When you hear the words “floral dress”, what do you picture? An old-fashioned frock with bold-print flowers in bright hues? A 90s slip dress with delicate, ditsy florals in pastel colours? Perhaps you see a shift dress in an abstract, painterly floral pattern.
The point is, florals are endlessly varied and can suit anyone, no matter how feminine and flowery their taste is (or isn’t).
if you’re thinking of flower prints for the new season, we’ve created a guide for how to wear and style floral dresses.
Fit and fabric first and foremost
No matter the print of your dress, whether it’s florals or spots, the fit and fabric choice are the most important factors. Even the most beautiful floral print can’t save an ill-fitting garment or a flimsy fabric choice. Follow these easy tips for finding the perfect cut and fabric:
Wrap dresses are flattering on most body types
They cinch the waist (whether you’re a super-hourglass or a slender pencil) and can be adjusted to fit fluctuating sizes (always handy for us ladies!)
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Fit-and-flare dresses that nip the waist and flare over the hips are extra flattering on curvier figures
They’re great for ladies who love to bare their arms and décolletage but like to keep the tummy and lower body for special eyes only. They also give a cute 1950s aesthetic.
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Short, straight shift dresses will look phenomenal on you if you’re tall and lean with a straighter figure
They’re also hard to pull off, so make the most of it, you lucky things
Be wary of the t-shirt dress trend, as there are very few people who can truly pull it off
T-shirt dresses tend to fall straight from the bust, making bigger busted women look bigger all over, and conceals gorgeous curves. Instead, try a shirt dress that can be cinched with a belt, and worn with the top buttons undone to flatter the chest, neck, and face.
No dress should pull or pucker across the chest or hips
It’s a dead giveaway that the dress is a little too narrow for your beautiful shape. Find a dress that fits the bust and hips perfectly, and get the waist taken in if need be. Always remember, the dress has to fit you, not the other way round.
Have the hemline taken up to suit your height.
For example, if a midi dress is looking like an awkward maxi on you, have it taken up to just below mid-calf where the leg tapers and becomes slender. If it falls directly to mid-calf, it will accentuate the widest part of the lower leg and create a “blocky”, unflattering look. Similarly, if a mini dress falls to mid-knee, get it taken up to above the knee to lengthen the leg and create cleaner lines.
Some extra tips
- Try abstract florals for a fresh, less literal take on flower prints
- Pair silky florals with rough denim or tough leather
- For super eclectic tastes, clash a floral dress with a patterned shoe or blazer to make a street style impact
- Small floral prints against pale backgrounds are best for subtle, fresh daywear, while larger prints against black or deep backgrounds are perfect for evening
- Pay a little extra for high-quality fabric such as 100% cotton, silk, or linen. The garment with look better, feel more comfortable and will last a lot longer than synthetic fibres
- Florals and floaty fabrics go together beautifully, such as floaty silk or soft, washed cotton
- If it’s comfortable, you love it, and you feel great…it’s right!