Friday, 23 August 2013

How to Do Floral Prints and Colour Blocking

I was asked by a friend how I would do colour blocking and florals together.  Said friend is a minimalist who is more of a colour blocking gal at heart, loves the concept of florals, but is slightly allergic in a fashion hay feverish kind of way to the fussiness of floral prints.  So how do you work a floral in a not so OTT way?  Well here is an outfit I wore to work that might do the trick for the floral shy, who would like to dip a toe into the floral trend without looking like a summer in Kew Gardens on acid (see my last post for an example of the latter!).

I think a floral print can be used with block colour to great effect.  Firstly, choose a floral print that has flowers that you love.  My personal opinion is that it's no use trying to wear crystanthemums in a print if the actual flower doesn't do anything for you!  Secondly, try a print that has more solid colour between the floral motifs.  This one from Zara has a good amount of a strong blue in between the flowers.  This is a great jacket, and beloved of other bloggers I follow - Deja Pseu, and Madison to name but two!

This jacket's print is a good middle ground to slot into a colour blocking look.  For the more minimalist minded, the larger the colour to motif ratio on the print, the closer to your colour blocking comfort zone you are.  If you are this way inclined you could also try an oversize floral print as there will be more concentrated patches of colour than in a busy ditsy print.  Move in the other direction on the floral scale towards the full on busy and ditsy prints if you want more of a contrast against a block colour.

Secondly choose the base colour for your colour blocking.  These could be pastels or brights.  Here I have done my colour blocking in the form of a basic sleeveless shift dress in a pale soft pink.  As there is pink in the jacket's floral print there is a linking colour to my dress that ties the two together.  I've accessorised with pink ballet flats and a green belt in the same tone as the green in the print to further pull the colour scheme together.  On other times I have worn this outfit I have also worn a tan brown leather belt and tan brown croc print courts for a more neutral rather than pastels look.

Here's another tip to get some fashion mileage out of your floral print with your block colours - choose a print with a selection of colours you could wear with the colour blocking pieces you already have in your wardrobe.  As there is green, blue, pink, white and even red in this print, I could swap any of these as my contrasting block colour under this jacket and make the colour in the print pop.

And for those still nervous of florals, you can rest assured that by pairing with a plain block colour, the floral print is already being toned down several notches as the eye of the observer will probably be drawn to the block of colour first before the print.

Finally, be brave!  Both florals and strong use of colour will remain a big story not just this season, but throughout Autumn and Winter too.  It would be a shame not to take the opportunity to experiment and enjoy them worn together!

Linking up this week to Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style and DCinStyle's Monday Bloom.

Dress: Zara; Jacket: Zara; Ballet flats: Zara; Belt: taken from another dress, Bag: Michael by Michael Kors


  1. How wonderful! And, thanks for the mention as well. I just love this jacket paired with the calming hue of your dress. Yes, Hooray for floral all year round, at least in our wardrobe! You look stunning! x/Madison

  2. A beautiful way to do two trends at once! The blue and the print of the jacket are so pretty, the outfit looks extremely elegant and ladylike. I do love a floral print, I tend to pile on the clashing prints as in your last post, but teaming a floral with a block colour does allow the loveliness of the print to shine.
    Have a great weekend! xxxx

  3. This is a really classy and tasteful outfit.

  4. Lovely colours and wise words, V! Marvellous to support starting wherever one is at with growing comfort and courage to make more scope for fun.

  5. Lovely tutorial. I've stupidly skipped floral jackets this year and am sorry I did. It's too hot most of the time to wear a jacket at work, but I may succumb to darker florals this winter. If (and that's a big IF) I see them here. I remember some lovely dark, rusty, Renaissance roses and peonies on a black tapestry jacket that I loved to death in the late 80s. Wish I still had it. Sigh.

    This fall is going to be a challenging season for me ... my mantra has to be "dress the body you have" varied by "proportion, proportion, proportion."

    Have a good weekend, V.

  6. Gorgeous jacket. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

  7. Hi V!! This is such a lovely post for those who need a boost! It's work friendly, and you have a gentle way that encourages those who might be a little more timid about expressing their inner garden goddess.

    Hope your home is blooming as well. :-)

  8. You're the queen of modern florals dear V, another heavenly outfit! That jacket has me drooling.

  9. Just lovely, V. You look elegant and thanks for sharing your ideas with Visible Monday.

  10. I enjoyed reading your tips for floral inclusion! The jacket with the pale pink shift dress is picture perfect with the pink indoor background and the vibrant blooms in you garden.

  11. What a lovely, ladylike look, it suits you brilliantly! I tend to mix my prints, I feel that teaming them with something plain dilutes the madness! x

  12. I love the jacket. You wear it perfectly. I can also see the jacket with jeans to dress them up.

  13. Very sophisticated and elegant outfit. Lovely jacket and the bag is amazing. Love it. I shall be your newest follower. Have a lovely weekend.


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