Thursday, June 12, 2014

Can Anyone Wear Floral Prints?

You really can't swing a dead handbag these days without finding racks and racks and RACKS of floral garments, bags and jewelry.  Normally, there are always at least some floral items available at any time of the year, but this summer it seems that it's easily the dominant theme.

And many of us are wondering if this is something we should consider; is this a trend that's worth pursuing?  Good question...

It's important to remember that there are a wide variety of floral prints, and you might want to evaluate the options before you discard the whole idea of flowers.  Consider these various views of the "floral" theme:

For many of us, this is what we consider when we think of floral - big, glorious, fabulous flowers strewn about...

traditional floral prints in garments and accessories
Dress – Dorothy Perkins, tee shirt – Dorothy Perkins,  tank top – Dorothy Perkins,
 earrings – Modcloth, bracelet – Overstock,  scarf – Dolce & Gabbana
Bag – Dolce & Gabbana

 Or the second most frequent incarnation is the soft, pretty, infinitely flattering floral that so often includes pink, and a soft focus, and fluid fabrics.

soft and feminine floral prints in garments and accessories
Draped top – Samya, cami – Oasis, cardigan – Salvatore Ferragamo
earrings – Mizuki, lace bracelet – Krista R., scarf – Scervino Street
bag – Ted Baker

But there are floral that have much more of an exotic feel to them, and a warmer color scheme. 

warm hued floral printed garments and accessories
dress – Izabel Londontank top – Dorothy Perkinsscarf – Ferragamobracelet
 – Sasithon Saisuk, earrings – Betsey Johnson, bag – Patricia Nash
skirt – Isabel Marant

The floral idea can also be played out in a strictly monochromatic way.  The denim tone-on-tone is available in shorts, tops, and a dress - I think it's a great way to include floral in a subtle and not too dressy way.  And the silver etched jewelry is a timeless expression of the floral motif...
monochromatic floral prints in clothing and accessories
Embroidered top – Linea Weekend, denim dress – Dorothy Perkins
camisole – Dorothy Perkins, earrings – Buccellati, bracelet – Allurez, scarf – 
Valentino, Bag – Dolce & Gabbana

And let us not forget that the 60's were chock full of great floral prints that don't have a bit of delicacy about them.  One piece like this could get a lot of mileage and show that you're in touch with all that is current.
sixties mod floral prints in garments and accessories
Tee shirt - Dorothy Perkins, Sleeveless top – Marni, skirt – People Tree
bracelet – Sole Society, earrings – Kate Spade, scarf – Mulberry
bag – Joanna Maxham

But when it's all said and done, if none of these floral hold real, serious appeal for you, don't do it.  You can't be dictated to by any trend...

Looking Back:

2011 - I share with you A Tale of Two Tee Shirts.

2013 - It important to feel that Your Closet > Your Favorite Store.



  1. Who says florals have to be small, busy, or colorful? My favorite florals are nearly architectual black lines on cream, or highly abstract brush strokes.

  2. I usually avoid floral patterns myself. However, I found this top that has an floral silhouette and it works for me:

  3. The tone on tone florals are beautiful; such a lovely way to incorporate the floral motif in a subtle way.

  4. This reminds me of an article I read yesterday, on certain trends that never go out of style - there were six, and I remember two being florals and animal prints. They keep coming back in various reincarnations, such that we could be sure of finding a floral to suit our palette!

  5. I cannot even remember the last time (if ever) I wore a floral top or dress. A floral scarf is another thing, though.

  6. Thank for for reminding us that we have permission to pass on a trend -- I'm being serious, not sarcastic. Florals don't really appeal to me, so I'm passing.

  7. I like the is more subtle. I could go for that. What you have chosen is very pretty!

  8. I like floral, more bold type floral but any will do. I bought the cutest pair of floral pants last year and they continue to make me happy.

  9. I always like your posts, but this one has been especially interesting. I would not want to be caught dead in classic, feminine florals, but I can imagine something more abstract, geometric, in bold, bright colours. Among the options that you offer, the "Warm and Exotic" florals are the ones that speak to me most.
    Thanks for your good work!

    1. I'm with you, Sonja. I love the dress in warm and exotic. Dressed in anything else I feel like a draft horse in a tutu! Susan in SLC

  10. I remember taking a class several years ago that said that your personality determines your fashion style. If I remember correctly there was dramatic, ingénue, romantic, classic, natural (as in nature), and gamin (petite/cute). Most women will be three of these with one dominant. Floral prints fall into ingénue, romantic, and natural dress personalities. The floral prints are different for each of these personalities. It's also quite possible that a women's fashion personality will not include any florals.

    1. Oh, here it is:
      This actually helped me immensely in buying clothing that I actually felt comfortable in. I was a classis, natural, and romantic. I was surprised by the romantic determination and the teacher actually encouraged me to stretch that part of me. I started wearing more floral accessories, and even bought a few frilly dresses and skirts.

    2. My company sponsored a seminar based on this when I was in my early 30's. It saved me from so many fashion do-nots. Susan in SLC

  11. Lovely post. I myself go in for a combination I don't see much but love all the same. Florals combined with geometrics. Something about the pattern mixing feels slightly taboo but in a good way. I only have a tshirt and a handbag but they are so loved in my closet.

  12. This seems to me one of the areas where price correlates with the effect. Low to average end tends to be repeating prints less interesting colourways. Though I have admired a floral frock on young women, on those of us their grandmother's age, tiny florals can look twee even if a woman is petite. I wear them on a few scarves- Kenzo and Hermès.

  13. I love all the florals around this season - especially the big screen printed, futuristic ones. I'm trying to resist filling my wardrobe with lots and lots of floral t shirts in sillky fabrics.