering a strong piece under a light jacket or cardigan for spring. It is truly surprising how adding the pop of colour and interest with a tropical print can enhance your features, giving you an instant glow, as well as hinting to the world that you posses an inner sense of fun and whimsy.

This season, this adventurous spirit was no more apparent than in the Hermès Spring 2014 collection. Bold tropical prints that look like they were harvested directly from the jungle (although they were actually based on the work of French artist Henri Rousseau) were incorporated in flowing silhouettes that featured large-scale tropical prints and rich, botanical colours. Alongside the collection of loose, easy dresses, caftans, and jumpsuits were a good selection of separates, making it possible for anyone to use these bold, yet classic pieces as a layering piece for seasons to come.

For those who still feel trepidation about wearing a print but still appreciate the direction of Spring 2014, consider adding some key statement accessories in hot, tropical prints. This is an area where you can spend as much, or as little money on an emerging trend as you like. Some of the more memorable pieces from the Spring 2014 runways included Miu Miu’s knee-high white stacked-heel, lace-up boot with a hand-painted tropical motif, and a soft leather tassel bag by Marc Jacobs done in a large-scale graphic black and white tropical floral print.


This season, there is also a wide selection of scarves for  spring, in hot tropical prints covering every shade under the sun. These can be worn in a variety of ways, with as much or as little of the print showing, depending on your mood or comfort level. One standout on the Spring 2014 runway was at Sophie Theallet, where models walked the runways with loosely-coiled low buns in their hair, each with a different tropical print scarf woven through it.

How to Employ Tropical Print This Spring


The possibilities to employ tropical prints this spring are endless, providing choices for every taste that ensure  no two fashionistas will wear any of these statement-making prints in the same way. Wherever you may be on the tropical print comfort scale, there is a print, and a way to wear it, that will suit your needs perfectly for Spring 2014.

About the author

Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop

Kristin is an American writer based in the Scottish Highlands. She is a saxophonist, an obsessive tennis player, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and holds a Master's degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She is the author of the online style blog

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