The dark arts: winter florals
If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s what I feel about florals. We are not natural partners but after a couple of seasons in denial, I admit, rather late to the party, I am ready to embrace them.
There isn’t really any other print action going on this season so if you aren’t sure about them, then have a gander at my take on a non-floral lover’s floral.
The floral midi dress
I want one. Desperately. And I have kissed a few frogs before I feel I have finally found my prince.
I started this season’s journey at Oasis with a couple of their dresses, including this one which isn’t anywhere to be found on their website any more and which I am reliably informed was a best-seller. It is actually now in their mid-season sale so you may be able to grab one in store (definitely in Westfield).
There is something incredibly feminine about a flamenco-ey type dress although they are not for everyday life and I would have to put a popper on to stop the flashing.
The other one I tried is the Kimono Sleeved Midi Dress £56 which is good for having longer sleeves.
I also rather like this French Connection Frances Drape Printed Maxi Dress £95 which comes in these two colourways.
As well as this Delphine Drape Shirt Dress £120 which also comes in a rust version.
Topshop is naturally full of cute little floral print short tea dresses. Little being the operative word and so I feel I am not in the right decade for one of these but they do have this more demure Lattice Flower Midi Dress £49 which looks fab with knee high boots. Demure definitely not a bad thing I would hasten to add. Although the lattice over the bust isn’t that demure so a cami underneath would stop you from flashing.
Say 70s floral and which high street retailer springs to mind… Monsoon. This is bread and butter for them and here is a real goodie paisley number: Tilly Print Midi Dress £69.
Really I wanted this Roeme Floral Print Chiffon Maxi Dress £315 from Maje which is a brand I would live in if funds permitted. But at that price, I couldn’t really quite justify it even if I already had my outfit sorted in my head … buckled Topshop boots, leather jacket.
So I have come almost full circle and ended up with this ruffly Patterned Dress £49.99 from H&M (no sizes on the internet but stores definitely had lots of stock). What I like about this is that it doesn’t have a black base and with a good flash of red, it brings a nice bit of on-trend colour to the table. There is a rather high leg split which may counterbalance the man-repelling high neck and ruffles. However, it is a little too high for me and is currently being sewn down to a more respectable length – suffice to say I felt that there was too much leg on show for the pre 9 am school run watershed. (As a general rule a lot of these dresses will have you flashing a lot of leg in attempt to sexy up an otherwise covered up style.) And they have paired with red boots obvs. Still lusting after these.
They do have this one in stock though: Draped Dress £49.99.
Now I appreciate that this is not floral but while we are on the topic of longer length dresses, Hush’s Yasmin Dress £99 it is a total winner of a dress. I have it in the midnight, but it also comes in black.
For a floral they have the Ren Midi Dress £95.
How do you wear these? Well, now go for trainers and then move into boots, layering on tights and biker jackets as we go through the season, and a roll neck too if you want a daytime look. These dresses also work really well for a more eveningy look with a pair of heels or boots and up the ante on the jewellery front in the form of a pair of statement earrings.
If you are after something a bit more formal and a bit less midi then try Whistles for one of their silk printed dresses like this Autumn Leaf Silk Bodycon dress £169
The printed blouse
Arguably, this is the easier sell of the two and there are a lot of very wearable pieces out there that will update your work or casual wardrobes this season. Fluted and flouncy sleeves are still very much a thing though so are difficult to avoid.
Mango has a couple of very pretty prints, including this one £35.99. Forget the hat and you can easily wear this with denim or add a skirt/trousers for the office.
And this red based Floral Print Blouse £17.99. I find the model’s expression and general pose pretty off-putting for some reason but having seen this in the flesh, can honestly say this is a very sweet top.
Warehouse’s floral game is also looking strong this season with the Victoria Ruffle Sleeve Top £32 which looks lovely as it is styled.
Or there is this Carnation Print Top £36 which brings a nice flash of ochre to the party. Again, another strong bit of styling here.
Oasis also has some good options in the Kimono Flute Sleeve top £38.
But one of my absolute favourites has to be the Flocked Rossetti Flute Sleeve Top £39. This would look lovely with black trousers or tucked into a pencil skirt for work. Alternatively, pair with skinnies or a looser fitting pair of boyfriend jeans and a heel for a night out. Pop on a long line blazer over the top and you’re done.
H&M’s round collared Patterned Chiffon Blouse £17.99 number would also look lovely with black trousers or with denim (yes it needs a very good iron indeed as that crease across the bust is not looking good) and with a biker jacket.
And I’m going to end with something that will probably be like Marmite – bodysuits. For yes they are back. Do not leave going to the loo to the last minute but if, like me, you are a tucker of tops, then they are actually a good idea (and keep the small of your back warm too). I love this blouse from Zara because the colours in the print are gorgeous and it looks modern: Floral Bodysuit with long sleeves £29.99.
Are you sold? I don’t think you need loads of florals but the odd piece I am beginning to think that I can live with.