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Tropical Punch

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.

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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