3 Simple Rules to Successfully Shop for Prints
Like daisies and daffodils, floral prints pop up in stores and boutiques every spring. Though the trend is a consistent one, each year floral prints vary depending on what designers decide to highlight. The latest fashion technology provides the ability to experiment endlessly with color, style and pattern
Last year, floral prints tended toward realism, as designers strove to reproduce well-known, easily identifiable blossoms. This season, abstract floral prints reign supreme, adding touches of whimsy to the wardrobe. These designs play with size and scale, adding in bright hues to amplify the prints. Flowers are also being strategically placed on fabrics to compliment every body shape. The lightweight materials used add a romantic feel to the garments. Some designers even use watercolor finishes and additional bold print patterns mixed in with the florals to create stunning works of wearable art. With so many great prints to choose from, how is a fashion-forward woman expected to filter the option to find the perfect florals for her wardrobe? Just follow these three simple rules.
#1: Bottoms Up!
Who says you need to start from the top? Floral prints can be overwhelming, especially when they're closer to your face, as they may distract from your features. If you're new to this style or are not yet confident with this year's take on floral prints, begin by adding prints to the bottom of your outfit, either by wearing a floral print skirt or by finding clothes that use prints only on the lower hem. This will ease you into loving prints in general. Start by choosing a print that has at least two colors you love or already wear occasionally. Skirt or pant prints in colors you now own will make it easier to pair prints with tops you currently have in your closet. When in doubt, wear a crisp white shirt or t-shirt; this look works with any print. A dress with a solid top and floral skirt creates a similar, neat and trendy look.
When choosing a floral print, look for one that accentuates your best features. If you don't want to zero in on your waistline, avoid a print that draws the eye straight to your waist. Instead, look for one that places flowers at the shoulders and hem, creating an hourglass profile. Another strategy would be to wear a loose top and fitted bottom, or a floral peplum top. Alternately, if you love your waist and want to flaunt it, go for a flared floral dress or skirt. Great shoulders shouldn't be covered, either, so if that is where you shine, look for off the shoulder tops and dresses--don't use prints to cover those up! If you've got great legs, wear floral shorts to highlight them.
It’s easier to be classic than trendy. Trends give you a little break from the norm, and, if you choose correctly, most trends stay around as long as five years before they fade away. If you find a print you love, invest in it and wear it as long as you want. But be aware that it will be easier to keep wearing a specific trend if it incorporates some classic elements to it as well. So look at not only the print but the general style of the garment as well. If it's a classic dress or pair of shorts that incorporate only a few trendy aspects, you'll probably get more wear out of it than an entirely innovative piece. Right now, fashionistas love the bright hues, feminine silhouettes, off-the-shoulders tops and palazzo/wide leg pants and suiting that we feature at Scout & Molly’s Reston.
With these top three rules as a shopping guide, it’s easy to find something fabulous for spring!
About the Stylist: Stephanie Mouapi holds extensive experience in the fashion industry, having started a clothing line in 2006. The line focused on African prints with modern twists. Stephanie ran this line until 2010 when she began working for Nordstrom Rack as part of the personal stylist team and later as an assistant manager. She’s also worked at Courage B, a French boutique, as an assistant manager. Now she is the store manager of the Scout and Molly’s, at the Reston town center, where she oversees store operation. And she also runs a personal styling program which is available at no charge to all reston customers. Her personal rule after 12 years of dressing women is that, above all, fashion should be fun!