Style Spotlight: Prints and Patterns

It’s time to wake up your wardrobe with bold geometric patterns, pretty florals, stylish stripes and wild animal prints.

I tend to use the words “prints” and “patterns” interchangeable as they’re both some sort of repeating design, but if you want to be super technical about it, a print is applied on top of the fabric whereas a pattern is usually embroidered or woven into the fabric. Patterns also tend to be a little bit more “organized” (think stripes or polka dots) whereas prints tend to be a little bit more abstract. In all honesty, you can use either word and get away with it.

When looking at prints and patterns, I tend to group them into a couple of different categories (and I know I’m missing a lot of prints because there are a LOT):

1. Florals
2. Ornamental (paisley, toile…)
3. Stripes
4. Geometric (triangles, squares, stars…)
5. Plaids and Checks
6. Polka Dots and Ginghams (something about these two below together)
7. Animal-inspired
8. Tropical (yes I separate florals and tropicals because I think they’re very different)
9. Colour-based prints like Camouflage, Tie-Die and Ikat
10. Abstract (depending on the print, it could also fall under geometric or colour-based)
11. Everything Else (this is the catch-all for everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else – like where would you put a pattern of repeating unicorns?)

No matter which category of print you like, there are tons of options out there for you and your whole family right now. Let’s watch our new Summer 2019 ‘Girl in Focus’ Meray Froese as she plays with prints and patterns.


I think when most people think of patterns and prints - florals are the first thing that pops into their heads. While florals have never been my jam, I have to admit that even I am starting to see the appeal.

Red Wrap Floral Dress available at Cleo $89.90*


I love me a good stripe! Thick stripes, thin stripes, repeating patterns of different thicknesses of stripes...they're all good. A stripe is essentially a neutral in my opinion which means that they're perfect for pairing with other patterns.

Striped Midi-Length Shirt Dress available at RW&CO. $129.90*


Tropical can be a bit of catch-all and subjective category as it's basically anything that makes you think of a tropical destination. To me, tropical includes florals (of the "tropical" variety), foliage (big palm leaves) and animals like birds, cheetas (the whole animal, not just a reproduction of their fur/skin). These cheetah-and-tree palazzo pants from GUESS are a perfect example. I would 100% consider these "tropical" since they show the entire cheetah and not just his spots.

Shay Printed Palazzo Pants available at GUESS $98*

Polka Dots

There is definitely something very vintage-feeling about polka dots and much like a stripe, I think they're one of those prints that are easier to pair with other patterns such as florals.

Wilfred Polka Dot Dress available at Aritzia $158*

Everything Else

This year's big "everything" else pattern depicts oversized equestrian or chain pieces. Think Hermes or Gucci.

Patterned Blouse available H&M $39.99*

Which pattern are you most excited to wear this Summer?

*Prices quoted are regular prices, before taxes. Price and availability are subject to change. Please see stores for details.