6 Classic Summertime Prints

Classic summer prints

One of the best things about summertime fashion trends is the endless selection of colorful prints! Our winter wardrobe naturally tends to be a bit more somber, which is reflective of the season and makes it so clothing can be easily layered. However, in the summertime, we shed the layers and say hello to color in a veritable celebration of the sun, fun, romance, and wanderlust. (Even if those ‘romances’ and ‘wanderlusts’ are only in novels.)

Here are 6 classic summertime prints and some of our favorite selections. The options range from subtle to obvious because there’s room to play in the fashion-sandbox of summer for everyone!


To keep dots from venturing into the territory occupied by 5-year-olds, women over 50 should consider sticking to ‘microdots,’ or non-uniform dot prints that are less literal. Emulate the style and color palette of painter Georges Seurat’s beautiful artworks, not Minnie Mouse. 

JCREW Candy dot chandelier earrings
JCREW Candy dot chandelier earrings, $16.99
Antropologie Polka Dot Wrap Maxi Dress
Anthropologie Polka Dot Wrap Maxi Dress, $218
Talbots Edison Slingback Bow Flats
Talbots Edison Slingback Bow Flats, $129
Talbots Dancing Dots Top
Talbots Dancing Dots Top, $59.50
Talbots Chatham Ankle Pants
Talbots Chatham Ankle Pants, $84.99
Halogen Cap Sleeve Blouse
Halogen Cap Sleeve Blouse, $29


Reminiscent of picnics and other outdoor events, the nostalgia embedded in gingham is strong. Let’s not, however, wear the tablecloth to the picnic! Instead, take gingham out of context, and find unique ways to sport the trend. For example, by accessorizing patterned flats or a clutch with tuxedo pants and a crisp white blouse. When choosing gingham in clothing, keep the pattern small and subtle in softer pastels.

Anthropologie Ring Handle Gingham Clutch
Anthropologie Ring Handle Gingham Clutch, $90
JCREW Button-up ruffle dress in gingham
JCREW Button-up ruffle dress in gingham, $114.99
Talbots Perfect Crops Trousers
Talbots Perfect Crops Trousers, $89.50
1.State Flutter Sleeve Smocked Neck Blouse
1.State Flutter Sleeve Smocked Neck Blouse, $30
CUPSHE Women's One Piece Swimsuit
CUPSHE Women’s One Piece Swimsuit, $28.99
Kate Spade Maggie
Kate Spade Maggie, $168

Nautical Stripe 

Did you know that the obsession with nautical-themed stripes has existed since 1917? Yep! There’s something about the stripe that invokes the need to be near the sea or a swanky New England party on a private island. It was also a favorite of the early Hollywood celebrities and Parisians alike. The only problem? The classical nautical stripe is horizontal. Today, however, designers have worked around that, understanding how unflattering it can be for everyday women. If you choose to go with the classic nautical striped shirt, keep the stripes super skinny, which is more flattering than the wider stripes when placed horizontally. 

Caslon Ballet Neck Top
Caslon Ballet Neck Top, $25
One Piece Nave Vintage Swimsuit
One Piece Nave Vintage Swimsuit, $20.99+
JCREW Bow scrunchie in stripe
JCREW Bow scrunchie in stripe, $16.50
Shoshanna Sailor Stripe Tunic Cover-Up
Shoshanna Sailor Stripe Tunic Cover-Up, $275
Talbots Wave Stripe Jacket
Talbots Wave Stripe Jacket, $79.50


In the past, botanical patterns were a more common staple in our wardrobe. However, tropical-leaf prints have almost completely eclipsed them when choosing a floral pattern. When it comes to tropical prints, there is graceful minimalism in both color and design. Regardless of which you prefer, steer away from the iconic, albeit clichéd Hawaiian shirt. 

Floerns Women's Palm Leaf Print Short Sleeve Summer Dress
Floerns Women’s Palm Leaf Print Short Sleeve Summer Dress, $24.99+
Aysekone 3 Pack Elastic Women's Tropical Beach Wind Summer Headbands
Aysekone 3 Pack Elastic Women’s Tropical Beach Wind Summer Headbands, $6.99
Molly Bracken Tropical Floral Print Dress
Molly Bracken Tropical Floral Print Dress, $78
MayBuy Women's Flowy Summer Chiffon Kimono
MayBuy Women’s Flowy Summer Chiffon Kimono, $14.77+
Talbots Bateau Jungle Neck Tee
Talbots Bateau Jungle Neck Tee, $44.50


Cherry is another vintage print that’s recently resurfaced. Our favorite way to use this print is in the accessories or a classic wardrobe staple like the button-down blouse. You can also add a whimsical item to your wardrobe to add some color and a dash of fun. Besides, who doesn’t love an excuse to wear cherry red lipstick?! 

Cherry Floral Maxi Dresses
Cherry Floral Maxi Dresses, $25.99+
Boden Modern Classic Print Shirt
Boden Modern Classic Print Shirt, $65
Talbots Cherry Jacquard Popover
Talbots Cherry Jacquard Popover, $89.50
Kate Spade Double Decker Cherry Canvas
Kate Spade Double Decker Cherry Canvas, $85


Rainbow isn’t so much a print as it is an intertwining of colors and is a huge trend via the modern, vertical stripe that will be everywhere this fall. However, in the summer, you can keep the rainbow of colors to a brighter, lighter mood – something that’s been missing in the last year. 

Altar'd State Lyla Rainbow Top
Altar’d State Lyla Rainbow Top, $59.95
JCREW Faux-wrap dress in rainbow gingham
JCREW Faux-wrap dress in rainbow gingham, $96.99
Anthropologie Rainbow Tiered Maxi Skirt
Anthropologie Rainbow Tiered Maxi Skirt, $158
Kurt Geiger Chelsea Raffia Tote
Kurt Geiger Chelsea Raffia Tote, $145
Talbots Linen Shell Top
Talbots Linen Shell Top, $79.50

Summer days lead to colorful patterns and bold prints– a welcome change after a dreary winter filled with days spent at home. So it’s the perfect time to kick up your wardrobe a bit with some fun clothing options and bright accessories. 

Read Next:

Best Comfortable Sandals for Summer

5 Cool Outfits to Wear This Summer