Dos and don’ts of looking fabulous in florals

Dos and don’ts of looking fabulous in florals: FEMAIL reveals five stylish ways to wear the classic trend

  • Former model Sandra Howard, 77, revealed the trend for florals has returned
  • She gave her verdict on Camilla Ridley-Day’s styling advice for the prints
  • She was impressed with advice to use stiffer fabrics to enhance body shape
  • Sandra was pleasantly surprised by a suggestion to mix stripes with florals 

Florals are back this year. They seem, pardon the pun, to be a hardy fashion perennial.

Back in the Sixties, when I was a model, they came around at least twice. And, of course, in the Eighties, Laura Ashley gave us dresses covered in spriggy flowers.

But floral prints can be very divisive. For women of a certain age — I’m 77 — they are either a reliable go-to, or something we avoid because we fear they will make us look frumpy. Yet with florals on the catwalk at Chloe, Emilia Wickstead and Rocha this year, it’s surely time to embrace the trend.

Here, fashion stylist Camilla Ridley-Day gives her top tips to show off real flower power — and I give my verdict on her advice . . .


Sandra Howard, 77, (pictured) gave her verdict on floral styles selected by Camilla Ridley-Day

DON’T GO FOR THE BOHO LOOK 

Camilla says: Those droopy, flower y dresses (left) may work on someone younger, but they can look a bit wishywashy, so look for a dress that has a bit of structure.


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Sandra ’s verdict: I liked the shape of this dress (right) and the fact it had see-through panels on the sleeves and at the top,which made it sexier. 7/10

Right: Pink and yellow print dress, £79, Richard Quinn for debenhams.com; gold slingback shoes, £245, russellandbromley.co.uk

DO GO FOR STRIKING SHAPES


Sandra highly rated the red bloom skirt (pictured right) which slims the hips 

Camilla says: Along with tiny prints, floaty, loose fabrics (left) have had their day, so look out for more structured shapes in stiffer fabrics such as organza to team with your bold prints for a really current feel.

Sandra ’s verdict: For me, this black skirt printed with red blooms (right) is an absolute hit. It’s flattering because it slims the hips and I love the bold colours. I might have to buy this one! 10/10

Right: Floral skirt, £89, hobbs.co.uk; white top, £99, jaeger.co.uk; nude heeled shoes, £149, kurtgeiger.com; red earrings, £97, and bracelet, £57.50, konplott.com

DON’T DOUBLE UP WITH BAGS


Camila advises using accessories (pictured right) to subtly wear florals but warns against clashing prints

Camilla says: If you want a nod to florals without investing wholeheartedly, accessories are the way to do it. But beware: don’t wear a floral dress, too. 

Sandra ’s verdict: I liked the sleeveless dress (left) but Camilla is right — worn with floral accessories, it’s too much. On the other hand, this neutral dress (right) is elegant and you can have great fun with the bag and shoes to make it more eye-catching. 7/10

Right: Oyster silk dress, £365, thefoldlondon.com; floral bag, £45, marksandspencer.com; blue suede shoes, £225, russellandbromley.com

DO MIX THEM WITH STRIPES


Sandra believes a striped top paired with floral trousers (pictured right) is ideal for summer drinks parties

Camilla says: You may feel safe in dark hues, but at this time of year they will just look drab (left). So mix your florals with bright colours and even try out  someclashing prints such as a striped top (right).

Sandra ’s verdict: I would never have thought I’d choose a striped top to wear with floral trousers, but when I put them on, I thought they were wonderful together. Classy — and an ideal outfit for a summer drinks party.9/10

Right: Blazer, £59, marksandspencer.com; striped top, £49, winserlondon.com; trousers, £129, tedbaker.com; shoes, £149, kurtgeiger.com

DON’T PLAY IT TOO SAFE


Camilla recommends a trouser suit (pictured right) for a modern take on the ‘mother of the bride’ look 

Camilla says: The classic matching dress and jacket (left) is a very traditional ‘mother of the bride’ look. But a floral trouser suit (right) is a more modern, hipper take on the idea.

Sandra ’s verdict: I don’t know if you could get away with this trouser suit as the mother of the bride, but it’s very wearable as a dayto- day outfit and I prefer it to the dress and jacket, which felt too safe. 8/10

Right: Floral blazer, £140, and trousers, £37.50, boden.co.uk; white top, £99, jaeger.co.uk; black kitten heels with bow, £85, dunelondon.com; green floral earrings, £68, konplott.com

Styling: CAMILLA RIDLEY-DAY Hair & make-up: BETHANY RICH using MAC products

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