Floral prints are very feminine. However, they are tricky to style. This guide addresses Dos and Don’ts of floral print attire to achieve an ageless look.
- Why to avoid to look like a peer mom
- Which cuts look best with floral prints?
- Which cuts look unflattering with floral prints
- How to style outfits with floral prints
- Outfit images with floral print
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Why to avoid to look like a peer mom
Looking ageless means not looking Old Lady and not looking like we rioted our (grand)daughter’s closet – aka Peer Mom. To look ageless in floral clothes the print, color, cut, and styling are keys.
Which blossom prints are the best for mature women?
Let’s start with the print. Here is a list of ageless prints:
- Hand-painted abstract blossoms,
- Blossoms that are office appropriate,
- Floral prints in rich gemstone colors like ruby, emerald, sapphire, amethyst, or peridot,
- Classic Hawaiian hibiscus like pattern (see next tow photos),
- Flower pattern in vegetable or mineral colors,
- Abstract flowers
Which floral prints look unflattering over 40?
Here is a list of prints that get you into risky territory:
- All Laura Ashley like floral prints
- 60s Mod flowers (Recall – we don’t want to relive our youth/childhood, we are proud of who we are, We had lived the now Flower-Power history.)
- Kid flower prints
- Pastel prints (they are for bed sheets and PJs)
- Provence florals (they so 80s and date us)
- Prairie prints unless you are an actress in a Western movie or participate in a historic parade celebrating the Golden Days of the Gold Rush in your community
The following photo shows examples of both categories of the patterns. See the difference!
Which cuts look best with floral prints?
Now to the cut. When you wear floral prints go for clean, sleek cuts. Minimal details in the cut are keys with a floral print to look stunning. Shirt dresses, sheaths, and wrap dresses are save bets. Also blouses or shirts in a crisp button-down shirt-cut. Classic tank tops are also a good canvas. Pencil skirts, blazers, scarves, and tops are great canvas for grown-up floral prints as well. Floral coats, bags and shoes are real statement pieces.
Stylist’s tip: When you are pear-shaped (traingle shape), avoid any pattern on your hips as they draw attention to where you don’t want it.
Fit-and-flare dresses can be risky. It requires a grown-up print in bold colors, and knee-length (see first inspiration photo below) to stay out of girlie territory.
Which cuts look unflattering with floral prints
Avoid shift/A-line dresses, anything with ruffles or full skirts (Old Lady alert!), puff sleeves, sweet or girlie that a kid would look cute in, short fit-and-flare dresses with scoop cleavage (peer mom alert!) or short skater skirts (riot alert!). Wide pastel floral prints on pants look like PJs and only work in Alaska.
How to style outfits with floral prints
Always ground your prints. This means adding accessories in one of the (main) colors of the print. Doing so is easiest when using the prints background color. In winter, black tights and shoes are a save bet too.Let the print be the statement and add sleek, elegant pieces. Avoid anything that makes your outfit look too busy. #styletip Click To Tweet
Outfit images with floral print
The photos below, show some outfit ideas with comments and explanations regarding the “risks” and why the look works.
The floral print dress has gemstone colors donning abstract blooms on a neutral background. The “fit-and-flare cut” works as the skirt’s flare is limited to an exaggerated A-line skirt rather than skater skirt. The outfit works as it is grounded by the skin color. Sunglasses c/o ShopGlasses.com
Snow Touch floral down coat, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, Salamander shearling booties, shearling hat, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves (all own) and tights c/o Hipstik® Legwear
The print of this skirt is “risky” as it is a modern interpretation of the Mod flowers. To make it work for anyone over 50 all styling must be modern too. Save bets are pairing it with stripes or other pattern. Back in the 60s, mixing pattern and prints was a no-no except for quilts.
Modern pattern, grounded with black, twist with athleisure jacket. Adidas jacket, LeatherCoatsEtc driving gloves, 3.1 Philip Lim bag, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, silver necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Pour La Victoire fall sandals and Moci sheath
This example combines an abstract print on a classic sheath dress. Eli Tahari dress, unbranded pumps (all own)
Classic Hawaiian abstract pattern. Scarf, dress tunic and hat c/o Coolibar, sunglasses c/o Eagle Eyes, own Hermes collier de chien belt, Nine West pumps[
This example shows an abstract blossom top in ruby red, and coral with black on white and is grounded by the white boyfriend jeans and belt.
LulaRoe fit-and-flare abstract print dress worn as skirt, GNW tights, Vince Camuto boots in one color of the skirt, unbranded sweater in matching a color of the skirt, citrin and moonstone necklace, Hermes collier de chien, smoky quartz ring (all own)
This sleek silk coat features pink sapphire and rose quartz on golden ground. Despite the latter two colors are pastels, the size of the motifs, their abstract design and the classic cut make this coat daring, but ageless.
This floral print is abstract and its colors even stay away from natural flower colors. The tank has the simplest cut a tank can have. The outfit underlines the minimalism with the sleek capri. The half-tuck gives the look a right now, modern touch.
Abstract print, top picks up a color of the skirt. Paloma Picasso vintage sunglasses, statement gemstone belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Liz Claiborne pumps, Longchamp pilage, no brand sweater, Talbot floral print skirt, vintage bangle, pantyhose (all own) and top c/o Coolibar
The jacket, bag and shoes pick up a color of the dress. Banana Republic sleevesless abstract summer dress, Covington ankle strap pumps, Modalo Pippa bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY brooch (all own)
If you liked these outfit ideas, pin them to your Pinterest board so your friends can see them too.
Do you like botanic-inspired prints? Do you find them challenging to style? Let me know, I am curious. Post them on IG and add a shoutout to @highlatitudestyle so I can see it. Did you ever wonder how flowers conquered the great world of fashion?
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Photos: G. Kramm
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