Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trend Translation- Ethnic Prints

Every spring, the pages of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue take a vacation to exotic, far-off places like Africa, South America and the Mediteranean. The key to successfully pulling off an ethnic print is in getting the proportions right. A print that is too small looks fussy and less chic, more 1980's grandma. A print that is too small diminishes a Bombshell's curves - all you see is one big swatch of color. There's no need to be afraid of a colorful print. Just look for shapes and proportions like these: Torrid gets it right with their red Mediteranean puff sleeve print tunic. The geometric print covers the body uniformly, and is anchored by the red bands at the arms and under the bust. The button details and slit v-neck are stylish and draw the eye upward. Flash a little skin if you're going out, or put a camisole underneath if you don't want as much cleavage.
Sprintime calls for a transition jacket. Why not make it memorable with this earthy, neutral print trench? Whether you're topping jeans, trousers or a little black dress, pull it all together with this ultra-flattering, princess-seamed coat. I like the rounded collar that serves as a frame for your face. Some women are afraid that a printed jacket will be too obvious, especially since it'll be worn a lot. Turn the print into your trademark, and it's instant style. B and Lu's Carlyle skirt is a subtle nod to the ethnic trend. A rugged mesh liner peeks out of the bottom of the flounce hem adding a dimension of earthiness to the piece. Pair the skirt with a simple t-shirt and flip flops for bumming around on Saturday morning. Or dress it up with a blazer and gladiator sandals.

If you'd rather use accessories to add a little ethnic flair to your wardrobe, look for natural materials like hammered metals, wood, cotton and animal prints. Old Navy has some really fun accessories at great prices (less than $6!).

Photo credit: Torrid.com; Nordstrom.com; B and Lu.com; Old Navy.com

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