Fit to Print: Graphic Frocks For Fashion Budgets of All Sizes

Leighton Meester, Jessica Szhor and Amanda Seyfried

Leighton Meester, Jessica Szhor and Amanda Seyfried

Eye-catching prints are the calling card of some of the fashion world’s most notable design houses. Think Pucci, DvF, Missoni and many others. But now more than ever, somber winter wardrobes are calling for a more lively makeover. We’ve spotted celebs wearing head-to-toe prints, and the Spring 2013 runways showcased an almost dizzying amount of in-your-face print. Make sure you’ve got your wallet handy, because we’ve got a handful of must-have dresses that aren’t just fit to print, they’re guaranteed to be the center of attention. And we’ve got them in two varieties: Wallet-busting and budget friendly. Read on!

Christopher Kane Printed silk crepe de chine dress

Christopher Kane Printed silk crepe de chine dress

Mellow Yellow

If you want to dip your toe into the trend or just try it on for size, the tea-length Christopher Kane Printed silk crepe de chine dress ($1,742) might just be the perfect fit. The loud print is sliced, diced and pieced back together for an origami-meets-decoupage effect that’s at once office appropriate and fashion forward. Throw on a tailored jacket and you can walk right into the boardroom. Shrug off your blazer and you’ll be bouncing from galleries to hotspots without a hitch.

Emma Cook Chiffon tunic dress in yellow majorette

Emma Cook Chiffon tunic dress in yellow majorette

Available at Net-a-porter.

Budget buy: The Emma Cook Chiffon tunic dress in yellow majorette, available at ASOS, mixes stripes, baroque flourishes and the same florescent colors as Kane’s creation. We’d recommend adding a belt.

Preen Wyatt printed silk crepe de chine maxi dress

Preen Wyatt printed silk crepe de chine maxi dress

Flower Power

Designers such as Preen and Mary Katrantzou have been putting prints on their wares since their brands’ beginnings, but in a season where everyone is cashing in on their niche, they’ve got to stand out in a crowd, even if it’s a kaleidoscopic one. Preen’s Wyatt dress ($1,300) is printed with a combo of bright blue hydrangea and bold stripes on the front and a features a surprising back that’s solid black. Coming or going, the floor-length gown makes a statement by combining a formal length with a not-so-formal T-shirt silhouette.

ASOS Midi Dress In Floral Print With Buttoned Waist

ASOS Midi Dress In Floral Print With Buttoned Waist

Available at Net-a-porter.

Budget buy: ASOS is known for off-the-runway looks at lower prices, so leave it to their in-house ASOS label to get in on the bold floral trend, too. Snag the ASOS Collection Midi dress ($71.91) and you’ll be big, bold and blooming with the best of them.

McQ Alexander McQueen Butterfly Camouflage printed cotton-blend twill dress

McQ Alexander McQueen Butterfly Camouflage printed cotton-blend twill dress

Camo Couture

The butterfly motif isn’t exclusive to certain American Idol judging divas, it’s also a house signature for Alexander McQueen. Few can forget the late designer’s amazing monarch butterfly headpieces, but the butterfly lives on in the McQ Alexander McQueen Butterfly camouflage print cotton-blend twill dress ($1,475). The more subdued hues of traditional camouflage get a make love, not war makeover with the McQ dress, which features a ruffled bustle, full skirt and allover butterfly print. A year-round wonder, this dress will take you from spring garden parties to fall’s fashion presentations while still garnering the attention of flashbulbs and fashion onlookers.

Ruby Rocks Tiger Print Dress

Ruby Rocks Tiger Print Dress

Available at Net-a-porter.

Bargain buy: While it might not be the exact print, the Ruby Rocks Tiger Print Dress ($27.13) features a similar bustle detail and earth tone hues as the McQ dress. Whether you see a faux bois motif or a tiger print, as ASOS suggests, it’s all up to you.

Peter Pilotto Che V printed stretch-silk twill dress

Peter Pilotto Che V printed stretch-silk twill dress

Color Chameleon

Go for broke with the Peter Pilotto Che V printed stretch-silk twill dress ($1,742), which throws together just about every color of the rainbow in a Native American sarape-meets-Missoni mashup that will take center stage no matter where you wear it. The dress might be small on size but it’s big on style from every single angle with its wraparound pattern and bright, brash colors. The print is anything but ethnic — look a little closer and you’ll see that while it looks Old World, it’s a completely perfect pixelated print that’s been drawn with computer precision. We say go simple with accessories when you wear this out, but with a dress this eye-catching, just about everything else is simple in comparison.

River Island Aztec Dress

River Island Aztec Dress

Available at Net-a-porter.

Bargain buy: River Island is the UK’s go-to for fast fashion for rock-bottom prices, so get the look of Pilotto’s new native with the label’s Aztec Dress ($42.39), which combines the same banded patterns in a more toned-down blend of burgundies, browns and greys. It’s even got the same easy sleeved silhouette.

Hervé Léger Cutout stretch-knit dress

Hervé Léger Cutout stretch-knit dress

Deco Diva

It’s rare to find an Hervé Legér dress that’s not form-fitting, but to make up for the lack of overt curve-hugging sex appeal in the Cutout stretch-knit dress ($2,490), Max Azria added a one-two punch of bright color and figure-flattering print. We feel a little Art Deco influence, though it came from a collection that was all about futurism. (In the future, Azria hopes women are all bombshells that wear bandage dresses to Whole Foods.) But, we presume this party dress will see more dance floors than deli counters.

French Connection Wild Fire Print Dress

French Connection Wild Fire Print Dress

Available at Net-a-porter.

Budget buy: For the same black, white and pink effect without the splurge (and the Spanx), grab for the French Connection Wild Fire Print Dress ($111.90), which bares your arms and your style skills. The loud, allover print is more animal than Art Deco, but the fit-and-flare silhouette and flirty colors that the two frocks share are one in the same.

Photos courtesy ASOS and Net-a-Porter.

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Author:Fashion Trends Daily Staff

Fashion Trends Daily Editors deliver the scoop on fashion, beauty, celebrity and runway trends.