Best Ways to Wear The Patchwork and Color Block Trends This Summer

I think we’ve all noticed how the styles of the past always come back; some to haunt us and some that are quite fashionable and redeemable. To be completely honest, the spring trend that I want to talk about this time can run a fine line between both of those. How do you feel about the patchwork and color block trends for summer?

The Patchwork and Color Block Trends

I personally like the color block trend. I think it can be incredibly stylish and chic if done correctly. As far as patchwork goes, I think if you find an elevated option, you can definitely make it work. Both of these summer fashion trends most recently came back from the now super-popular 90s style resurgence. Like other trends from the 90s, I personally am not super into them, because I lived through them the first time. However, this is still a fun summer fashion trend for those who loved it before and want to revisit it now that they are over 40 and their style has evolved.

Trends from the Runways

This patchwork trend was actually all over the runways for 2021 and I must say it was done in the best way. Look at the Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer ready-to-wear show. The patchwork designs were tailored to perfection and constructed with the finest textiles including chiffon, brocade and fine cottons. I would were almost any piece from that collection. I also loved the earthy tones and lux looking fabrics from the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection. The patchwork and color block trends were so elevated in this collection, they are the perfect inspiration for how to wear this trend when you are over 40. It’s a great idea to look to runways for inspiration because there are so many excellent examples of these trends from the spring 2021 ready-to-wear collections. 

Wearing Patchwork And Color Block Trends for Spring/Summer 

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Your key to taking on this trend is to not try to style it like the previous iterations or younger generations. This is a new trend for them, as they did not live through it the first time, so they are going all in! It’s best for the rest of us over 40 to dabble in this trend and keep it looking mature, stylish and chic. Keep it simple and start with shoes. You’ll be super on trend with these Merrell Multi Color Sneakers. You can wear them with virtually anything. You can also rock the patchwork trend in your shoes by wearing these Patchwork Era Vans. I envision wearing them with a pair of lightweight beige linen pants and a boxy white silk t-shirt; the epitome of a trendy spring outfit. 

For the color block trend in apparel, you can try something sporty like this Misguided Poplin Shirt Dress. This is exactly how I would wear this trend for the spring. I appreciate that the colors are muted but the color block pattern still gives you a bold look. Just pair it with sneakers and you have a trendy and comfortable spring outfit that is easy and comfortable. If you are more of a flower child at heart and want to go with the patchwork trend, how about this patchwork Adassa Tunic Spring Dress?  You can finish the look off by going bare legged and pairing it with some earthy leather sandals and gold statement earrings. I’m not one to really love the patchwork options out there, but this one is very nicely executed and I’d be much more inclined to try this summer trend with a dress like this!

Expert Style Tips

  1. Elevate this trend. This patchwork trend is fun, youthful and colorful but if you are not mindful of how you work this trend into your wardrobe, it could come off as looking too quirky. My advice is to take one piece that represents this trend and then keep everything else simple. Pair your piece with simple silhouettes and neutrals to keep it from looking like you just graduated from Clown College.
  2. Make the best choice. If you have to choose between going high or low with this trend, I would suggest going high if your budget allows. This trend can tend to look cheap if you go the bargain route. A well-made or well-tailored piece will definitely be the better option. If you want to try this summer trend, splurge on a spring dress like this Rosalina Patchwork Maxi Dress from Anthropologie. The details are beautiful and the colors are rich. Quality is key when it comes to this trend. 
  3. You don’t have to go with crazy colors. Muted colors also work well with this trend. I fell in love with this Color Block Pleated Midi Skirt, which is minimal with just the black and white colors. Pairing it with a brightly-colored solid top and some simple sandals will make for the perfect spring outfit. 
  4. Lean into the boho look. This spring trend skews heavily on boho chic, if you opt for the patchwork option. One thing that I love about the boho trend is that it can be free flowing. Throw on a loose tunic, dress or pair of wide leg pants to keep you stylish and cool in the summer. This trend is fun, so embrace it! 
  5. Know your audience and stay in your comfort level. We don’t need to try and compete with the younger crowd. Stay true to your personal style and find what patchwork and color block options work for you. If it’s something like a pair of fun sandals, like these Steve Madden Multi Colored Platform Sandals paired with a simple black dress, then own your personal style and go for it!

What are your thoughts on the patchwork and color block spring summer trends? 

Shop The Trends for Summer

Merrell Women’s Alpine Multicolor Sneakers, $90

Vans Meadow Patchwork Era, $45

Missguided Poplin Shirt Dress, $45

Rosalinda Patchwork Maxi Dress, $228

Soft Surroundings Women Adassa Tunic, $140

Express High Waisted Pleated Color Block Midi Skirt, $74.99


Charming Charlie Zipper Closure Colorblock Tote, $40

Steve Madden Reserved-S Studded Multicolor Platform Sandals, $69.99

From The Runway: Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2021 RTW and Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood  Spring 2021 RTW

– Carmen Turner

You may like to read more of Carmen’s trends posts like How To Wear Kimonos When Staying In And Going Out and What is The Gorpcore Trend and How to Wear It Over 40.

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