Q&A: How to Pull Off Spring’s Floral Fashion Trend
By Erin Donnelly
Q: Floral prints have invaded my favorite boutiques this season. I like the look, but I’m worried that I’ll end up looking like a piece of moving wallpaper. I also want to avoid looking too young or cutesy. Any tips?
A: Just because your name’s not Gisele doesn’t mean you can’t pull off spring’s flower trend with ease; you just have to find the right bloom for you. Read on for tips and wardrobe essentials that’ll help you embrace your inner flower child.
Flaunt Your Assets. Wearing a floral print—or any bold graphic print, really—is going to draw attention, so make sure that spotlight is focused on the body parts you want to show off. If you’ve got a bottom half to die for, try pairing a floral skirt—Karen Kane’s cheerful Printed Pleated Skirt (shown) is a great choice—with a simple tank or tee. On the other hand, if you want to keep those thighs under wraps, wear a floral top (like Miss Davenporte’s Short Sleeve Print Blouse) paired with dark bottoms to draw attention upwards.
Prints Charming. When you’re trying on florals in the dressing room, ask yourself this: Does this remind me of a Holiday Inn bedspread? If the answer is yes, put it in your “no” pile immediately. It’s also important to take your body shape into account. Big and bold floral prints—like the Romany Flower Dress from Anthropologie—may work on tall supermodel-esque frames, but they’re not suitable for petite women or larger body types. If you fall into either of those categories, opt for a smaller, more subdued print that won’t overwhelm your body: I love this delicate BCBG Max Azria Watercolor Mums Satin Dress (shown).
Don’t Mix and Match. Yes, Sienna Miller and the high-end fashion designers may feel bold enough to mix and match their prints, pairing florals with stripes and such, but this tactic can often backfire in a big way. Best case scenario, you’re a quirky bohemian goddess. Worst case scenario, you’re a bag lady who got dressed in the dark. Instead, play it safe with one—just one—floral piece worn with solids that complement, not compete. Doing this will also help ground the outfit, so you don’t look like you’ve just stepped out of an issue of “Better Homes and Gardens.” Note how this Ann Taylor Loft Floral Print Ruffle Front Top (shown) works with a solid green cardigan and high-waist jeans; the look is feminine but not frou-frou.
Just Say No to Hippie Skirts. If you’re going to go with a floral-print skirt, look for styles that stop at the knee. Anything longer has a tendency to look a bit too Woodstock-meets-“Little House on the Prairie.”
Have a question? Email Erin here.
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