If wearing floral patterns could get one arrested, I would be serving thirty to life for my botanic offenses. I wasn't allowed to wear black growing up, so from early on I learned a thing or two about dressing in blossoming clothes, and at one unfortunate point in elementary school, I was mistaken for a rose bed and hosed down by a well-meaning gardener. I learned the hard way about how to wear flowery patterns, let's just put it that way.

florals, how to wear florals, flower prints, j crew flats, flower dresses, spring 2011

Courtesy photos left to right: Asos Salon dress, $269. Versus sweater, $695. J. Crew flats, $198.

First things first, if you don't want to look like the curtains your grandma has in her sun room (or like the garden she has growing out back), then I suggest staying away from anything both flowery pique. Not all textures and flowers are friends. If you must wear the structured textile with flowers all over it, then make sure it's a skirt or pair of shorts -- wearing it on the top would be a mistake. Tuck in a wide-striped tank or tee into your bottoms for an edgier, downtown look.

For dresses, try light-weight fabrics with large floral prints -- the brighter the colors the better, I say. It's a "go big or go home" scenario when donning blooms on dresses. Anything puny and it starts to look messy and old. Teeny tiny flowers, however, are good for delicate and feminine blouses and scarves. Wear your flowery blouses with cut-off shorts, jeans or navy khakis for fun in the sun or shade.

Where we're going to run into most problems with floras is with the jumper, or romper, whatever you call those one-pieced atrocities which, beyond all measure of comprehension, combine a tank with shorts. This look is so hard to pull off and if attempted, please avoid any romper with flowers. If you should ignore this advice and get doused by a man carrying a watering can, don't say I didn't warn you.

Don't get me wrong, there is no need to be afraid of floral patterns, but there is need to take caution when styling some of nature's prettiest blooms. Add in a solid color somewhere (throw on a jean jacket over a floral maxi, or pair a flowery top with dark jeans) so your look is not too verdant. When you master your floral separates, I think you'll find wearing them as efflorescent as I do. So to that end, I guess I'll see you in the slammer, you floral-loving hipster, you!

Want more floral looks? Click here.

And below is a video showing even more florals! Lucky you.

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