7 Florals for Spring & Summer – Color Your Wardrobe
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
Fashion aisles seem to be full of dull, earth-toned prints and patterns this spring and summer. And, you may love brown and gray, but I just had to show you some happy examples of great floral and botanical print clothing to lust after. Sure, muted colors look right in some settings... and on some women... however, I am not one of them. So, here are 7 fun ideas for adding a bit of color, texture, and pattern with florals... for spring and summer 2015 and beyond.
I hope these photos inspire you to look in your closet or online for some cool prints to wear when you need to cheer yourself up… or cheer everyone else up… or keep yourself from looking like a boring wallflower.
Once upon a time, there were colors that were reserved for royalty alone. Nowadays, we all get to wear royal purple, royal blue, and the bright golden-yellow reserved for the emperor of China.
Hey, anyone with enough bus fare to get to Wallymart can find tribal tops and zig-zagged skirts and embroidered dresses and casual pants in amazing prints and patterns. And, I hope you know that you are not too old to wear these things, as long as you don't go berserk and wear a bag lady assortment of colors and as long as you have halfway decent taste. (Which I know you do.)
So, live large and flaunt your best colors... and prints... and patterns... and whatever things you used to love when you were a young child... but try to keep your exuberance in check to reflect your higher standing in life.
If You're Floral-Phobic:
There is always a way for you to wear floral prints... even if you think you're too old or too big or too young or too skinny or too whatever...
- Wear a Cardigan: If you don't think you can wear that cute flowered blouse in your closet, cover part of it with a navy blue cardigan or a spice-colored kimono so just the collar and the cuffs peek out.
- Party Hardy: If you have a wonderful floral-print tropical dress like the photo of the Plus Size Summer Dress, and it just doesn't feel right in suburban Ohio, visit your sister in Florida or throw a Hawaiian-themed party in your backyard. You WILL find a way to wear that dress if you love it. So, don't throw it out if it fits you. We all know how hard it is to find things that fit.
- Go Upscale: If you can't find anything floral that looks right on you, you're looking at the wrong brands. You may need to crank it up a notch and spend a bit more money. It's all the same to your credit card if you buy one great, floral silk scarf (or one high-end floral blouse) instead of 5 half-ass outfits from Target.
- Wallflower No More: Ignore the fashion experts who tell you what you SHOULD and SHOULDN'T wear. I don't want you to be a wallflower one minute longer. Who remembers the lady in gray?
Floral Clothing for Women:
There are all kinds of different floral prints out there. If one type of print... or some type of top... looks crappy on you, try another color or another style. Keep looking until you find something that fits your look and your budget and your life and your current mood and your body and your heart. Even if you have to go to the thrift store (a few times)... there is definitely something out there that will scream, "Thank God it's spring," or "Ain't no cure for the summertime blues, except a pedicure and a bright new outfit!"
So here are 7 floral print & pattern ideas to try this spring and summer:
1. Go Blue: Blue is probably the most conservative color you can wear. Try a top or a scarf with ditsy blue flowers. Or try any type of blue print. Blue is so "blue blood" and privileged and classic that I don't wear it often... that's how conservative it is. Blue is normal. It's generic. It's definitely not wild. But, blue can be really cute, too... especially when used as a background (like a pair of denim floral-print jeans that anchor a shocking pink top). If blue is your color, be happy like the blue bird, and check out the stores this season because blue is big.
(Update: I just looked in my closet. I actually have a fair amount of blue. I was surprised by it, because it's such a staple that I take it for granted.)
2. Watercolor Print Clothing: Soft watercolor-print clothing is always easy and feminine. It's a no-brainer print. You cannot eff up watercolor prints unless you take them too prim and proper and old-lady-like. If you try on a watercolor print and you look like your granny, go brighter or try adding something unexpected to your outfit. If the print has a good color near your face, you can't go wrong with most watercolor-print tops, dresses, skirts, and scarves.
3. Mix and Match: Pre-Coordinated Outfits: You'll have more confidence when you wear separates designed to be worn together. This is especially true when you go with high-end brands. Look at the cute mix-and-match separates in the photo above. Don't you feel happy when you look at those great colors. (Personally, I would not wear any of those tops tucked in, but I have a tummy. You, on the other hand, may be able to wear tops tucked in. Ooops. Me bad. I just double-checked the outfits above, and the skirt is actually attached to the top... as in... it's a dress. Well, the photo is still a good example of what I'm trying to illustrate.)
4. Asian Patterned Clothing: Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian peoples have made beautiful, flattering kimonos for centuries... and those great fabric designs are often incorporated into modern clothing. You'll recognize traditional Asian floral patterns when you see them. They include classic images like chrysanthemums, bamboo, and branches of cherry blossoms. And, unless the Asian-style print is an overly bright pattern meant for a child's kimono, you can (almost) never go wrong with the elegance of Asian prints.
5. Limit Your Palette: Prints with a limited number of colors (like two or three) are more "mature" (in a good way) than prints with 20 colors. (Well, I often wear prints that include every hue but the kitchen sink and then I mix in other colors with hatbands and scarves and socks and somehow it usually works out... but I do it in the name of science and research... so do as I say, not as I do.) However, if you work in a bank or you have to visit your hypercritical mother, you might have an easier time pairing a simple print with your other pieces than trying to pair a web of random colors in a cohesive way. And, limited-palette pieces are perfect for mixing with other prints... for those of you who like to play with fashion-forward ideas.
6. Embroidered Tops & Dresses: Another way to get a little color into your life is with embroidery. This type of floral can go from elegant and chic enough for a luncheon with The Queen... to boho and folky enough for a three-day rock concert. It all depends on "what it is" and "how you wear it". In my opinion, embroidery rocks BIG TIME. And, folk-style and tribal embroideries rule the world. If you're wary of regular prints, embroidery is a great way to add a subtle touch of color and texture.
7. Boho A-Go-Go: When you get tired of all the rules and stuff, this is the category where you go... to play around... as you start to become the master of your own wardrobe and your own look. From laid-back, lazy florals to mesmerizing psychedelic patterns, this is how we do it on the West Coast. No one wants to look like everyone else... or do they? I sure don't. I was not born with classically good looks, so I need to gypsy up and strike out on my own with florals and other prints that might not earn me a cover shot on American Suburban Housewife magazine... but I don't really care. I'd rather wear happy colors that look right on me and make me feel good about myself... because... golly gee Gertrude... I ain't no freaking wallflower. You can join me if you want. Going indie is the only way to go. You just have to get over your high-school phobias.
Well, some of you are so beautiful that you look good in gray. And, if you look good in a gray gunnysack, this is probably the wrong article for you... but for those of you who feel the need to branch out and sing to the moon on the beach at four in the morning... well... you might want to add a few colorful florals to your life.
More Articles for Women Who Are Fashion Crazy:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Monsoon, Apricot, Wallis, Wallis, Wallis.
- Plus Size Summer Dress: Asos.
- Blue Floral Print Clothing for Women: Monsoon, East, East, M&S, Monsoon.
- Soft Watercolor Print Clothing: Apricot, Apricot, Long Tall Sally, Wallis, Wallis.
- Mix and Match Coordinate Separates: Wallis.
- Asian Print Tops & Dresses: Phase Eight, Phase Eight, Apricot, White Stuff.
- Limit Palette Colors for Clothing: Phase Eight, Phase Eight, White Stuff, Phase Eight, White Stuff.
- Embroidered Jackets & Dresses: Monsoon, East, Monsoon, Phase Eight, Asos.
- Boho A-Go-Go: Bright Colored Prints: East, Pretty Eccentric, Next, Sainsbury's, Wallis.
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