January 08, 2013

Tropical breeze

Bright and bold tropical patterns are everywhere as summer gets underway, from the red carpet to the runway and now to the beach! The Hawaiian bloom theme is all about embracing the feeling of an island life in a chic and modern way, with an explosion of fruity colours including yellow, aqua blue, spicy orange and fuchsia red with black and white accents. It’s also about combining these bold prints and bright colours with cool fabrics and tropical punch jewellery and accessories to give us the feeling of an island escape or an exotic trip through the rainforest.

Since this commercial and print heavy trend is a classic look for summer, many affordable stores around you like Forever New and Topshop are taking full advantage of this tropical trend, and so should you! Take inspiration from collections such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni, Alberta Ferretti and Dior adjust it to your own personal style. It’s all about having fun with the fashion trend and not taking it too seriously. Try wearing shirts with colourful bird designs or palm trees or even feathers on jewellery. The neon trend also works really well with this theme – just pair tropical prints with solid neon colours and there you have it! So, whether you’re planning a simple trip to the beach, lunch with friends or an evening dinner, it’s easy to add a little bit of a summer theme to your outfit with a few tropical-inspired fashion pieces. 

The tropical trend is more versatile than you may think. It looks beautiful, exotic and fresh on dresses, skirts, tops, blazers, pants and jumpsuits, as well as accessories. These printed outfits are fast attention grabbers and can really make a statement so be sure to select the right colours and prints that look best on you. For example, if tangerine isn't flattering, try a hot pink shade. Keep experimenting!

Find a tropical-themed item that suits your body type. If you’re not too curvy from the waist down, then try a fun pair of tropical print shorts or a flowy skirt with a bright coloured top. 
If you have a larger bust, maybe a simple tropical tank top with a darker background would work best, or even a pair of tropical printed jeans with a neutral coloured shirt to take the attention away from the bust. 
If you’re petite, then you can be a little more daring with a tropical print jumpsuit or blazer. If you have more of an hourglass figure, a tropical shift dress would look great with a thin monochrome belt cinched in at the waist to highlight your curves and break up the large print.
A more full-figured shape would be perfect for anything free-flowing. A one-piece tropical bathing suit with ruching or gathering along the sides would also be perfect to hide any uncomfortable areas. 

If you’re ready to embrace this trend, make sure you avoid competing elements in your outfit. When it comes to pairing the tropical trends with other patterned trends, I’d definitely keep it to a bare minimum, as you want the main tropical theme to be the eye-catcher, especially since it’s such a bold print to begin with. Therefore, you may want to mix the wild prints with a heavy dose of neutral or solid colours to soften the “Hawaii getaway” look and make it more casual and chic.

How to accessorise the tropical look:
When wearing the print, the choice of accessories should be kept as simple as possible, especially when going for the head-to-toe tropical effect. But, if you’re only wearing one item of clothing in a bold tropical print, then you can definitely add a little something extra to your outfit with colourful, bold necklaces, bracelets, earrings, tote bags, scarves, and don’t forget to colour your nails in juicy, delicious colours as well! However, if you want to tone down the look a bit, then choose neutral accessories and jewellery with this bold trend. A tropical patterned maxi-dress will look great with a neutral toned necklace or set of bangles, especially if they’re made of earthy materials such as wood. Gold, bronze or silver accessories work as well for this trend to keep your outfit chic, without being overpowering.

As far as bags go, tote bags or one-shoulder bags are perfect, but be sure to keep them on the small to medium side to balance the look and maintain the best proportions. If you were wearing a tropical printed outfit, a simple neutral or earthy coloured bag would look great. If you were wearing a subtler outfit, then a bright tropical printed bag would add a pop of colour and would be a great statement piece

When it comes to shoes, go with solid colours if your outfit already has prints – whether it’s a bold colour or a basic colour like black, nude or brown. A bold colour would be fun if it picked up one of the colours in the tropical-patterned item being worn. If the shoe will be the highlight of the outfit, balance the rest of the look out. Gladiator sandals, strappy sandals, and even platforms and pumps look better on shorter hemmed tropical outfits such as printed jumpsuits, rompers, shorts, skirts and shorter dresses.

Other fashion items such as bright sunglasses, printed scarves and hats will complete the look, but make sure you restrain yourself from adding too many accessories since the tropical fashion is in itself a statement look. And last but not least, keep the hair simple. A high bun or simple straight hair is always classy, or if you want to go for the surfer chic look, then a messy bun or beach waves will compliment the outfit perfectly.