Tips for Wearing Florals without Looking like Alice in Wonderland

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Spring heralds the joy of returning to a more festive color palette for your wardrobe. Suddenly wintry blacks and grays have lost their appeal and are traded in for eye-catching pinks, bright blues, and splashy yellows. The hallmark of spring fashion is the schizophrenic floral design. Modern florals can either be chic and minimalist or cute and quaint, depending on the proportions and color scheme. So how can you incorporate vibrant sunflowers, elegant orchids, and elusive lilies into your closet without looking like Alice from Wonderland? It’s simple. Just keep in mind these factors to help you find what’s right for you so you can weed out what’s wrong:

*Proportion: Floral patterns should be in proportion to your body size; otherwise the wrong proportions can be highly unflattering. If you’re slender, you can wear a wide range of print sizes, from huge flowers to tiny ones. If you’re petite, however, avoid huge flowers as they may look comically big and make you seem even shorter. Bigger ladies should avoid large prints, as they will only emphasize your size. Search for smaller, more discreet prints to slim you down. To bring attention to a feature you like, wear florals in that area. If you are proud of your bust, for instance, wear a floral blouse instead of a floral skirt or floral pants. Avoid wearing florals in an area you want to hide.

*Color: Examine the color scheme that spans most of your wardrobe. Do you tend to own mostly jewel tones? Are you more into pastels? Do you love bold shades? Or do neutrals dominate your closet? Whatever your preference, choose florals that fall in the same color family as what you already own so they don’t look amiss when you wear them and so that they match your existing wardrobe. For a more dramatic look, wear florals with a stark color contrast between the flowers and the background. For a more subtle look, be sure that the flowers and the background are simple in color or at least brightness.

*Fabric: Florals tend to look best in soft, flowing materials, like silk and polyester, as the floral design will only make bulky materials appear bulkier. Choose a fabric that is similar to what you already own so that the piece doesn’t clash with your other garments. Be sure that the fabric is also a flattering choice given your body type. Again, keep in mind the power of proportions. If you are slender, you can get away with a wide range of different fabrics; the only danger you run is getting lost in ultra-bulky fabrics. If you’re bigger, stick to thinner, more streamline fabrics so you don’t create the effect of extra pounds.

*Cut: Florals run the danger of looking stodgy unless you have a modern cut. Choose cuts that are either classic or of-the-moment, but not too of-the-moment. If the cut is so trendy that it’s frivolous, chances are you will only wear the garment one season, which is a waste of money. Buy something you will feel comfortable wearing next year without looking ridiculous. As with any article of clothing, make sure that the cut is flattering. Fabric should neither skim too closely to the body nor fall too far from it. Find a becoming intermediate so that the garment doesn’t wrinkle, pucker, or bag in an unappealing manner.

Tossing aside your wintry garments in exchange for fun and flirty florals is one of the best ways to welcome spring. Be sure to introduce this winning pattern into your wardrobe with the first sight of a daffodil. 

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