Falling for Florals

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LAVANYA COODLY FLORAL APPLIQUÉ DRESS, $1,200 (lavanyacoodly.com)

Botanical prints offer a seamless transition from the bright colors of summer to the darker, more dramatic looks of fall and winter.

By Sabrina Azadi

Reluctantly waving summer goodbye, we arrive at a tricky transitional period in the fashion world. Somehow it doesn’t feel right to continue wearing light-colored clothes, yet it’s premature to break out the full winter apparel. A seamless, elegant way to bridge this gap is with dark florals. There’s something refined, and yet dramatic, about these patterns.

This season, fashion designers have once again taken their cues from nature but have allowed their imagination to run wild with captivating color variations and stylized interpretations, which offer myriad ways to wear this pattern in the cooler months. From trending dark floral sets to silky, pajama-inspired outfits, you are sure to be perennially resort-ready with this look. Easy-to-wear muted hues of grayscale, black floral patterns and vivid flowers that juxtapose against a dark background all mean that, even if you’re usually averse to wearing prints, you’re likely to find a version that you’re drawn to.

DRAPER JAMES MAGNOLIA SHIRTDRESS, $98 (draperjames.com)

Savannah-based fashion stylist Charisse Bruin helps Southern ladies look and feel their best with her styling business that she founded two years ago. Dark floral prints are something she recommends to her Charisse Styles clients, as well as a pattern she incorporates in her own wardrobe. “I love florals and prints, but the great thing about dark florals is that they truly transcend seasons,” she says. “They can be worn in the fall and winter when jewel tones are more common, or spring and summer—simply because the flowers are blooming. Dark florals in the latter months of the year have been trendy for the last few years. I don’t think they’ll be leaving the South anytime soon.”

TED BAKER GININA MAPLE SWIRL BODYCON DRESS, $279 (tedbaker.com)

As with any print, it’s often daunting to know what it will work best with. It’s always a good idea to find one that you really love—whether it’s a subtle smaller pattern or a bold, dramatic one that will be more memorable. Bruin has a few pointers on the best way to wear botanical options. “I’m personally a mixer of prints, but for the everyday look, pair a dark floral top or bottom with a solid neutral color. Maybe a deep burgundy floral with a camel pencil skirt and thigh boots or even ankle booties. Or an emerald or black lace floral with a silk skin-tone blouse with classic black heels. Definitely try mixing the textures of tops, bottoms and layers,” she says.

If you are a dark floral novice, she recommends wearing them sparingly or starting with a blouse. “A loose-fitting, dark floral blouse can be worn with everything: black trousers, solid skirts or even jeans,” Bruin says.

And this trend doesn’t just stop at clothing. Designers have incorporated moody floral prints in accessories as well, including things like botanical prints on handbags and shoes as well as blooming, floral-shaped jewelry made with dark gemstones.

Always thinking about the complete look, as well as what kind of makeup works best with an outfit; Bruin believes that pairing dark floral prints against something solid or neutral will help them stand out more. “That way, you can even wear a red or vampy lip without it being too much,” she explains.

The colors that we often associate with flowers become stronger and more powerful with deeply hued versions, yet their essence remains the same. Daring rather than sweet, they give off an air of confidence, making even the simplest of outfits look more interesting, and ensuring you stand out in a room against a sea of solids.

 

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