Floral Without Frump

It’s a pattern that pops up every Spring, but this year florals are bigger than ever.

Fashion Blogger Jessica Christensen explains how to wear the throwback print without looking frumpy.

Place Larger Prints on Your Best Assets

All over florals look great on stick figure models and movie stars with professional stylists, but in the dressing room, they can come off highlighting your least favorite assets or looking out of place. If you are tiny, large prints may overwhelm you, and if you are big, tiny prints may make you look bigger. Don’t get me wrong, there is no need to be afraid of floral patterns, but there is need to take caution when styling some of nature’s prettiest blooms. We highly recommend placing the larger floral prints on the most flattering parts of your body. Also, color choice is important. When mixing floral or other prints, make sure your separates are within the same color family. This will create a smooth, seamless view for the eye. We like layering a tiny floral patterned shirt under a medium to large floral print dress.

Featured Fashions:
Top: J. Crew $150
Dress: GAP $70

Unstructured Style

Let’s be honest… some floral prints are scary, outdated, maybe even cheesy! How do you avoid looking like your Grandmother’s outdated curtains or her garden out back? Look for unstructured floral patterns, especially for your larger wardrobe items like dresses, pants, and skirts. Teeny tiny florals, however, are good for delicate and feminine tops and scarves. Add in a solid color somewhere (throw on a jean jacket over a floral maxi, or pair a flowery top with dark jeans) so your look is not too verdant. Always try on floral tops and make sure the flowers don’t fall in an awkward place on your bust line, or you may end up highlighting your chest instead of your fashion sense. When you master your floral separates, I think you’ll find wearing them as effortless as we do.

Featured Fashions:
Top: Forever 21 $20

Add Height with Heels

Floral jeans have just the right amount of fashion forward flair, with a bit of childlike fun. But let’s face it, skinny jeans are not the most flattering cut. They look good if you have really thin legs, but if you are muscular, look for a pair with stretch, and add a pair of heels to make your legs appear longer and slimmer. Style them with a longer top like a flowing tee or chambray button-down that hits at the middle part of your thigh for a continuous angle. For a more “grown-up” floral ensemble, go for muted colors rather than bright. With a bold floral print it’s important to keep your top and shoes neutral to avoid clashing.

Featured Fashions:
Joe’s via Nordstrom: $170

Go Big, or Go Home

Maxi, midi, or mini, the floral dress comes in all lengths, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. For dresses, try light-weight, silky fabrics with large floral prints — the brighter the colors the better. It’s a “go big or go home” scenario when donning blooms on dresses. Anything puny and it starts to look messy and old. A floral maxi dress will be your best friend this summer! This dress can hide all manner of body flaws, and you can pull it off at any age. We like styling a floral dress with a structured denim or moto leather jacket over top. This helps break up the print and toughens up the feminine look.

Featured Fashions:
Dress: Emerson Fry $325

Bloom With Your Bling

If you’re not necessarily a floral person, try incorporating the print into your accessories. Shoes, bags, scarves, and jewelry are all small ways to wear the trend. Choose bright colors with your accessories for a pop of color against a neutral outfit. To avoid looking juvenile, stick with one or two pieces at the most and make sure they are either the same pattern, or share complimentary colors. Floral statement necklaces are one of our favorite ways to sport the trend.

Featured Fashions:
Clutch: J. Crew $148
Shoes: J. Crew $248

Subtle = Sophisticated

Forget those glaring “look-at-me!” patterns in neon shades and go for more subtle, classic pieces. Floral patterns look positively refined when rendered in chic black-and-white color schemes, muted tones and ladylike shapes. By picking pieces that you’ll want to wear time and again, like classic button-downs and pencil skirts, you’ll be able to infuse your wardrobe with a bit of flower power without overhauling your whole look. As with any other print, it is practically impossible for a floral print to not look good with a solid neutral shade. These colors include black, white, gray, taupe, ivory and beige. Black and white floral is a personal favorite with any print because it always looks classic and chic. Try an unexpected combination by pairing the floral print with dots or stripes. It’s creative and unexpected, and you’ll find you can create multiple outfit combinations with one sophisticated piece.

Featured Fashions:
Skirt: Ann Taylor $88
Necklace: Kate Spade $278

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