Flowery patterns and designs were blooming all over spring's runways -- Marni, Anna Sui, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior to name more than a few. The list is nearly as long as there are varieties of orchids.
"During tough economic times, floral prints and vibrant, bold colors are popular because they are mood altering in a positive way," says Joanne Stoner, CEO of fashion site eDressMe.com. "Bright colors and floral prints bring a change from drab, winter colors."
Sonya Consentini, style expert at Marshalls and T.J.Maxx, says florals are universal when the sun really starts to strike. "It's a fun, flirty, feminine print that is versatile and a perfect look for the warmer months," she tells StyleList. "Depending on the print, florals can be sophisticated and upscale enough for work or a cocktail party, or casual and laid back for a weekend outing."
And Colleen Sherin, fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, says there are plenty of prints to pick from. "It's really all types of florals," she tells StyleList. "In general, we're finding that women really respond to color and also to printed patterns, so I think that a floral print really plays into that as sort of a natural."
Here's how to make the most of your flower power:
- Posy placement: "Dresses are best for floral prints because wearing a dress creates the most impact head to toe," Stoner says. "They can be also paired with solid jackets to break up the print or to provide an alternative to a head-to-toe print."
- Sun salutation: "A bright floral pattern on a sundress is a bold statement piece that can be worn at work or out on the town," Consentini says. "A printed floral tunic is a perfect pairing with designer denim or casual capris. Liberty prints are delicate on dresses and airy blouses."
- A shrinking violet? "For those who don't want to wear a floral print but still want to nod to the trend, try a cardigan with rosette details, a pair of shoes with a rosette at the toe, or a handbag with rosette detailing," says Consentini.
- Colorful bouquets: "This season, citrus colors are hot," says Stoner. "Juicy oranges, zesty lemons and luscious lime shades brighten everyone's day."
- Best buds for your body: "Women should consider their body shape when choosing a floral," Stoner says. "Petite women may get lost or look swamped in a bold print. Larger women can probably carry a bolder print and may want to pair it with a jacket to break it up. Pear shaped figures and women who are top heavy should consider smaller prints because larger may create the allusion of more weight in the hips or the bust, respectively."
- How to pair your petals: "If one is wearing a bold floral print sundress keep everything else simple: pair it with a pair of neutral wedges or flats and a handbag with little detail," Cosentini says. "With a bold blouse, pair with a solid cardigan, jeans and a colorful pair of shoes or handbag. Try a bright skirt with a solid blouse and gladiator heels. For a more delicate Liberty print, pair with a ruffled cardigan and gladiator sandals."
- Dare to blossom? "It's fun to play with scale," Sherin says. "This season we're all about mixing prints, so we do love stripes worn with florals. If you're not that brave, try a solid color, but maybe a pop color that might pick up on one of the florals in the print."