There is something so feminine, fresh and fun about pulling on a floral print. It’s like having a permanent bouquet of flowers every time you enter your closet. But florals can be tricky to wear, especially if you have a petite frame. Choose the wrong print or fit and you might end up looking like you’re wearing your curtains! As Coco Chanel once said:
Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.
I’ve had a few of those “what not to wear” moments, so I did some fashion reconnaissance to figure out why some florals look better than others. Here’s a handy guide for choosing the most flattering florals for your body and style sensibilities.
Florals are a great way to draw attention to the areas of your body you love, while downplaying other zones you may not feel as confident in. Bold floral prints naturally move the eye. Like your upper body, but want to disguise your hips? Pull on a floral blouse paired with a solid skirt and you’ll be amazed at the effect. Or choose a dress like the third one below if you’re looking to minimize your bust. Likewise, florals can provide a contouring effect. Place a band of florals on the sides of a garment and you’ll instantly look slimmer. Want to define your waist? Try clusters of flowers near your waistline.
If you’re on the shorter side, fashion experts recommend you opt for prints that are smaller in scale. They suggest looking for blooms no larger than your fist. Larger floral patterns have a tendency to overwhelm petite frames and will not be as flattering.
Take this dress, pictured below on the right. It is such a cheerful print; I really wanted to love it. However, the bold blooms completely overpower me and the exaggerated ruffle creates a shapeless effect. Bet it would look incredible on someone taller! In contrast, the toned-down/strategically placed floral pattern on the left is far more flattering for my 5′ frame.
Print density and contrast are two additional things to consider when wearing florals. Sparse prints will highlight an area, while dense prints downplay it by keeping the eye moving. When flowers are evenly sprinkled on a garment, your gaze won’t settle in one spot for long. Therefore, dense floral prints tend to be more slimming than sparse prints. Similarly, most women will find low contrast prints easier to wear than high contrast florals. Here are a few examples of what that looks like:
What is your floral look of choice? Do you prefer big and bold, or soothing and subtle?