Blues, greens and fluid patterns dominated spring runway shows this year, as designers revealed their own take on the “watercolor” trend. Colors inspired by the sun – subtle yellows and muted oranges – also appeared in some collections, and this season, the overall aesthetic is one of simple elegance and a breezy, laid-back style.

So how do you wear watercolor – and what accessories work best with this look? Read on to find out.

Fabrics as art

When you’re wearing a Theyskens’ Theory silk mini dress you won’t want your accessories to detract from the beauty of the soft marbled pattern. Choose a simple clutch in a solid color and add a few bracelets and solid-color pumps to complete this look. For a more casual look, you can’t go wrong with simple silver ballet flat or neutral jute sandal.

If you’re rocking a two-tone design, like the sky-inspired print in Michael Kors’ turquoise-and-white shirt dress, you can add a single contrasting color with your handbag and accessories for a fresh daytime feel.

Shoes that shine

While long dresses and unusual patterns were the showstoppers on runways this spring, shoes feature some of the same designs, offering pattern-shy women a way to add watercolor to their wardrobes.

If an overall watercolor pattern is too much color for you, try a wedge sandal in a fun, floral print. Pick a hue in the same palette for the rest of your outfit, and complete the look with a few bangles that have simple lines. Adding too much jewelry can weigh-down the otherwise airy look of watercolors.

Cool and casual

If flowing fabrics, silk pumps and maxi dresses aren’t your style, you can still get in on the watercolor craze. When you’re heading to the park or a springtime picnic, you can wear a pair of watercolor-print sneakers like the “Watercolor Authentic Slim” shoe, from Vans. Or wear your favorite T-shirt with a pair of Guess skinny jeans, in watercolor-inspired pastels or bold digital print. You’ll also find swimsuits and wraps in watercolor prints – which, naturally, look great poolside or on the beach.

While watercolor-inspired design has been seen in past seasons, this year’s hottest looks feature fresh silhouettes that suit almost any body type. Fabrics often appear to be floating on a current of air, or rippling like water, adding a sense of drama and movement. Just remember that when accessorizing these colorful patterns, simplicity is best.

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