The vast majority of the dresses I own are solid colors-- I have a bit of a fear of prints. But I'm trying to mix it up, maybe with some florals, geometrics, or painterly prints.
I think a good way to ease into this world of prints is with a skirt. An bold skirt is easy to play down with a solid fitted top, so you don't have to worry about looking like your Grandma's couch. I really like this Ecote Silky Watercolor Skirt, $58, from Urban Outfitters. The wide band at the waist helps disguise any possible food babies, and the circle cut of the skirt gives it a fun 50's vibe. The print, of course, is a hipper take on demure florals--the watercolor effect is very arty.
Is the sort of dress that I own 8 times over in solid shades--cap sleeve, jersey, v-neck, empire waist, mid-thigh length. Also from Urban Outfitters, the Kimchi Blue Print V-Neck Dress, $58, has all of my favorite features but also a great vintage-like print. I love the swirls and swoops of the vines.
The Sunner Vanderbilt dress, $97, reminds me of two things I like very much: Blue Crush and this Proenza Schouler for Target dress. I think the fuchsia hibiscus flowers would look sort of ridiculous in New York (especially in February), but if I lived someplace with palm trees I would definitely rock this dress. The big ruffle sleeves are a fun contrast to the very simple cut of the body of the dress, and shiny teal silk is always a fun choice.
I really like this printed dress because it's not entirely printed--the solid portions work as a nice palate cleanser. It's available from Modcloth for $54.99 in a small, or Lulu's for $48 in a large. I like the Lulu's name better-- Iris Eyes Are Smiling--so I'm using their photo. I also like how the dress is made of two distinct parts, because sometimes, if a print is too overwhelming, you kind of look like a giant blob of colors.
If you're feeling really bold, try this Fred Flare Painterly Leighton dress, $64. Part eighties, part MOMA, completely fierce. The banded waist and tank top shape make it easy to wear, but be sure to keep your accessories super minimal.
This is definitely my favorite printed dress: from Corey Lynn Calter, the Tamara Pleated Tank Dress, $209, is ladylike in a completely fresh way. The paint-splattered spots are super fun, and you know I go crazy for accordian pleats. I also appreciate how the gold waist sash is included, since it's essential to dress like this. I want to wear this entire outfit on every first day I go on, from now until the end of time.