Club Tropicana

Club Tropicana

Club Tropicana

First published in Lifestyle

If you don't have a plane ticket booked for the tropics, get some exotic escapism via your closet.

No need to be shy, heady heatwave days are your window of opportunity to be a little bolder with pattern.

"Don't be afraid to experiment," says Rachel Davis, stylist for TK Maxx's Me. By Me. campaign. "Try out new prints that you love and make you feel great. Have fun before the sun disappears!"

Time to go totally tropical and say 'aloha' to summer's feel-good print.

PALM PERFECTION

One of the most contemporary ways to try out tropicals is with palm leaf prints. The bigger the palm, the bigger the statement.

Palm prints are usually planted on black or dark backgrounds, making them easier to pull off than traditional bright tropicals. Green palms on a white base will look crisp and fresh.

If you want to go a step further, try photographic-style prints of palm trees and pretend you're sipping cocktails on a sandy beach.

STYLING TIP: " It's all about proportions when you're playing with print," Davis advises. "If you go slouchy on top with your palms, keep the bottom half slim and tailored, or team a bold palm print skirt with a more fitted slimline top."

HOTHOUSE BLOOMS

The difference between country garden florals and tropical blooms is all about the colour palette. Opt for hot pinks, oranges and reds.

For a tropical twist on florals, pick a bright background like tomato red or cobalt blue, splashed with bold, monochromatic florals.

Hothouse blooms need a large surface area to create the biggest impact, making maxi dresses the perfect canvas. If you prefer separates, try a pair of tropical trousers or culottes that you can wear dressed down with flat sandals, or glammed up with heels.

STYLING TIP: "If you're petite, you can get away with a full-on print-on-print look," Davis advises. " Go bold and make a statement. Work either a matchy-matchy print or a clash - I love stripes teamed with floral tropical prints."

HAWAII HEAVEN

No longer the stuff of tourist shops, Hawaiian shirts have become a summer hit on the high street. Wear cropped and fitted for a more modern cut.

These prints are bold with a capital B. For a subtle hint of Hawaiian shirt, try a sleeveless blouse shape and wear buttoned up to the top to show off the print to the max.

Extend the hemline a few inches and try out a tropical print shirt dress. P ick out a black or navy base with bold florals for the ultimate figure flattery.

STYLING TIP: "Wear these tropicals with conviction - don't do it by half," suggests Davis. " If you're not quite bold enough, pare down the tropicals on your top half, by wearing a dark colour on your bottom half that tones in with the print."

GET THE LOOK

Make like Kate Middleton and brighten up for summer in a tomato red shift. Try Uta Raasch's coral dress, £125 at Peter Hahn - good enough to meet The Queen in (www.peterhahn.co.uk).

BUY IT NOW

Wear some contemporary bling with a conscience. Check out Wolf-and-Moon's new collaboration with CoppaFeel!, a breast awareness charity that aims to stamp out the late detection of breast cancer. The geometric designs include a necklace, £15, earrings, £15, or ring, £12, with 50% of sales donated to the cause. Available now at C oppafeel.org or Wolf-and-moon.com.

FASHION FLASH

:: I'M WITH THE BRAND

Women are prioritising brand names over style. H alf of women (51%) admit to wearing clothes they either don't like or didn't suit them, purely because of the label, according to a survey by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk. Wanting to look on-trend proved to be the most popular reason (57%), almost half (24%) sported branded clothing because their friends wore similar things, while 12% wanted to look 'expensive/wealthy'. It's estimated that, on average, label lovers have the equivalent of £312.50 worth of branded items that the wearer admitted to not personally liking but still wearing.

:: RECESSIONSITA ALERT

Get an uplifting trolley dash with George at Asda's £2.50 t-shirt bra. The sell-out lingerie has flown off the shelves with 102,000 sold in 10 days, equating to seven sold per minute. Though white is proving most popular with 25,000+ sold to date, the t-shirt bra is available in six colourways. The £2.50 bra is available in Asda stores and online at George.com.

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