When it comes to picking patterns that will work with any season and look good all year long, it can be difficult to find a print that fits in any weather and on any occasion. Every season is so unique and begs for its own specific styles, so what kind of pattern can you don all year long to bring out your best and speak to the season itself?
Believe it or not, floral is in season all the time — you just have to know how best to flaunt it and fit it into your particular style.
Pretty floral frocks flood the racks as stores prepare for warmer weather, but why should spring and summer have all the fun? Even though fall and winter come with a distinct lack of natural flowers — unless you live in a tropical paradise — your wardrobe doesn’t need to cut out the floral. With a few style tips, you’ll quickly learn that the answer to, “Can I wear floral in the winter?” is a resounding, “Yes!”
If you're wondering how to fit floral into your seasonal wardrobe all year long, we're here to help you make the best fashion choices to bring out those beautiful fabric flowers. From questions like how to wear floral print shoes and what to wear with a long floral skirt to suggestions for winter floral dress outfits and more, we're giving fashion advice on all things floral.
Why We Root for Floral Prints All Year Long
Before we get into the how of wearing floral prints year round, let’s touch on the why. Floral prints typically bring to mind warm weather, when real blooms grace gardens. Flowers carry a happy connotation. It just feels good to wear floral.
Fall and winter fashions, on the other hand, often invoke darker colors with little if any print. We say winter is dreary enough with cold temperatures and swirling snow. Why not bring a little extra cheer to every part of the year?
While the pastel flowers of spring and summer may look out of place in fall and winter, the good news is you can find a variety of floral prints in fashion. The variety makes it much easier to find pieces for every month of the year. There’s really no reason not to wear floral prints year round. Finding the right print for each season unlocks a world of floral fashion possibilities.
Another reason to follow the floral trend is the versatility of the look. You can find floral pieces in everything from casual athletic gear to dressy outfits suitable for weddings and formal dinners. The floral theme comes in not only clothing but also accessories, giving you even more ways to work flowers into your look. You can incorporate as little or as much floral as you want into your outfit.
Spring into Bright Floral Prints
When we think of spring, we think of pretty, pastel and popping designs. Floral prints fit right into that light, bright, happy feeling. You’ve spent the entire winter huddled up from the cold. Pull out that floral, and embrace the rising mercury.
Here are some spring-friendly tips for choosing floral prints:
- Embrace the emerging bright colors typically found in spring fabrics.
- Don’t limit yourself to bright pastels. Even though spring and bright colors are a natural fit, try to explore the full range of spring colors available.
- Opt for lighter backgrounds for your spring floral prints. It defines the light, bright feeling you want in the spring months.
- Lighten the weight of the fabric as the temperature increases. While winter calls for heavy fabrics, spring fashions should have a gauzy feeling.
Not sure how to wear floral in the spring? Here are some fun ways to infuse floral prints into your wardrobe:
- Floral Pants: Spring temperatures won’t always allow sleeveless shirts or short skirts. For those cool spring days, build your colorful outfit around a pair of light-colored floral pants. An ankle length or capri style gives the pants a lighter look more suitable for spring. Pair the pants with a solid flowing shirt for a spring vibe. Top it with a blazer or cute jacket if you need an extra layer of warmth.
- Floral Dress: Now that the temperature is rising, it’s easier to pull off the skirt or dress look. Choose a pretty pastel floral print for the spring months. A three-quarter or short-sleeved dress gives you some coverage on your arms. If you feel a little chill, pair the dress with a lightweight cardigan or blazer. If you're wondering how to fit floral into your seasonal wardrobe all year long, we're here to help you make the best fashion choices to bring out those beautiful fabric flowers. From questions like how to wear floral print shoes and what to wear with a long floral skirt to suggestions for winter floral dress outfits and more, we're giving fashion advice on all things floral.
- Floral Skirt: If you're not the biggest fan of full dresses or want more flexibility to offset your floral print, choose a pretty floral skirt instead. Wondering what to wear with a long floral skirt? Your best bet is to choose a solid color to complement the print and bring out one of its key colors. Choose a blouse or three-quarter-sleeved shirt in a light spring color for a soft look or a darker color or neutral that matches one of your skirt's colors, and pair it with a cardigan in another complementary color to offset it. You can also go with a cami and cardigan.
- Flower-Inspired Jumpsuit: A jumpsuit with longer pants gives you a spring-like look without being too chilly.
- Flowery Rain Boots: When the April showers won’t let up, bring the May flowers early with a cute pair of floral rain boots. Not only do they keep your socks dry, they give your favorite spring outfit a fun floral accent. Not sure how to wear floral print shoes? Pair them with solid-colored clothing articles like leggings in bright or subtle colors to draw out a shade in your shoes' floral print. Make sure your raincoat is a matching solid color, as well!
If you need a little inspiration for spring floral accessories, try these ideas on for size:
- Slip on a cute pair of floral ballet flats. They keep your toes toasty while offering a spring-like look. Alternatively, pair a floral outfit with shoes in a bright color that complements the design — another great solution for how to wear floral print shoes.
- Crown yourself the princess of spring with a delicate floral head wreath. If you don’t like the wreath look, opt for a headband adorned with a few silk or ribbon flowers.
- Wear sheer tights with a floral pattern. The sheer design gives you the coverage you want with a lighter feeling reminiscent of spring.
Summery Floral Fashions
Summer is another ideal time to flaunt your bright floral prints. When figuring out how to wear floral in the summer, focus on pairing bright summer-like blooms with pieces that keep you feeling cool.
To nail the summer floral look, follow these general guidelines:
- Choose lightweight fabrics that breathe well. Cotton, linen, rayon and chiffon are examples of materials that work well in the summer. Save the heavier fabrics for your winter floral look.
- Go for bold colors. While spring floral prints often incorporate lighter pastels, summer is the time for bold, vivid colors. Test out large, edgy floral designs to reflect the carefree summer mentality.
- Let your flowers stand out by choosing light backgrounds. White is a popular choice for summer floral prints.
Try these summer floral outfit ideas:
- Floral Shorts: That mercury is soaring. Break out a pair of shorts with a floral twist. Believe it or not, black floral is a popular print for summer shorts and skirts, and it'll totally set you apart from the crowd. Don't know what to wear with black floral shorts? When it comes to pairing with shirts, shoes and accessories, think bold and bright colors to bring out that summer flair!Believe it or not, black floral is a popular print for summer shorts and skirts, and it'll totally set you apart from the crowd. Don't know what to wear with black floral shorts? When it comes to pairing with shirts, shoes and accessories, think bold and bright colors to bring out that summer flair!
- Floral Sundresses: Spring is sometimes a little too early for sundresses, but summer is the perfect time to dress up in one. They’re perfect for beating the heat! Summer accessories for floral print dresses include colorful sunglasses and those beautiful wide-brimmed sunhats in complementary neutrals.
- Flowery Rompers: This one-piece summer staple is an ideal candidate for working in some floral. The on-trend romper style keeps you cool while showing off your fashion sense.
- Burnout Floral Tops: If you need a lightweight, casual look for summer, opt for a burnout top. A sheer top with floral patterning lets you stay cool while still showing off your flower personality.
- Floral Swimming Suit: Hit those summer pool parties or trips to the beach sporting a flowery swimming suit. This is the perfect place to show off your fun side. If you prefer a solid color swimming suit, find a fun floral cover-up.
Summery accessories with a nod to flowers add to your look. Pair these accessories with a floral outfit or with solid-colored clothes for a sprinkle of floral fun:
- Shade your eyes with a pair of sunglasses with flowers printed on them.
- Tie a lightweight floral scarf or headband around your hair.
- Keep the sun off your head with a floral-print sun hat.
- Show off a bright floral pedicure in a cute pair of flower-inspired sandals.
- Opt for strappy floral stiletto heels when you need a dressier summer shoe look.
Crisp Fall Florals
The temperature is dropping, and leaves just beginning to change colors. Your outfits gradually cover more skin to provide more warmth. You’re starting to wonder, “Can I wear floral in the fall?”
Mother Nature’s flowers may be wilting, but this is no time to prepare your floral style for hibernation. Instead of waiting until next spring to bring back the floral look, transition into cooler weather with fall florals. Learning how to wear floral in the fall expands your fashion options.
Color is one of the easiest ways to give floral prints an autumnal feel. Instead of the bright pastels of spring or the bold hues of summer, match Mother Nature’s changing color palette by softening the look of the flowers you wear. Here are some general fall tips to consider:
- Mimic colors in nature by choosing floral prints with mossy green, copper, oxblood or plum.
- Minimize the contrast by choosing a darker background for your floral print, such as off-white or navy.
- Pair a floral piece with a solid piece in a similar color.
- Layer with only one floral piece, so it doesn’t overwhelm your look.
- Choose pieces with longer cuts, such as long-sleeved tops and longer lengths on the bottom. This keeps you warm and has more of a fall look than the short skirts and sleeveless tops of spring and summer.
- Pair floral with denim. With cooler temperatures come heavier fabrics, including denim. The contrast offers the perfect casual fall look.
The way you wear floral in fall also changes. Layering comes into play as both a fashionable and function technique. By incorporating a floral piece into your layers, you get that fun dash of pattern without being too loud.
Your fall floral will change as you get closer to winter. In early fall, you can still pull off floral skirts and short-sleeved shirts without freezing. Once the weather gets chilly, you’ll need to cover up more skin with longer pieces or warm layers underneath.
Try these fall floral looks:
- Floral Skirt: Wondering what to wear with a long floral skirt when the season turns to autumn? Pair your long floral skirt with a solid long-sleeved shirt. The long sleeves give you warmth for fall. Add a pair of tights under the shirt if your legs feel a little chilly.
- Flower Shorts With Tights: Extend the use of floral shorts with darker floral prints by pairing them with dark tights. The same concept works with shorter skirts typically only worn in summer.
- Floral Top: Pair a flowing floral top with leggings and tall boots. The longer length of the top and the tall boots give the outfit some fall flair.
- Dark Floral Lace: Go feminine with a black floral lace top or dress. Lighter lace also gives you the subtle floral look without in-your-face flowers, making it better suited for fall.
- Floral Print Pants: Wear floral print pants with a darker background. Pair the pants with a cozy long-sleeved shirt.
- Flowery Outerwear: Bring in the floral print on your outerwear with a flowery blazer or jacket. Keep the rest of the outfit muted with solid colors to avoid looking to busy.
Another subtle way to bring in floral prints into your fall look is through your accessories. Try these floral accessory options:
- When it comes back to the question of how to wear floral print shoes, the fall offers a fresh take on flowery foot accessories. Pair floral print pumps with a fall dress or trousers. A closed-toe heel keeps your feet warm, and the floral design brings a little fun to your footwear routine.
- Finish off your fall outfit with a lightweight muted floral scarf.
- Wear a floral statement necklace with a solid sweater.
- Ask for a floral manicure with a dark base color on your nails.
- Tote a floral backpack if you’re heading back to class this fall.
- Opt for a dark floral print purse to accessorize your outfit.
- Wear ankle boots with a floral skirt. Even if the skirt has a shorter length, the boots help the skirt transition to a fall feeling.
You can also use your accessories to tone down the floral prints in your outfit. Dark leather accessories, such as boots, a jacket or a purse, help transition your floral look to autumn.
Frigid Floral: Rocking the Look in Winter
Learning how to wear floral in the winter isn’t much of a challenge once you master fall floral fashion. Many of the same tips apply to wearing floral prints in the winter, but you may need to take the layering and the extra warmth a little farther, especially in cold climates.
Here are some general tips for wearing floral prints in the winter months:
- The darker floral palette still applies to winter. Less contrast between the background and the flowers takes away the bright spring and summer vibe, making it more suitable for colder wear.
- Go for a more abstract floral print to take off the summery edge. Instead of choosing well-defined flowers, take a more subtle art-like approach. Watercolor-style flowers or blobs of color closely resembling flowers give that abstract look.
- Floral lace can also work in your winter wardrobe. Layer the lace look with a blazer or sweater for a cozy winter outfit.
- Pick floral in a warmer fabric designed for winter, such as satin, corduroy, wool or cashmere. The piece not only looks better suited for winter, it also leaves you feeling warmer when you brave the cold temperatures.
- Stick with long sleeves and longer hemlines to create a wintery look. If you have a short-sleeved or sleeveless top that fits the winter floral criteria, pair it with a cardigan sweater, blazer or other long-sleeved layer on top.
- Cover your legs. There’s no fashion rule saying you can’t wear a floral dress or skirt in the winter, but leaving your legs bare not only puts you at risk for frostbite, it also looks out of place. Wear thick tights beneath a floral skirt or dress for a wintery look.
Are you ready to try a winter floral look? Here are some outfit suggestions to get you started:
- Long Floral Dress: Show up for dressy affairs in a long floral dress with a dark background. A long-sleeved dress fits in with the winter style. Cover your legs with warm, thick tights even if the dress is long. When you choose darker colors and more subtle shapes, a winter floral dress is the pinnacle of frosty class.
- Floral Winter Coat: Want to carry a bit of floral with you every day? Find yourself a cute and warm winter coat with a floral vibe. If an entire winter coat is too much, look for a floral hat or gloves to keep you warm while adding a playful pattern to your look.
- Dark Floral Pants: Long pants are the warm way to go for winter fashions. Add some fun to your pants collection with a dark floral print. Wear the pants with a chunky knit sweater to stay warm and create an outfit that looks like it belongs in winter.
Accessorize the floral look in winter with these ideas:
- Pair a plain chunky scarf or knitted beanie with a floral outfit to give the look a winter flair.
- Accent a solid-colored outfit with a thick, warm scarf with a muted floral design.
- Cover your feet with warm boots with a floral print.
- Dress up your legs with floral tights under a solid dress.
- Add faux fur accessories for an Arctic look against dark floral pieces.
General Tips for Rocking the Floral Look
Knowing how to wear floral in general can be just as useful as knowing what type of floral print to wear each season. One factor in pulling off floral is the size of the print. Choose a print similar in size to your frame. If you have a small frame, opt for a small floral print, as larger flowers might overwhelm your features.
The print size also affects the overall look for the print. If you want a delicate look, pick a piece with smaller delicate flowers. For a bold look, choose a print with larger flowers with edgy styling and vivid colors.
Stick with one floral piece of clothing in your ensemble so the outfit doesn’t look too busy. If you choose a floral bottom, opt for a solid colored top. This lets the one piece take center stage without creating an overwhelming look. Pull colors from the floral print when choosing your coordinating solid items and the accessories for your outfit.
Add a few new floral pieces to your existing wardrobe for each season. Floral prints are a great way to jazz up your existing wardrobe without buying all new clothes.
Give flowers pop-out style by picking pieces with appliquéd floral designs. Everything from shoes and purses to jackets and blouses get a playful pop from flowers that seem to pop off the piece.
Making Pieces Work for Multiple Seasons
The floral styles may change from season to season, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy separate floral wardrobes for spring, summer, fall and winter. Many pieces work throughout the year with a few little changes to customize the look to the current season.
Try these methods to make your floral pieces versatile:
- Choose neutral floral pieces: A neutral-colored floral piece works on its own in summer or under a heavier blazer in the winter. The neutral coloring also gives you versatility no matter what the season. Change up the accessories or other clothing pieces to give it a new look.
- Get creative with uses: The floral scarf you wear around your neck in fall can work as a headband in the spring.
- Layer, layer, layer: We already touched on some layering ideas, but this is perhaps the single best way to make your floral pieces work in multiple seasons. A sleeveless shirt that stands on its own in warmer seasons gets a little help to fit a cool-weather look with the addition of a chunky cardigan. A skirt you wear with bare legs in summer works in your fall wardrobe with thick tights.
- Focus on accessories: While clothing is more specific to a particular season, accessories often work year round. Protecting your eyes from the sun is important year round, so keep those floral sunglasses on hand even in winter. Floral necklaces, bracelets and earrings dress up outfits in all four seasons. Scarves are popular year round. Even floral-print shoes can typically span more than one season. You won’t want to wear your floral sandals in the winter, but closed-toe pumps can work most of the year. Ballet flats and boots also have flexible seasons.
Grow Your Floral Look
You are official a floral print pro. You know how to rock the print year round, from pretty pastel flowers in spring to rich autumn colors on muted backgrounds in the fall. It’s time to fill that closet with all the latest floral print pieces. Shop My Sister’s Closet Boutique online to find the perfect way to flaunt your floral style for spring, summer, fall and winter.