Every spring you can bet there will be an influx of new season floral – a myriad of blooms to celebrate warmer days in and your femininity.
Of course looking feminine doesn’t mean you have to look ‘girly’, in fact with so many fabric and fashion options available floral can fit into your wardrobe beautifully, no matter your style preference.
Floral is also one of the most versatile fashion pieces to have – you can mix and match separates and accessories to suit any occasion – for both day or night – plus have an array of colour options to pull from, preferably those that compliment or match the hues within your floral fabric.
The main thing to remember when wearing ‘busy’ patterns is to not over complicate your separates or accessories (unless your a super confident dresser) – block colours and plain designs will always be the safest, most flattering option; that being said here are our styling tips on ‘ways to wear floral’…
Corporate wear should evoke professionalism, confidence and style; the ‘right’ floral outfit will add a nice touch of femininity but still leave no doubt who’s boss.
- Opt for floral pieces that are structured – classic designs in fabrics that aren’t too sheer or too tight.
- Simple or muted colour combinations work better in a corporate world; not only will they be easier to co-ordinate, you also wont have to worry about your clients focusing on your clothes instead of you.
- A dress or two piece floral outfit/suit is certainly dynamic but a contrasting shirt, jacket, coat and/or belt, depending on what you’re wearing, is a great way to break up the monotony of full body pattern.
- Block coloured separates are easy favourites to pair with floral but don’t be afraid to try a contrasting print, like polka-dots or stripes or even a different floral (preferably with a larger or smaller print than your ‘hero’ piece) in a complimentary colour,
- Match shoe and/or bag colours with one of the colours in your floral pattern or play it safe with nude or neutral hues.
- If you’re short of stature favour heels, as a busy print can make you look even shorter.
Designers (left to right): Banana Republic | Oscar de la Renta | Holly Fulton | Kate Spade | Banana Republic
Wearing floral ‘casually’ is simply a matter of dressing the garment down.
- Mix and match floral separates, even dressier garments, with casual attire like faded jeans, shorts, t-shirts or knits for example.
- Floral dresses or skirts in a maxi or mini length are casual favourites, but always pick a length that best suits your legs.
- Play with colour – the bolder and brighter the better – casual dressing should be fun.
- If you like bold floral but are too shy to wear it, then accessorise a plain ensemble with a floral over-the-shoulder handbag or large tote.
- Denim or plain coloured linen jackets, cardigans and on-trend kimonos make for great cover-ups.
- Complete your casual floral look with flats, sandals, sneakers or casual wedges.
Designers (left to right): Kate Spade | Dondup | J. Crew | Eascada | Polo Ralph Lauren
Street fashion is all about self-expression, so get creative with your floral options.
- Opt for fashion forward designer floral pieces or take your stylist eye to the op shops.
- Be eclectic with your fabric choices – try abstract, photographic or 3D floral fabrics for example.
- Play with contrasting prints, colours, textures and layers – remember rules were meant to be broken.
- For street ‘cool’ combine your floral piece/s with leather or denim separates.
- Go for accessories – bags, shoes and jewellery – that are cutting edge, quirky and/or designer must-haves.
Designers (left to right): J Crew | Clover Canyon | Parsons MFA | Monique Lhuillier | Libertine
Bohemian dressing is carefree and relaxed; wearing floral with an ethnic/hippie flavour is the perfect way to express your inner boho.
- Go retro boho with classic neutral hued floral or channel an ethnic Indian or Arabic boho vibe with vibrant colours – ideal for
- Maxi dresses and full-length skirts are great boho staples. You also can’t go wrong wearing a baby doll dress and the odd kaftan.
- Tees, tanks, peasant tops plus other loose style tops/blouses work well in a boho wardrobe.
- Go for floral pants with a loose or relaxed fit such as a wide leg or harem style.
- The best, and most authentic, boho separates to pair with your floral garment/s are any made from leather (faux options are fab too), suede or denim – the more lived-in the better.
- Long length cardigans, kimonos, and of course faded denim, leather and suede vests and/or jackets are great boho cover-ups.
- Accessorise your look with layered ethnic jewellery and soft style bags.
- Pair your boho outfit with strappy flats – gladiator styles are particularly on trend for S/S 15-16 – or go for a classic cowboy or earthy coloured suede boot (tassels optional).
Designers (left to right): Ulla Johnson | Coach | Valentino | Tommy Hilfiger | Temperley London
2015 and 2016 see’s a significant revival of fashion and floral designs that pay homage to the 60s and 70s.
- Get your 60s floral vibe on, by favouring large or oversized prints in vibrant colours; or take a leaf out of the mid to late 70s, which had a broader range of floral prints, and opt for smaller floral in earthy or pastel hues.
- Causal you floral down with denim or suede – these were popular fabrics in the late 60s and throughout the 70s.
- Mix and match garments with modern pieces or stay authentic with head to toe retro.
- When wearing floral tops or bottoms pair them with a retro inspired garment in a block colour e.g. a slim fit floral blouse with a tan suede mini skirt.
- If you prefer a non-floral garment, then wear floral accessories instead – even a simple flower in the hair will be on point.
- Look to celebrity and fashion icons of the 60s-70s for styling inspiration with current retro inspired trends, such as…
Jackie O – sleeveless shift/sundresses and full-skirt dresses, straight cut knee length skirts, boxy cropped jackets, cape/swing coats and large framed sunglasses.
Bridget Bardot & Audrey Hepburn – capri pants, fitted cardigans and knits, shoestring bodice tops, biker jackets (Bardot), trench coats, headscarves (Bardot) and ballet flats.
Mary Quant & Twiggy – mini skirts and mini dresses in A-line, shift or baby-doll styles.
Farah Fawcett – fitted blouses, wide leg pants, blazers, wrap dresses, pantsuits and jumpsuits and mules.
Ali McGraw – midi and maxi skirts and dresses, peasant/boho tops, kaftans, tunics, maxi coats and knee length boots.
PS. If you can’t find the retro garments or accessories you covet in fashion stores, then head to the op shops instead.
Designers (left to right): Alice & Olive | Daks | Orla Kiely | Rebecca Taylor | Barbara Tfank
Dress to impress in floral evening wear – the perfect blend of elegance and glamour for a night out.
- Think luxury floral fabrics in satin, silk, chiffon, organza, velvet, taffeta, brocade and lace.
- Add extra wow factor with 3D, embroidered, metallic or embellished floral detail.
- For versatility (and a higher probability of wearing it again) you can’t go wrong with evening separates:
Tops – pair with a gorgeous skirt in a length suited to the occasion (and your legs) or if you’d rather wear the pants, favour a wide leg, cigarette or tuxedo pant – with or without a matching tailored jacket.
Pants and skirts – high waisted pants and skirts look great with a crop or bandeau top. Wide leg pants and full skirts are better matched with a slim fit blouse, top, tunic or bodice, and fitted pants and skirts can be worn with both slim fit or looser top options.
- Keep accessories simple in design, and consider their size and finish – they should enhance your outfit not distract from it.
- Garments that show off your waist can be highlighted further with an embellished, or metallic belt.
- Select heels in a colour or metallic complimentary to your fabric. Patent nude heels are also a good option.
Tip: Keep your look classy and more tantalising by showcasing just ‘one’ of your favourite assets i.e. great bust – plunging neckline; great legs – short skirt; great arms – sleeveless tops etc.
Designers (left to right): Badgley Mischka | Bibhu Mohapatra | Blumarine | Tommy Hilfiger | Monique Lhuillier
PS. The fashion images showcased in this post are Spring 2016 fashion collections, with a little 2016 Resort wear thrown in for good measure, from vogue.com. We thought a heads-up on what will be in fashion next year may help you make floral choices now that can see you through to the following year as well.
For help in selecting the right floral prints and clothing styles to suit your body type check out the following post links….
Fashion Tips for a Hourglass Body
Fashion Tips for a Round Body
Fashion Tips for a Rectangle Body Shape
Fashion Tips for a Triangle Body Shape
Fashion Tips for an Inverted Triangle Shape