Time for flower arranging — within your wardrobe
Do some flower arranging — within your wardrobe.
A dress in pretty posies or a skirt adorned with colorful petals brightens a summer outfit. Blooming floral accessories add pop.
“We think of florals at this time of year because the highest peak time for nature and floral beauty is in spring and summer seasons,” says Gwendolyn Covington, style editor for Zappos.com. “Fashion has been inspired by this for decades. The weather is warmer, so flower colors are more vibrant and are in bloom.”
It's a perfect time to move away from a wardrobe that's filled with mostly solids, especially in dark colors, says Suzanne Mauro, a stylist accredited by the Association of Image Consultants International and producer of “Style Everyday with Suz” on PCTV Pittsburgh.
“Adding a burst of summer with a floral print can be just what's needed for building an interesting outfit,” Mauro says. Something as simple as a sleeveless floral blouse could be a perfect accompaniment to your business suit, she says. Or try switching out your solid pencil skirt for a cotton sateen pencil skirt in a floral pattern, paired with a plain top.
Floral patterns are feminine and flirty, says Josh Saterman, Macy's fashion director. The newest patterns are the liberty print — small colorful flowers with a sophisticated twist of floral patterns.
Start with a great liberty shirt to dress up a pair of denim or lounge untucked over a great pair of shorts, he says. Another choice would easily be a cute fit-and-flare dress that's fun, flirty and so comfortable to wear throughout the heart of summer, Saterman says.
“We are seeing floral prints on everything from dresses and other clothing — including pants — to shoes and handbags and jewelry,” says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor at People Style Watch. Adding a real flower — or one that looks real — in your hair is a fun way to try the floral trend, she says.
“It can look really pretty and feminine,” Rubin says. “A lot of these looks come from Instagram, where women see photos of celebrities and other women wearing flowers in their hair, and they say, ‘I want to do that.'”
Florals have been a summer staple in the fashion industry for years, she says. But this summer, florals get an update. They range from traditional patterns and colors to more abstract designs like face paint, printed flowers and raised embroidery. Flowers are also being seen in neons and non-traditional colors.
Modern florals are more abstract and digital looking, says Cindy Weber-Cleary, InStyle magazine fashion director.
“You see more exotic prints versus the sweet, romantic kind of florals,” Weber-Cleary says. “There are some Asian-inspired prints and really dramatic prints, which we are seeing across the board, even into swimwear.”
Let footwear make a statement with a floral-print shoe, Covington says. “Multiple colors in a floral-print shoe can work for a variety of outfits and give them the added pop,” she says. “Floral accessories have always been key for summer, but there is a bigger crush across the board in 2013.”
A lot of the current inspiration in fashion ranges from the 1960s and '70s when floral was prime, Covington says. Floral accessories are a smart way to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe without overpowering a look, she says.
“Some women shy away from prints, but all women love flowers,” Covington says.
This season's florals are not as dainty, says Lindsay Huggins, senior fashion market editor for Self magazine.
“They are more tropical, and we aren't just seeing the floral dress,” Huggins says. “We are seeing florals in a great graphic cropped pant or pencil skirt, which are new and fun ways to wear floral.”
Huggins suggests taking the floral dress out of its comfort zone to pair it with a leather biker jacket or sandals with studs to create a tough-and-tender look.
Amber Herring, accessories editor for Self magazine, says floral accessories can help reinvent an outfit. “And you don't have to go big and bold with florals if you don't want to. There are many muted florals that create a soft look. Adding a floral hair accessory can be fun and easy.”
Accessories in florals are a great way to try the trend without going overboard, says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director. He says to let the floral item be the focal point. Some of the floral jewelry pieces look like pieces of art.
“It's a trend that ranges from very soft and small florals to large optic florals with pop art,” Andrews says. “And even some botanical tropical florals. Digital printing is new in florals. Florals this season are vibrant and bold like a photograph, which is a modern interpretation of a floral. It used to be florals had a feminine look to them and that they were more of a younger woman's look, but florals are ageless.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.