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August 2, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Make way for this fall’s new print trends, because color blocking and animal prints are so last season. According to Columbia style experts Erin Wagoner, owner of Swank Boutique; Cameron Niederhauser, blogger of The Midwestyle; and Ashley Morgan, assistant boutique manager at Francesca’s Collections, chevron, watercolor prints and micro polka dots are all on their way to becoming fall’s newest wardrobe staples.
Trend lovers can stay in the loop on emerging trends by previewing them online during New York Fashion Week in February and September for women’s fashion, or January and June for men’s fashion. Niederhauser suggests exploring lookbooks such as his favorite blog, Selectism.
“If you’re active and looking around for it, you can definitely find the footprints of these things as they begin to move forward,” Niederhauser says. “You can trace them into the new season.”
In fashion, chevron is emerging as a twist on traditional stripes, Morgan says. She’s seen this repeated zigzag pattern on dresses, bags and even stacked rings. As Marie Claire fashion director Nina Garcia tweeted, chevron’s diagonal stripes are “extremely slimming” and create an “instant hourglass figure.”
Although it might be time to leave tie-dye back in the ’70s where it belongs, color-lovers need not fret. The watercolor trend consists of colors that bleed into one another for a faded, watery effect.
“I’d describe it as a new form of tie-dye,” Morgan says. This artsy trend can be found on clothing items such as flowing chiffon tops and bold printed pants.
Looking forward in men’s fashion, Niederhauser says, “polka dots have made this weird kind of resurgence.” The spots are being minimized and are trending especially in men’s shirts, he says. Checkered patterns are also shrinking in size, GQ reported. The magazine suggests combining a polka-dot tie and checkered shirt, or vice versa, as long as one is dark and the other is light.
Mixing different patterns isn’t just for menswear but anyone who is adventurous enough to try it. Although menswear is sticking with micro prints, women’s fashion is going for bolder ones. Wagoner says some garments already have mixed graphics on them, such as a geometric design dress with floral beading on the bodice. When the patterns don’t come pre-mixed, Wagoner advises customers to stay away from juxtaposing prints that are too similar to avoid clashing.