Spring 2011 Fashion Trend: Bold Prints and Stripes

It may be -30 degrees outside, but what better way to channel warmth than by focusing on spring? This year, prints rear their colourful heads once more, and the blah-ness of winter will be substituted by bold pallets and retro vibes. Suddenly snowy nights don’t seem so bleak.

Becoming a favourite of vacation wear and springtime arrivals, safari prints have manifested in full-length dresses and animal print blouses, channeling the brightness of sun and the boldness of summertime. As showcased by the likes of H&M, free-flowing dresses are perfect for transitioning into spring, and paired with a denim jacket or a light cardigan, they’re not reserved solely for humidex warnings. And if you’re not partial to all-over prints? Animal print blouses or tanks can help you achieve the trend without going overboard.

Every season a new decade manifests itself in the wide world of fashion, and unlike the 60s influence of winter 2010, spring 2011 channels the quirky aspect of the 1970s. Polka-dots, stripes and kitschy designs have been showcased by the likes of Marc Jacobs, and while they may otherwise seem dated or over-the-top, by pairing them with a pair of high-waisted trouser pants and neutral ankle boots, you can achieve the vibrancy of the disco era minus the aesthetic of Studio 54.

The staple of spring, summer and even fall, floral prints again make a triumphant return to spring 2011, but in the subdued feminine quality of button-ups and mini dresses, in addition to the loudness of 1970s prints. Lines like Joe Fresh showcased subdued florals in terms of classic elegance, while Zara’s flirty dresses are the perfect solution to socks, ankle boots and an oversize cardigan. But of course, the key to florals is to have fun: abiding by a strict colour regimen can result in a boring or matronly springtime look, while playing it safe with too many neutrals can channel the drabness of winter and leave you wanting more.


Tried and true, plaid has evolved from a 2008 novelty piece to a year-round wardrobe fixture. However, unlike the vibrancy of last year’s flannel button-ups, plaids of 2011 have taken on a neutral quality, channeling the popularity of the season’s khakis, greens and camels as well as the subtle presence of navy blue. Urban Outfitters proves that a sheer take on plaid can be paired with high waisted dress pants or an A-line skirt, while the oversize plaid of 2010 returns for reunion with jeggings, a belt and over-the-knee boots. Canadiana influence has never seemed so sweet.


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Tags: 1970s, florals, H&M, patterns, Plaid, polka dot, prints, retro, Urban Outfitters, wearing safari prints, Zara

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