Tropic Thunder

The approach of summer always puts us in the mood to travel, preferably to far-flung, exotic locales abundant with ocean views and palm trees. Though our budgets may not always allow us to fulfil these dreams, thankfully we've found comfort in the array of tropical-inspired clothes and accessories featured in today's story. This Look We Love steers clear of touristy, cheesy Hawaiian-print pieces, and instead spotlights au courant picks that pack a powerful tropical punch!

On The Runway
We were thrilled to find that, like us, a number of designers had island fever as well while designing their S/S 12 collections. For example, at the Blumarine show, designer Anna Molinari's vivid Dress ($2670) is swathed in a lively fuchsia floral print against a tangerine-coloured sheath. Paired with statement flower earrings, the look is unapologetically bright and bold! Albert Ferretti showed a similarly jungle-inspired look--the Printed Silk Crepe De Chine Dress ($1175, 310.652.9000) accompanied by a Beaded Bag ($1950, 310.652.9000)--on the runway. This rendition, a loud, splashy print in a slinky, multicolored number, is slightly more abstract yet still exudes an unmistakably tropical feel. While Blumarine and Alberta Ferretti opted for attention-grabbing patterns, Dries Van Noten and Thakoon Addition aimed for low-key looks. The former dressed up the Cassim + Black Collar Top (price upon request, 212.753.7300) and palm frond-printed Perfect Shorts ($580, 212.753.7300) with the Rue Sweater Vest ($1665, 212.753.7300); the look is ideal for a city slicker who wants to inject a little tropical 'tude into her wardrobe! For the latter, however, designer Thakoon Panichgul channeled a stylish surfer vibe, styling the Terry Cloth Maui Sweatshirt ($290) with the Moire Print Cross Back Jumper ($380). The result is an ensemble at once youthful and quite chic!

On The Red Carpet & Street
As one of the season's bolder trends, tropical prints certainly look right at home on the runway. But after spotting Brooklyn Decker in tasteful tropical attire, we're quite certain it's an ideal off-the-catwalk look for spring as well! Take, for example, Decker's brightly coloured dress, a mix of femininity and edginess. The actress attended a Hollywood soiree in late February sporting Altuzarra's Printed Silk V-Neck Dress With Leather Hem ($1800) from the S/S 12 collection. Black leather detailing lends the printed frock a cool, modern appeal. Decker also cleverly streamlined the rest of her look, wearing only a pair of white cutout shoes to keep the focus on her splashy frock! We're also quite fond of our street style inspiration's outfit: a tailored blazer worn over a palm frond-printed button-down and matching skirt, teamed with oversized sunglasses and strappy heels. We think the final look is appropriate for your 9-to-5 and injects your typical work wear with some island infusion!

Get The Look/Bold Pieces
If you're tantalized by tropical prints and eager to fully embrace the look, we've gathered up several on-trend pieces for you to try. Take, for example, Stella McCartney's Hawaiian-Print Cotton-Sateen Top ($985). Though earlier we mentioned the importance of avoiding touristy Hawaiian-print tops, this version is quite the exception! Featuring an exotic tropical pattern of flowers, palm trees, and a soothing seascape, the shirt is perfect paired with slim white jeans for casual daywear or dressy shorts for an evening out! We also love the versatility of Zoe Karssen's Palm Tree Printed Cotton-Blend Sweatshirt ($155). The quirky sweater is certainly a casual piece, so it goes well with your favourite worn-in cutoffs, but we also love the idea of combining it with brightly coloured jeans. Quiksilver's Original Aloha Shorts ($55) in Sand are an excellent addition to the palm frond theme. The board shorts, in a vibrant red and taupe palette, serve as relaxed beach attire, but a silky button-down top would easily dress them up as well. If you seek a tropical-inspired dress, we've got you covered with Zara's Printed Caftan ($80). The multicolored floral motif adds just the right touch of colour and visual intrigue to the frock's loose, laid-back silhouette. In fact, all you need to complete the look is a pair of colourful heels!

Get The Look/Subtle Suggestions
Of course, if your island fever isn't quite so scorching, there are subtler ways of introducing the trend into your daily rotation. Since a perfectly primed face is always in style, whether or not you're on vacation, we recommend picking up Tarte's Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer ($30). The primer possesses natural fruit-and-plant derived extracts (so it's very appropriate for today's story!), and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. We also selected two accessories in an of-the-moment colour--bright yellow--that exude an understated island vibe, and lend themselves well to bolder tropical pieces too! Mar Y Sol's Ariel Clutch ($79) is crafted from lightweight raffia, one of our favourite summery materials, while Forever 21's Flip-up Wayfarer Sunglasses ($6) in Neon Yellow are a wallet-friendly way of boosting your look with a pop of colour. For more literal takes on the trend, we suggest Juicy Couture's Parrot Ring ($68) in Multi, a fun, bright bauble that adds instant charm to your ensemble, or Charlotte Olympia's Isla Palm Leaf Suede and Leather Sandals ($1075). These splurge-worthy suede and leather kicks feature a cool palm leaf design and contrasting flamingo pink heels, making them one of the most glamorous tropical picks we've seen yet!--Tiffany Tse

Dries van Noten runway photo; courtesy of Dries van Noten; Alberta Ferretti runway photo, courtesy of Alberta Ferretti; Thakoon Addition runway photo, courtesy of Thakoon Addition; Blumarine runway photo, courtesy of Blumarine; street style photo, courtesy of Stockholm Street Style; photo of Brooklyn Decker, courtesy of Getty Images.