Every season, without fail, there’s a breakout print that takes over our wardrobes. Last summer, it was all about tie-dye—in sweats, dresses, and more. During the summer of 2020, at-home tie-dye kits sold like hotcakes as people looked to busy themselves during lockdown. Groovy tie-dyes persisted in the recent spring 2021 collections too. Sportmax, Dior, Proenza Schouler, and more sent them down the runway.
This spring, meanwhile, checkerboard knits also took over, a graphic alternative to the hippie tie-dye. Brands like Tyler McGillivary, Erika Maish, and Paloma Wool all applied checkers onto knitted sweaters, dresses, and more. “It’s a very approachable pattern to learn with, and it’s obviously very pleasing to look at and wear,” Halima Mbwana, designer and founder of Lilliez, told Vogue.
Indeed, the breakout prints of this past year have embodied a joyful and maximalist spirit. And now that we’re entering an opened-up summer, this celebratory mood is persisting in fashion. It’s about time for a new exuberant print to dominate. Below, Vogue editors cast their votes and predict what the new breakout print of summer will be.
“I am long on gingham as the print of summer. Picnic plaids have never been more appealing as I (we) look to embrace the sweeter and softer side of summer. I also think it’s going to be popular as it really takes inspiration from homewares and nightgowns—both of which we’ve been surrounded by over the last year and a half. Perhaps it’s now spilled into our ready-to-wear and accessories too, thanks to Rodarte, Larroudé, and Altuzarra.” — Rickie De Sole, executive fashion director
“I’m obsessed with cheerful, picnic tablecloth gingham in all its old-fashioned Americana goodness. Laura Harrier wore gingham just this week, and Queen Letizia recently too. They make it chic.” — Janelle Okwodu, senior fashion writer
“I’m betting on Pucci-style prints! We saw them last summer as well, but I think the trippy, psychedelic, bright prints will only pick up this season as people start to go out again. What could be better to wear to your first party in a year?” — Sarah Spellings, fashion news editor
“I am a firm believer that psychedelic prints will take over this summer! From Raf Simons and Dries to Paloma Wool, these playful and groovy patterns have been popping up everywhere. The psychedelic-print trend is the perfect way to inject some color into a neutral wardrobe, and bonus points if you mix and match with other prints!” — Naomi Elizée, market editor
“For a summer of reemergence, love, and togetherness, it’s not surprising that we see a handful of late-’60s and ’70s-inspired florals across a handful of summer staples and modern silhouettes. And whether or not we can jet off to far-flung locales, the retro-inspired print seen on everything from crop tops, capris, miniskirts, short shorts, sundresses, and even bikinis are sure to take you on a trip.” — Madeline Fass, market editor
“While I’m a fully paid-up fan of a classic preppy knit, I’ve also been enjoying its more playful revival by some of my favorite designers this season—more specifically, with the return of the argyle check. My interest was first piqued by Grace Wales Bonner’s minimal take on the pattern for her fall 2021 collection, as well as the knit leggings from Prada’s spring 2021 collection, which translated the print into something softer and fuzzier. My favorite interpretation, though? I’d never have the chutzpah to pull it off, but Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s slinky, glittering Swarovski crystal vest is the most gloriously party-ready take on an argyle check you could possibly imagine.” — Liam Hess, contributing writer