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How to Wear Floral this Springtime

Valerie McPhail

April showers bring May flowers — a saying revisited at this time every year. As we repeatedly stay hopeful for blossoms through these 31 rainy days of April, fashion is offering us styles to get us ready: floral prints are budding for this Spring/Summer 2016. Variations of tropical plants, digitally printed flowers and Japanese blossoms are sights that will pep us up for the sunny days of spring and the summer’s jet-setting dream vacations. This fashion season, there is an abundance of floral printed pieces for both men and women.

Despite the popularity of the floral print, I struggle to consider its presence a trend. All the excitement may be too typical — something expected around this time of the year. Floral prints are always appropriate for the springtime, year after year. In response, the repeated sight of a floral print hardly seems fashionable — or even fashion forward for that matter. This void of a genuine eagerness may create a bit of a dull response. Despite this, worry not; there are plenty of ways to launch your wardrobe this spring. The feelings of spring fever are a reality and a warmhearted sensibility that is taking over in bouquets of floral prints. The Spring/Summer 2016 Collections reveal how women can make a statement of the floral print and the Spring Menswear shows exhibited how men can wear it as well!

Women’s styles: How to make it work

Delicate floral prints graced the runways of Erdem and Burberry in a similar elegance of Creatures of the Wind’s Spring 2016 Collection. Despite all the conviction of beauty found throughout these Spring Collections, it is sad to say, the use of the floral print is not anywhere close to the unexpected. Breathtaking, perhaps, yet its sight was not overwhelmingly stimulating. Therefore, the statement made for the floral print as a trend this season is a debatable argument — for the idea of defining this print as "trendy" provokes an afterthought — that floral prints may be expected during the spring because it is the season they are of appropriate fashion. In certainty, the print is seasonal, however, due to its frequent appearance, the floral print is not a trend. For it is not current, nor relevant to 2016 and carries the inability to raise a craze or a fashion fad.

Even though this print was present on the runway from New York, London, Milan and Paris, it was not a focal point of the Spring Collections. Rather, there was a stronger emphasis on construction and design. Off-the-shoulder looks, glamorous sequined styles and bomber jackets ran the runway. Despite its presence on the runway, there was not much support for flower power.

Regardless, the flower print made the runway — call it a traditionally classic look. The best way to shop it would mean to ensure your shopping is spent in investment pieces that will continue to keep this print around. Make a statement in floral prints, because in the end, what would spring be without them?


A floral dress offers a classic, feminine look. It is the staple piece for the days of sunshine. Derek Lam 10 Crosby, Alexander McQueen and Erdem are the prime examples of how floral printed dresses work for this season. These designs are intrinsically majestic and bohemian. There is something about a full-length floral dress; call it romance or the striking beauty of this silhouette that deems it appropriate for spring every year. It is indeed a reference point for the fashion of this season. With the exception of a painted floral printed maxi skirt, as seen in Escada’s Spring/Summer 2016 Collection, the full length floral dress is the ultimate effortless look and is perfect for the warm weather.

Spring Separates: skirts, tops and jackets

Floral printed skirts are another way to carry the free spirited vibes embraced at the very moment a ray of sunshine sheds its light. The beauty of separates — those pieces that stand alone and work towards creating an outfit— is that they embrace an appropriate print without committing it to an entire look. Flowery accents that decorate separates are a way to incorporate this print for spring. The best character of a separates is that they make a statement. Look no further than to Elie Saab, Escada and Victoria Beckham. These brands brought exceptional floral looks. Elie Saab’s digitally printed floral top, Escada’s jumpsuit and Victoria Beckham’s bomber jacket are ways to wear the print without look like you are ready for an all-inclusive resort stay or a beach cruise. These pieces are as playful as this weather that has been teasing us this season thus far.

Men’s trend spotting

Traditional navy blazers and hounds tooth button downs, accessorized with stripe ties is an appropriate yet questionably outdated look. Granted, the dapper gentleman look is always an appreciated sight, however, the menswear industry has its attention on more modern styles and avant-garde aesthetics. High fashion heralds of this movement include Rick Owens, Duckie Brown and Craig Green. Draping, sheer materials and minimal prints define these endeavors. It is a journey to say the least — like all things fashion related, there is a path to understanding one’s perspective and place in the industry— may it be design, writing or creative direction. These designers have managed to cause a scene and find fame through offering the fashion world something different. Prior to this recent buzz their perspective was of but a whisper. Now almost everyone who is strolling the downtown streets of Manhattan are complementing their looks.

The one thing these American trendsetters did not fashion in their Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear Collections was the floral print. This print has surpassed its time on board shorts and swim trunks. Now, the print has become a way of reintroducing those traditional pieces — the suits, button downs and blazers. The use of the floral print has created a spruced look. Even though the paisley and Tropicana looks have made touchdowns in the history of men’s fashion, flowers appeared on the spring runway as strong as a weed. Its look on new apparel deems it trendy for men’s spring fashion.


This is the strong suit within a man’s wardrobe. The uniform floral printed look has reinvented the way men wear suits. Christian Pellizzari created a modern look through introducing the print with matching monochromatic blazers and shorts. The print resembled exotic flowers found on a secluded island or off on a tropical getaway. To balance such slick styles there were few, but regal looks of aged paisley printed tuxedo jackets paired with a pair of trousers to complement, a look that closed the show. These decked out looks were also a staple of Gucci’s Spring 2016 Collection. Gucci created light colors suits — aqua, beige, rosy pink and off-whites— as the basis to highlight traditional floral prints. Certainly, this is an eye-catching outfit — a final statement.


A floral printed blazer is a groovy way to spice up an outfit. The Spring Menswear Collections of Hermes and Saint Laurent provide some runway inspiration. Rock a blazer decorated with daisies in times of celebration and fun. It is a piece of elevated style. This printed blazer is unconventional to the standard Wall Street navy and pinstripes approaches. The floral printed blazer is a harbinger of weekend wear — sport this piece as a statement when paired with a button-down shirt.

Button downs

Marni, Valentino and even a look from Julien David’s Spring 2016 Menswear Collection bring us flowers for everyday fashion. Of the three, Valentino’s Collection offered a full range. Most designs revealed an interest in Japanese floral prints. The subdued color schemes of the blossoms only brought attention to these button-down short-sleeved shirts. After all, the most practical way to incorporate the floral print into a man’s wardrobe is by sporting a button-down — it won’t cause too much excitement. Rather it speaks to the time to wear astonishing graphics, soften by color. Now in season, the Japanese floral print is fashion-forward option.

The April showers make for a tough season: fashion trends are fleeting and seasonal obsessions come and go, leaving a wardrobe of mixed fashion. The floral print is here to make a difference. Although it is a revisited look for spring, women’s fashion can embrace this print by investing in pieces that will always make it a refreshing sight. The menswear industry’s keen eye on Japanese florals did so. This venture reaped a trend in men’s fashion.

Read other articles by Valerie McPhail