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Fashion & Beauty

The Shopper: Tropical Punch

Rebecca Taylor mixed print silk dress, $595 at Neiman Marcus (5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-966-9700).Emilio Pucci cork wedge, $595 at www.net-a-porter.com. Accessories, from left: Mad Imports
Rebecca Taylor mixed print silk dress, $595 at Neiman Marcus (5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-966-9700).Emilio Pucci cork wedge, $595 at www.net-a-porter.com. Accessories, from left: Mad Imports "Gigi" clutch, $75 at Proper Topper (3213 P St. NW; 202-333-6200). Dresses, from left: Donna Morgan linen shift, $135 at Betsy Fisher (1224 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-785-1975).Felix Rey for Target canvas tote, $34.99 at Target stores. Mad Imports "Chelsea" clutch, $73 at Proper Topper.Trina Turk "Baltra" silk dress, $368 at www.trinaturk.com.Day Birger et Mikkelsen "Ocean" sandals, $200 at www.net-a-porter.com; Matthew Williamson for H& M scarf, $24.99 at H& M stores. (By Julia Ewan -- The Washington Post)
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

What's more appropriate for the hot, sticky days of June than a splashy, tropical-print frock that brings to mind island vacations and cold, fruity cocktails? This summer's staples are fun and floral, as expected, but they're a far cry from Hawaiian shirts and hula girl-y accessories -- this time, the vibe is Polynesian, but with a bit of Palm Springs panache.

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To pull off this summery-chic style, focus on clean lines and grown-up prints. "Look for structure and tailoring to give the pieces a polished appearance," says Betsy Fisher, owner of the eponymous boutique in Dupont Circle. "That will take it so many places, from a party to a work environment. With some of these bigger prints, the lines of a dress can calm them and contain them."

Add warm-weather (and budget-friendly) elegance to a work wardrobe with Donna Morgan's leaf-print cowl neck shift, or freshen up a classic linen suit with Mad Imports' handmade straw clutch or Pucci's towering cork wedges. Channeling your inner beach bunny? Rebecca Taylor's breezy patchwork maxi dress and Matthew Williamson's giant swirl-print scarf convey just the right amount of youthful yet understated verve -- perfect for a seaside getaway or a neighborhood luau.

-- Holly E. Thomas


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