Floral prints and how to wear them

How to wear floral prints? The question seems to come back as surely as spring will sprung.

This season, the collections have been especially blossoming.

Liberty here, huge embroidered roses there, flowers everywhere!

But in the parisian streets they are more tulips planted in the garden of the Luxembourg than on parisiennes themselves.

Maybe because flower prints are super tricky! They may make you look like a goodie two shoes or like a cute grandma (even if you are not there yet).

Also, floral prints cannot stand cheap fabric: it is like buying a synthetic bouquet.  Not chic. Go for noble fabrics: cotton, silk, velvet…

And choose your print wisely.

There is no recipes to spot a nice floral print: you have to train your eyes and pick what suits your style.

But I can give you hints on what type of floral prints you could choose and how you could style it.

I/ The color

A- Pastel, soft florals and dusty colors

In those shades, beware of super tiny flowers in calicot style, they may make you look like you are wearing your PJs. Small flowers in liberty style are a safer option.

If you are going for bigger prints, the result may ressemble your grandmother’s wallpaper.

To break the tearoom’s effect, I suggest you to break it with raw or minimal fabrics such as jeans, T-shirt, knit, etc.

And avoid super conservative pieces like a knee length pencil dress. Except you feel like a Ralph Lauren lady.

The refined aspect of those shades is adorable on fluid clothes like a long skirt or kimonos with japanese style delicate prints for instance.

Paul and Joe, long fluid skirt with natural flower shades

Valentino, japanese styled printed minimal top

Those shades are very pretty when worn with soft neutrals, or with bolder floral shades.

They also look amazing with pale jeans.

B-  Bold, fruity and acid shades

Their boldness energizes any flower print.

Impossible to look old fashioned with those.

I love the red shades that can have a femme fatale twist.

This flower bomber by Roseanna looks the bomb IRL (one of my clients purchased it and it is easier to style with jeans ^^)

I also love this one, just as if you bought a bouquet from the flowershop.

You can mix those colors with any neutrals to soften them, or draw all the attention on you by mixing them with other colors just as noticeable.

Blue is always a good pairing as flower prints are rarely blue.

C/ Rich and dark colors

More rock or/and more  baroque: you won’t look like a sweet little girl with them.

The Kooples

Mix them with black, leather, any shades of jeans, other dark colors, contrasting pale shades, etc.

II/ Print format

1/ Small prints

Usually more discreet because you can’t really tell the kind of flower you are dealing with, the harmony of colors is more important than the shape. Just like in a impressionist painting. Think Nymphéas, Monet…

Perfect for those not ready to deal with huge sunflowers à la Dolce and Gabbana.

Small print also are great for not creating any unwanted volume illusion.

2/Big prints

With those, no way to deny you are wearing flowers.

Justynaliscom

The girls who are aiming to flaunt some chubby areas of their body shall be careful not to choose this kind of print on tight clothes.

But on fluid or larger pieces, do not worry.

3/ Placed pattern

Unlike the allover prints quoted above, this kind of design is positioned on a certain area of the cloth instead of repeating itself on it.

Usually those are big prints and the flowers are very noticeable.

Make sure the print is respected when you dress (avoid tucking it half way or folding it).

Beautiful floral emboideries by Valentine Gauthier

III/ Print style

Not a flower kind of girl? Come on… I am sure on of them is your stylemate

1/ Liberty or calicot print

The calico is made of super tiny flower with blank space in between them.

The liberty is saturated tiny flowers print.

Liberty of London

Both were designed for coton fabric and therefore look perfect on it.

However they can also look super refined on silk.

They have a “David Hamilton” vibe that you can choose either to enhance or to break.

If you are aiming to break the innocent feel, go for bad gal fabrics such as black leather or jeans and wear with dark makeup and graphic haircuts.

If you wish to underline it, prefer natural leather, rope, untied hair, braids, etc.

2/ Asian inspired prints

I am referring to flower and vegetal intricated in prints than can go from very light to super saturated.

Those rich designs look amazing on luxurious fabrics such as silk or velvet.

They will be magnificent on evening clothes.

Here a chinese print I loved wearing as a child

There a japanese inspired print on a sophisticated top

3/ Graphic

I mean a floral print designed in a non natural way and placed rather geometrically.

Great for those who have a thing for structured looks.

Amazing floral pants at Brora

This type of print is perfect on simple fabric, on cute shirts, short dresses, sweaters, etc.

Also a daring choice for a creative cocktail outfit.

4/ Naive

Just as if you little nephew drew your flower print.

Often seen as embroideries, this style is adorable on cotton, linen and other light fabrics as well as on heavy knits.

 

Essentiel: Platform shoes that would look amazing with flare 7/8 jeans. 

IV/ What to wear flower print with?

1/ Plain colors

The easy way. You can match the color to one of those contained in your flower print or go for a neutral.

Laurence Bras

2/ Jean

Whatever its color, jean fabric is perfect to make a flower print look more cool.

The older the jeans the better the contrast with the flowers.

Jeans themselves can be ornamented with flowers <3

3/ Leather

If you go for black leather, you are in for a girly/rock and rock style.

Lizzyvdligt

If you go for natural leather, you’ll be giving your outfit a gentlewoman vibe.

Indépendance chicago tumblr

4/ Stripes

The regularity of the stripes complements the irregularity of the flowers. They work wonder together either on two prints worn side by side as well as mixed in a single print.

Karla Deras

Lady Moriarty + bonus: the same girl with amazing vichy/flower mules

5/ Other prints

If you are not afraid of the baroque overload, you can mix several flower prints. For instance by wearing them far away or by choosing them in similar shades and/or in contrasting sizes.

Prints worn with a distance in between them

Jimi Hendrix wearing two floral prints in similar colors and contrasting sizes

Floral prints also look great with animal prints like leopard, zebra or cow whether you use them as a mere print of with their texture.

Alexa Chung forever 

And you? Do you wear floral prints? Which do you prefer? 

Cover collage: collage vintage, Asos

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5 Responses to “Floral prints and how to wear them”
  1. V says:

    À la base j’étais à la recherche d’une robe maxi longue mais mon coup de cœur à motifs palmiers n’était pas concluant…je me suis résignée et ai mis cette quête en mode off.
    Mais il y a une semaine, je suis tombée par hasard sur une blouse oversize bleu marine à gros motifs floraux couleur or jaune. Une fois déboutonnée et ceinturée, elle ressemble à s’y méprendre à un kimono.
    Elle est juste …parfaite et soldée à – 50% ( yes !!!!)
    Je compte la porter avec un jean ( slim, flare ) et un teeshirt dans mon nude à moi soit marron. En effet, la blouse se suffit à elle meme et ne mérite pas de faire gonfler les enchères avec un sautoir ou un top a couleur ( meme si des teintes comme le jaune or , le bleu marine, le rose framboise ou pâle sont en option dans mon dressing).
    De simples puces d’oreilles et un ou deux joncs suffisent.
    Bonne nuit

  2. Jess says:

    I love the floral pantsuits, they look modern, fresh and still professional! Sure, those women who never tried florals, should start from little details, like shoes, hats or bags. Anyway, this year, I recommend to try on pants in florals!
    xo, Jess |

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