This year, we’re all about expressing ourselves. That’s why it’s no surprise that the prints and patterns strutting down the runways and in retail aren’t shy. However, there’s a print for everyone even if they are shy, so no one gets left out. These expressive prints work on both apparel, from crop tops to hoodies to joggers, to accessories like hats and bags.

I drew inspiration from the runways, fashion blogs, and social media influencers to list some of the top prints and patterns we’ll be seeing everywhere (and wearing and decorating) as the weather heats up.

Animal Prints

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Stripes, such as zebra and tiger stripes, are currently having their moment. (Style: Dyenomite 200TS) | Credit: S&S Activewear

While animal prints aren’t new, this trend always transcends and always evolves. For 2022, although leopard isn’t as dominant as it’s been in the past, it’s still a mainstay and has become a new neutral. We are also seeing stripes have their moment, such as zebra and tiger stripes. Zebra stripes have a wide appeal because it’s a very minimalist and wearable pattern, with a neutral color palette that flatters almost everyone. You’ll also see abstract takes on zebra and tiger stripes, for those of us who don’t want to wear the trend too literally.

If you’re a little more daring, you might like the on-trend cowhide print, which goes with everything and gets you and your customer those second glances. Animal prints work on apparel, from T-shirts to leggings, and on accessories, like scarves, bags, and totes, so don’t be shy about showing those to your clients.

Although it might be hard to find these kinds of prints on wholesale apparel, you can always add them onto blanks as a design element for your clients.

Abstract Prints

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It’s time to get adventurous with bold, freeing abstract prints. (Style: Flexfit 6277) | Credit: S&S Activewear

It’s time to get adventurous with the bold, freeing abstract prints and patterns we’re enjoying on the runway. It’s almost like visiting an art gallery! Gabriela Hearst and Givenchy debuted swirly, psychedelic prints, and Isabel Marant and Paco Rabanne embraced sunset-hued tones in their knits.

While these prints do have a Flower Child vibe, this season’s looks are refreshingly modern, with interesting shapes and proportions. Bright, bold prints can elevate a mood, so show off apparel and accessories to your clients with bold vibes or events where they want to make a lasting, positive impression.

Basic Black and White

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Contrasting black-and-white designs are anything but basic. (Style: adidas A480) | Credit: S&S Activewear

To balance out the bright, bold prints, we’ll be seeing contrasting black-and-white designs that are anything but basic or boring. Fashion houses like Missoni, Balenciaga, Carolina Herrera and Comme des Garçons showcased graphic black-and-white stripes and polka dots (echoing the popularity of this season’s zebra print). These prints also have a touch of the ‘70s disco glam and ‘80s dots, which offer a retro feel to very up-to-date prints. Like our other prints, these look great on apparel or a statement accessory piece like a hat or bag.

Fabulous Florals

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Florals don’t need to be sweet or super-granny. (Style: Imperial DNA010)

Florals don’t need to be sweet or super-granny, and this season’s blooms are anything but that. We’re loving brands like The Vampire’s Wife and 16Arlington as they debuted fresh, bright springlike prints that pair perfectly with a cowhide bag or hat. We’re also seeing darker, moody florals that fit a more dramatic flow. Once again, when you’re deciding what prints to pitch to your clients, it’s all about tapping into their brand culture and the experience they want to create for their employees, customers, event attendees, or fans.

Mod Prints

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Mod prints are still hot this season. (Style: Independent Trading Co. IND4000) | Credit: S&S Activewear

Last, but certainly not least, mod prints are still hot this season. These bolder (and bolder) prints mix the ‘60s with Y2K, so you may see motifs that go near the dizzying point. The good news? There are a lot of options out there, so you can find one to match your clients’ speed. Plus, nodding to the 2000s, plaid is back in a variety of tones, from punk to prep to polished, from designers like Dior and Jil Sander. So, have fun with throwback prints and patterns!

Poppin’ Prints and Patterns

This year is all about self-expression from the colors, prints, and patterns we choose to wear. That’s why showcasing apparel and accessories with tiger stripes, brushstrokes, geometric shapes, or fun and funky floral prints will make your sales presentations a favorite.

These prints and patterns are ones to watch and pitch to your clients right now, for the spring and summer 2022 season.